The Green Room
Providence, Rhode Island



Keep the floorplan; hang the DJ.

Tucked inside the Snookers Billiards complex, The Green Room is a vintage-style cocktail lounge with enough grit to withstand the college crowd. JBL EON series speakers provide the sound. Kitsch in the form of Dick Tracy and Elvis pics decorates the walls, but the windowed bar area sports a giant painted-purple pipe running overhead. Schizo décor is one thing…but would our Stalkers be able to withstand teen night?

Stalker #1
I was sort of hesitant to do this; to go into The Green Room on their “college/indie” night, because I did a lot of new wave/indie dance clubbing in college and could really do without hearing “Panic” (“Hang the DJ/hang the DJ!”) ever again. Outside, the “Romper Room” lettered overhang (ugly backlit vinyl? trash it!) gave none of this away. Going upstairs and through the “regulars” part of a bar, it was still unclear what the evening held. Little did I know, but Thursdays at the Green Room are 18-plus, so all these little boys and girls were there, dancing awkwardly like H&M mannequins in an earthquake.

I’m only 25, but I felt like the oldest person in the room, until I looked up onstage and saw the DJ, Terrence, who kept trying to get all these jaded youth into the new Morissey album – actually singing along with the tracks – while rooting through his lame CD cases. Ya, I accept that CDs are the way to go, especially for a DJ gig like this, but the last thing on earth I want to see is some dude being overly enthused about a big book of perfect sound forever. You know? If your DJ doesn’t have crazy skills, hide him away and let the dancers rule the room.

The dancefloor was pretty great. Simple and true thing – it just makes sense to put a small tumbler-wide shelf all the way around a room like this, because people are drinking and when they leave the floor, the energy dies. The Green Room got this right. Exposed brick and this little ledge gave the space a warm, inviting kind of feeling. To get there, you had to walk around this weird, snaking bar that juts into a sort of dance ante-room and becomes, until the most extremely crowded part of the evening, a lovely little place to recline and relax. I didn’t notice if there were speakers in this part of the room, but the sound was a little less present and made for a great escape from the incessant Cure remixes pouring forth.

The thing that always makes me angry about clubs like this is that they always seem to discount sound because there isn’t some super-tweaked out dance music coming from the speakers. Clubs like NYC’s Pyramid and Bar 13 suffer greatly from this, but the Green Room seems to respect the idea that all music, even ’80s indie, deserves high definition sound. And duh, when it sounds good and doesn’t kill your ears - you want to stay longer!

Though the only real effect at Green I can remember “changing” was a mirrorball being turned on: The evening seemed to pick up and have that special quality where it seems like maybe there are too many people to be in here dancing, but they are and it’s great, if you can manage to stop thinking about how lame the music is.

Stalker #2
I was unsure whether or not The Green Room was a bar or a club, and got the feeling this establishment was trying to be a bit of both. There was the scale (high ceilings, large rooms) of a club, but, at least on the night I was there, the mood of a bar. But I paid $3 to get into the club part anyway (which seemed a fair price at the time). I guess Thursday is some sort of rock ‘n’ roll DJ night – I never got a real story on if I paid three bucks for a weekly theme night, or just to go into a different room. It ended up seeming more like a rock club with no band, just some DJs. The room bottlenecked at the bar, with a couched-up area at the entry and the dancefloor/stage at the other end. It was $4.50 for a Maker’s Mark on the rocks. I saw two DJs, the first whose set consisted of a series of tunes I didn’t recognize, the second who played mostly his favorite tracks from ‘80’s alternative pop. Neither seemed to be interested in communicating with audience, and people seemed to dance because they really had little else to do. The 2nd DJ was clearly more interested in playing his favorites, and I felt the place would have been better served with a good jukebox.

Stalker #3
I got there a bit later, but since the place is so small, it wasn’t hard to find people. There were a lot of people just sort of hovering near the dancefloor though. It was difficult to get to the bar because of this, and I was a bit annoyed at all the rocker guys who looked on without really doing anything to make the scene any more fun. I got stuck dancing sort of close to the stage, which I guess they do shows on, and the speakers were actually right there in front of you so it was a little loud. I liked that when I wanted to take a break, I could just hop up on the stage and sit there. It’s about four feet off the ground, so I could watch the scene unfold.

Some crazy guys were shouting a lot, and taking their shirts off, which didn’t seem to be the feel of the night. I wish that the promoters or the bouncer or whoever was in charge had said something to them. I guess everyone was too cool to hurt their feelings, but it was kind of aggressive and lame, and a lot of girls dancing nearby looked really angry and sort of stopped dancing for a while.

One thing I definitely didn’t like was that they had TV sets on over the bar. The place had a real sort of “dance club inside of a sport’s bar” feeling, and the TVs showing random shows only made it worse. The night is called Strange Ways, and I think it’s been going on for a long time, so I wonder if the promoter couldn’t get more control over the way that things are presented. For instance, the disco ball in the middle of the dancefloor didn’t seem to work correctly, like there was a light shining on it and only a few sprinkles cast on the ground. How hard could it be to fix that? They have to be making a ton of money on the night, so I feel like it’s their responsibility to make the environment aesthetically pleasing for the type of clientele – college age indie kids – who are attending. Still, I had fun, but I felt like and outsider; like maybe I had walked into something everyone else had known about for a long time.

Copyright 2004 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2004 TESTA Communications