Manic clubbing before the
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.
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.
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
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!