Diamond Club(Falls Church, VA)



All the club's a stage.

Photo: Jose Burgos

When word gets out a club intends to make the move to “super” we think it’s worth sending a set of CSI secret agents to skulk around the place. The ambitious Diamond Club has undergone renovation in hopes of becoming a true superclub, offering the Falls Church, VA crowd everything they could possibly think of: DJs, sushi bar, live bands, restaurant, billiards, shadow dancing, karaoke, sports bar, special events, go-go dancers and Internet Cafe. Even from our HQ outside of NYC we thought this was quite an undertaking for a single nightclub.

Diamond acts the part of restaurant featuring karaoke on weeknights, mixes up weekends with live concerts, stage shows, and DJs spinning “trance, hip-hop and reggae” (according to its website, vadiamondclub.com), and adds sports-watching, pool-shooting and web-surfing throughout the week. We asked this month’s Stalkers to hit Virginia and see how Diamond would pencil them in.

Stalker #1
The Diamond Club is located in “Seven Corners,” a place where at least seven highways and rural roads intersect. Even this experienced city driver got lost three different times. We finally found the place, walked through the double glass doors and, after a quick check by security, entered. I was happy to not be paying any cover charge: ladies get in free on Fridays. Red carpeting and red velvet ropes guided us to a second set of doors.

As we entered through the second doors, the entire club could be seen: a small sushi bar and restaurant; a smallish stage and pool tables; a long bar of computers and a few electronic gambling machines. A big round bar stood in the center of it all. We found our way there quickly, but it was hard to get the bartenders’ attention, even though it was still quite early. We experienced this several times during the night, watching obvious regulars come behind us and order. It was frustrating, and I wondered if throwing a big tip would result in better service. No go.

The lighting was too bright, with gobos randomly changing throughout the evening. There was a guy in a booth off to the far side of the club who seemed to be controlling the fixtures, but apparently the lamp intensity knob was stuck on 10. The DJ booth itself was located in a distant corner with a peep hole for the ‘driver’. I wondered to myself how Sander [Kleinenberg] would feel being stuck back in there.

The audio was amazing: full sound, no rattles, bangs, or hums. Too bad the DJ didn’t put the system to good use. We heard hip-hop when we walked in, which abruptly gave way to Tiesto, then back to hip-hop again, followed by reggaeton and breakbeats. I didn’t even bother trying to dance. A few brave souls tried to shake their groove thangs to the mad mix, but they eventually gave up and sat down.

Suddenly, we were accosted by a resident MC who obnoxiously gangsta-stepped it through the timid crowd. “Lady in the red dress, shake it! You’re dancing like a white girl!” The few patrons on the floor quickly scrambled to their tables for shelter.

I left well before closing, something this NightStalker NEVER does! The dancefloor did eventually filled up, despite the incessant and insulting chatter of the MC. I wanted to grab the microphone and smash it and give the DJ a stack of mix CDs.

Photo: Jose Burgos

Stalker #2
Diamond was packed early due to a fashion show scheduled for later that night. I was really impressed. There was a stage that was set up to serve as a runway and the DJ equipment had been moved to one side of the stage. There were screens set up for shadow dancing. The dancers were talented and friendly and often joined the crowd on the floor.

The place was beautiful and inviting. Diamond’s layout was great, the owners obviously spent a lot of money on the interchangeable stage, the dancers, and the beautiful bar, even the lighting and TVs but it was done in a very un-posh way. Down both sides of the large dancefloor were elevated booths and with tables; it looked somewhat like prom night. I was surprised to see that these tables quickly filled for bottle service. With white linens and candles, the tables were obviously pulled from the restaurant area.

There were video monitors mounted to most of the cement columns in the front of the bar and around the sides. They weren’t audible, but the sports and random shows were tacky and distracting. The web surfing stations stayed busy on and off throughout the night.

The lighting was extra bright, and the sound was extra loud. The music was mostly hip-hop from five years ago, with a splash of reggaeton and reggae. Then, just as the dancefloor was starting to move to the old (but not old school) tunes, the DJ started playing techno. 140-145 BPM straight hardcore rave! Even the grittiest clubs don’t put this stuff on until well past midnight. The music slammed for an hour or more. I’m not sure there was even one person on the dancefloor. People looked scared and scarred.

I headed to the bar, but couldn’t get a drink. I was ready to go, but apparently there was to be a second DJ that night who was known to spin some great house. I held on. When she finally hit the stage, I thought: relief at last. A few great tracks were played, a few people started dancing, and then: technical problems. Skipping needles and wires coming undone. The sound guy never left his corner; although the MC did jump up on stage started yelling into the mic. I felt robbed.

Eventually, the problems were addressed, but the DJ did not return to the stage. There were obviously some issues, and she left in a huff. What kind of superclub could this place ever be with management like that? I left as soon as we finished the only drink I could score in four hours, hoping I could find a little fun somewhere else.

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Copyright 2006 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2006 TESTA Communications