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.
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
Photo: Jose Burgos
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 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
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.