Revolution (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)



Roots, trees, moose and deer?

Miami isn’t the only city in south Florida, and the 28,000-square-foot Revolution gave us reason to send the Stalkers to Miami’s northern neighbor Fort Lauderdale. Though Revolution has existed as an events space for some 70 years, the venue claims to have kicked it up a notch for club-goers with a recent million-dollar-plus renovation.

Since the outdoor space typically hosts live events and the interior acts the part of nightclub, Revolution has an in-house production department that teams a touring soundman, a club light tech, and a recording engineer. But can the team boast seamlessly run systems – which include Vertec line arrays; Martin Professional and Elation lights; a Kryogenifex rig; and Numark-based video displays – in both the 2,000-cap outdoor venue and 1,100-cap interior? We sent the Stalkers to check out the systems and the layout – we let them experience the South Fla weather too.

Stalker #1
I arrived at Revolution with plenty of time to get my drink on prior to the funkalicious vibes of The Roots on New Year’s Eve. Revolution was very spacious, set up in a rectangle with the stage in one corner and a bar, opposite that, big enough to swallow the stage. Trees adorned the perimeter of the club, reminding us over and over again that we were still outside.

It was easy to get lost since there was lots of room to move around. You had to walk the length of the bar to get from the VIP to the bathroom areas, which provided additional opportunities to grab yet another drink.

Revolution offers a separate indoor section that is amazing in its own right. There, the sunken dancefloor butts up against another large stage. Between the first and second levels of horseshoe-shaped balconies, it’s hard to say which has the better view. On that first floor, you’ll find a large bar. There are tables on the second level plus access to an outdoor balcony. It was on that outdoor balcony where NYE concert-goers definitely had the best view.

Stalker #2
The bass was pumping at Revolution as The Roots rocked the house. The outdoor venue gave them a crisp and clear sound while the people in attendance gave off funky and eclectic vibes.

Being a house-head myself, I was afraid I’d have trouble fitting in. Lucky for me, the crowd was cool, laid-back, and even friendly. The populations of thugs and South Beach clubkids were sparse, and people seemed genuinely sophisticated (minus the pretentious part). The friendliness, of course, truly emerged after the champagne was finally uncorked.

Normally, the indoor section of Revolution is included in the experience. We noticed a line of snazzy club-goers waiting to get into the techno-thumping interior, and we were intrigued! Typically, partiers can float between in and outdoor sections (but apparently not on New Year’s Eve).

The density of the crowd got thicker and thicker as our proximity to the stage got closer and closer. Once we hit three deep, it was time to stop pushing.

Trees formed a canopy over the smaller DJ booth while bright, colorful lights danced around the stage. The open, airy acoustics helped prevent that nasty, day-after ear-ringing.

Stalker #3
Since it was New Year’s Eve, expectations were about as high as the ball in Times Square, pre-midnight. Once entering Revolution, I was immediately stalked by the beady eyes of hanging deer and moose heads as I made my way to the bar. The room felt dense, but not too crowded. And I soon found out that those Ft. Lauderdale drinks were teetering on the verge of South Beach prices. That’s New Year’s Eve for you!

Lots of leafy foliage reminded us that we were, in fact, still outside. But this outdoor space was very wide and open. A large bar curved around the left side of the space with a smaller island bar in the center of the floor. The upper VIP section on the roof of the club’s interior may have had the best view, but the lower VIP, where we got cozy, had red ropes encasing its own personal stage for the pre- and post-show DJs (DeeJay K-N-S and ?uestlove, respectively).

Champagne was flowing in our bottom-less glass flutes while The Roots were jamming with a perfect mix of covers and originals. The stage was lit up brightly while the rest of the venue lingered in its shadow. Colorful rope lights snaked up the sides of the smaller stage. With less than 200 of the original 1,500 warm bodies left, it was safe to say that we closed down the place.

Compiled by Natalie Raben.

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Copyright 2006 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2006 TESTA Communications