Avalon - Boston, MA



Manic clubbing before the morning light.

If John Lyonsí Avalon is a veritable sea of humanity, than the figurative Avaland might damn well be a whole planet. The weekly Avaland party involves something like 16 of Lyonsí clubs (really, though: itís just Avalon, Axis, Embassy, and The Modern). Clubbers are allowed to pass freely between all four. This all started in 1998, when the Lyons Group hired Steve Adelman as the executive director of Lansdowne Street (where all these clubs are located side-by-side, right across from Fenway Park). Adelman cut his teeth directing many of New Yorkís most famous hot spots including Roxy, Limelight, Tunnel, Palladium, and Club USA. He created Avaland, which has been sold out every night since its inception.

Avalon is also home of the original EAW Avalon Series speaker system (go figure), which Lyons helped design. Itís also got a laser, crazy lights, a stage loaded with hired dancers, and a really huge downstairs bar. Axis is smaller and darker, Embassy is lounge-y, and The Modern is a martini bar. Our Stalkers rushed out to get a full night in before Bostonís 2 am curfew.

Stalker #1
A standard 8ĹĒ x 11Ē piece of paper announced that Junior Vasquez would not be spinning on this night, as had been advertised (we thought he would have demanded a neon-lit billboard), so Perry Farrell, who came up with some ridiculous DJ name for himself [Thatís DJ Peretz. Ė ed.] was on in Avalon when we arrived. Getting into Avalon was no problem, but once inside, moving around was. I tried to smoke a cigarette and could barely get it up to my mouth without almost burning the short people around me. I got sweaty from just standing there. The crowdedness (look, I made a word!) was so distracting that I canít even tell you what the former lead singer of Janeís Addiction was playing. It coulda been progressive two-step from Belgium. All I knew was that I was being compressed. And I needed a drink.

My friend and I decided to exit the Avalon in the most promising direction. That ended up being toward Axis. Ahhh, breathing room. And a bar I could actually get to. Sadly, though, the Lyons clubs are among those that have been hoodwinked into dumping Red Bull in favor of some other far inferior energy concoction Ė 180 or something? I call it glorified Minute Maid. One of the great pleasures in clubland is being able to go over to any bar in any place and say, ďVodka Red Bull, please.Ē Iím all for a competitive market, but I accept no substitutes in this department.

Lilí Louie Vega was playing in Axis, and was rocking it with that percussive stuff thatís sooo fabulous. He dropped ďFly LifeĒ and the place went nuts. But why did it sound so absolutely terrible? The sound in Axis was paltry, beyond paltry. The fuzz was constant. I would have joined the crowd on the floor and given Louie his due if it didnít sound like I was in an insulated tin can.

Stalker #2
I think everyone in Boston is hot. Thatís the way it looks from the contents of Avalon. Almost all the girls, even most of the guys, were easy on the eyes to say the least. They werenít necessarily stylish, but you canít expect much that far out of New York (yes, thatís where Iím from, so sue me). Everyone also seemed to be happyÖvery, very happy. Not too many eyes seemed capable of meeting mine. That was fine by me, but I was surprised that this was the case at such a commercial club.

Avalon sounded good, looked better. There were some go-go boys leftover from the Junior Vasquez gig that should have been, and the frat pledges looked like they wanted to beat them up. Perry Farrell was playing some decent, weird techy trance, and the kids were digging it for sure! I think itís cool that a DJ can come into a big room and play music like that, and get such a positive response. I donít think the people knew what they were hearing, but they didnít seem to care and lost their minds anyway. Thatís rare in America. Avalon was done well, but it was good to have Axis to escape to when things got too hairy in there. All in all, a very decent clubbing experience. And I was in my hotel bed at a parentally acceptable hour!

Copyright 2002 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2002 TESTA Communications