Dance the night away
Whether you're into house, electro, trance, hip-hop, or good ol' rock, there's a dance night for you
Boston has never exactly been a world-class city when it comes to dance parties and DJ nights. And a “late night’’ usually meant 1 a.m. because you had to catch the last T out of Dodge. But over the past few years we’ve made up ground on other cities, so that on any given night of the week you can easily find a place to let it all hang out on the dance floor (and until the wee hours even), whether you’re into Gaga or Grace Jones, the Stooges or the Stones. Consider your dance card for the next month — or year — filled.
■ CHECK OUT ADDITIONAL DANCE NIGHTS AROUND THE CITY — INCLUDING CEREMONY, SYMMETRY SPINS, AND REVOLUTION — AT WWW.BOSTON.COM/THINGSTODO.
FOXY! First Sunday of the month at Zuzu 474 Mass. Ave., Cambridge 617-864-3278 www.mideastclub.com/zuzu 10 p.m. $3. 21+ This is the thinking-gay-man’s dance party, more deep-crate-digging and obscure sounds than you might hear at a conventional club, says DJ James Cerne. He and the other residents mix in ’70s and ’80s funk alongside Italo disco. “The theme is raucous, good-clean-dirty fun for gay dudes who find mainstream gay nightlife in Boston to be unimaginative, uninspiring, unsophisticated, and just generally un-good,’’ he says. And, he adds, “We will do it with our shirts off.’’
REBOUND Sundays at Phoenix Landing 512 Mass. Ave., Cambridge 617-576-6260 www.phoenixlandingbar.com 10 p.m. $5. 19+ For two years this Sunday night party at the Phoenix Landing has been aiming to push the envelope of electronic music. Both locals and a rotating case of international guest DJs spin through industrial, house, hip-hop, dubstep, electro, minimal, and jungle. That range sets it apart, says DJ Manny Random. “You will not find it anywhere else on a Sunday.’’
BEAT RESEARCH Mondays at Enormous Room 567 Mass. Ave., Cambridge 617-491-5550 www.enormous.tv 9 p.m. free. 21+ Since it started in 2004, this party has been serving up esoteric electronic music to beat junkies. They call it “experimental party music,’’ says DJ Wayne Marshall. “The night is all about drawing connections between styles and experimenting with interesting combinations and sequences, with regular excursions into hip-hop, dancehall, dubstep, bhangra, garage, jungle, funk carioca, cumbia, techno, house, juke, Boston bounce, and anything else that strikes our fancy.’’
EVOLUTION Tuesdays at Rumor 100 Warrenton St., Boston 617-422-0045 www.rumorboston.com 10:30 p.m. $15-20 (Bar and restaurant industry workers free). 21+ This party from 6one7 Productions has moved around from various hot spots throughout the city since 1998. They first called it Evolution “because we saw the night always moving ahead of the curve to the next ‘in’ spot around town and the crowd always transforming and changing with the times,’’ says promoter Salvatore Boscarino. Now entrenched at Rumor, it draws a mix of internationals, students, industry workers, and the occasional celeb and athlete guest.
BODEGA GIRLS PRESENT: COOL RANCH Last Wednesday of every month at Middlesex Lounge 315 Mass. Ave., Cambridge 617-868-6739 www.middlesexlounge.us 10 p.m. free. 21+ The music at this monthly party is all over the map, including goofy ’80s joints, new jack swing, punk classics, and hip-hop. But more importantly, says DJ Evan Kenney, there is a lot of making out going on the dance floor. “The theme is basically like a BBQ that your cool ex-con uncle threw back in the day where you tasted your first beer,’’ he explains. “There is usually an American Flag photo booth, free Cool Ranch Doritos and popsicles, tons of good-looking drunk people, and psychedelic porn playing on a large screen.’’
BASSIC One Wednesday a month at Good Life 28 Kingston St., Boston 617-451-2622 10 p.m. $10. 21+ Don’t just call this monthly party, now in its third year, a dubstep night, says DJ Chris Ward. “That’s a misrepresentation, because between the residents and our headliners you’re going to hear a variety of beats with influences from all different types of music. We’re all about the music, getting lost in a beat and having a good time,’’ he says. Their slogan for the night is inappropriate and irresponsible.
REC ROOM Fridays at Think Tank 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge 617-500-3031 www.thinktankcambridge.com 10 p.m. free. 21+ At this all-vinyl night, DJs Paul Foley and Mario Lemieux put the emphasis on post punk and new wave. The layout of the space, with a dance floor, lounge area, and video game and photo booth retro zone provide for a lot of different ways to chill, and/or spazz out, says Foley. “The place is paradoxically chic and quaint simultaneously.’’ They’re trying to avoid “a typical young and dumb Top-40 crowd,’’ he adds. “All of the DJ nights in this establishment are aimed at lovers of good quality music.’’
LA BOUM First Fridays of the month at the Milky Way 284 Armory St., Jamaica Plain 617-524-6060 www.milkywayjp.com 10 p.m. free. 21+ If you know the French film this night takes its name from, you’ll get close to the concept. If that doesn’t do the trick, how about the fact that the party doesn’t really get cooking until they drop Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody’’ or Madonna’s “Open Your Heart’’? “There are hordes of sweaty dancers in denim everywhere, kind of like MTV’S “The Grind’’ minus the head bandannas,’’ explains DJ Stella Kronopoulos.
THE PILL Fridays at Great Scott 1222 Commonwealth Ave., Allston 617-566.9014 www.thepillboston.com 10 p.m. $5. 21+ The Pill is all about “indie music you can dance to,’’says longtime DJ Ken Powers. “Modern, with a dash of retro, UK bands mostly, but not exclusively.’’ Part of staying relevant for well over a decade means not relying on old tricks all the time. “Classic indie songs sometimes get it started, but we make it a point to play new records. It’s our obligation to keep it fresh. I absolutely love when someone comes up and asks, ‘Who was that you just played?’ ’’
SATURDAYS ARE ROYALE Saturdays at Royale 279 Tremont St., Boston 617-338-7699 www.royaleboston.com 10 p.m. $20. 21+ There’s a different concept incorporated into this party every week, from a Cirque du Soleil OVO-themed event, to a Little White Panties party, to From Russia With Love, or A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The large-scale productions cater to a Top-40 crowd. “We wanted to bring back the ‘big club’ feeling, the theater, the surprise, the show,’’ says Dave Ralph, management consultant for Royale. Expect to see eccentrically costumed guests and performers, stilt-walkers, scantily clad dance teams, jugglers, and more carnivalesque madness.
SOUL-LE-LU-JAH Saturdays at Zuzu 474 Mass. Ave., Cambridge 617-864-3278 www.mideastclub.com/zuzu 10:30 p.m. $5. 21+ For eight years now people have been raving about Soul-le-lu-jah as one of the best dance nights in the city. The soul and funk tunes that the DJs throw down are a mix of big soul hits and obscure tracks people don’t know they love until they hear them. “The vibe is intense, with people dancing all night,’’ says DJ and organizer PJ Gray. It’s also always packed, so get there early.
VIP ACCESS Saturdays at the Estate 1 Boylston Place, Boston 617-351-7000 www.theestateboston.com 10 p.m. $20. 21+ Estate brings in celebrity DJs from around the country to spin Top-40, pop and mashups. But they also cater to a “VIP’’ crowd, says Christie Leigh Bellany, director of sales and marketing for Big Night Entertainment Group. “The theme of the party is ‘Come out and play with the stars.’ We have had everyone from Paris Hilton to Lauren Conrad, and, most recently, Shaq walk through our doors. You never know who will pop in and it gives everyone in Boston the chance to come be a VIP.’’