Abyss - Sayreville, New Jersey



“I know I got a bad reputation.”

When the NYC online messageboard community heard that Danny Tenaglia was going to take his Be Yourself show on the road to Sayreville, New Jersey’s Abyss, the sardonic cyber-laughter could be heard ‘round the world. Abyss is known as “that club in the middle of nowhere with the Phazon,” a quick turn off the darkness of Route 1 and into oblivion. It’s a hotspot for young Jersey-ites who don’t want to make the trek into the city, but a punchline to hipper-than-thou Manhattan scenesters. So of course we sent some of them to check out the gig: An international DJ in a notorious pick-up joint.

Oddly, the club brought in a rental system for Tenaglia, temporarily replacing their main room’s Phazon. Hmmm.

Stalker #1
Rolled up around 11 (this is Jersey after all) and from the looks of things thought we’d have trouble at the door, but we didn’t. The requisite squad of meaty-men-in-black was gruff but friendly. But why do clubs with ample public parking around them have valet service, while places without parking for miles don’t? Don’t answer that question.

I’ll confess, I really dug the layout of this place. It was a long rectangle without a centralized dance floor, basically a giant room for mingling and one section (in front of the booth) for serious dancing. The lights were spread throughout the entirety of the rectangle, rather than all aimed at a specific location, and this made you feel involved even if you were lounging on the corner couches. Neat and different.

There was a long bar on the right, and some sort of barbecue going on in the room adjacent to the entry hallway? I didn’t investigate too closely, but I did smell food in a nightclub for the first time.

I felt odd Twilo nostalgia upon seeing the unused Phazon Berthas in the corner, functioning tonight only as deluxe clubber stools. The “replacement” sound was good, but the stack in the front lost its will to live during Tenaglia’s last hour.

Stalker #2
So the dark and menacing Abyss was more like the pleasant little Valley. I thought it would be pitch black, but the room was bright and clean looking, with white as the most used color. And the people were so very pumped for DT! The usual smattering of NY freaks at all his gigs balanced the “normal” people nicely, but the vibe on the whole was very good and pure. No one eyeing you weird. No one too messy. No men groping. And not even that much intentional shoving. Bravo.

But, um, here’s my complaint. I order an apple martini at the bar (yes I AM a glutton for punishment), and rather than confess that she did not have the stuff to make one, the bartender instead gave me a plastic shot glass cup half filled with ice, half with vodka, and a sprinkle of some sweet liqueur (not enough to taste for more than a sip). I got hammered, but it was nasty. And not worth my $7.

Stalker #3
There was a downstairs? Why didn’t someone tell me there was a downstairs? Damn, does this place sell cigarettes?

Copyright 2002 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2002 TESTA Communications