House Music Heads East: Fort Worth’s Meet Me Underground Comes to Dallas

0

Monday nights are not usual under the Curfew Bar in Fort Worth. As most of the city settles in for the night, the basement explodes with a four-on-the-floor beat that propels a sea of ​​bodies under the glow of more than a dozen disco balls. The sounds of New Jersey house band Blaze vibrate off the wall.

In the intimate underground bar, the distractions of everyday life are long gone. Cell phone use is non-existent as there is no signal. One evening a week, it’s music, movement and community. It is a ritual gathering that celebrates freedom of expression, inclusivity and acceptance. It’s Meet Me Underground, a weekly dance party that pays homage to 90s raves.

For over a year, Meet Me Underground has called Curfew Bar home. Since its inception, die-hard Dallas revelers have dutifully traveled Trinidad each week, despite traffic and work, to join the party.

“A lot of our audience is already from Dallas,” said Meet Me Underground founder Alvaro Gonzales. “Then there’s also a lot of people who know what we’re doing but don’t really want to come to a party in Fort Worth, which is pretty understandable. They, in particular, were waiting for us to go to Dallas.

The wait is over. Meet Me Underground has found a second home in Dallas’ Green Light Social. Every Wednesday night, Green Light Social will step away from its mainstream appeal and let Meet Me Underground take over. In Dallas, there is no shortage of dance parties. Yet for house music, consistency and dedication are lacking.

Meet Me Underground debuted on April 11, 2021 in Fort Worth. When pandemic restrictions were lifted, Gonzales felt a thirst for community. The need for a dance party dedicated to house music in Fort Worth was dire, but he didn’t revere traditional nightlife. He yearned for something deeper and knew the answer would be to avoid the city’s nightlife trends.

Gonzales imagined a party where guests became family and people came as they were. Gonzales, who had a successful pre-pandemic run with warehouse parties, knew he had the logistical know-how to bring his vision to life. When he approached Curfew Bar, they hesitantly offered the concept for Three Mondays.

“That first show was my friends and the DJ’s friends, that was about it. But by the third, I saw what Meet Me Underground could become both from a community impact perspective and just the fact that being able to throw a real good party in Fort Worth is a super rare thing” , he said.

Alongside resident DJs Boy Blk and CB Smoove, Gonzales set out to recreate the house culture of yesteryear. Like Gonazales, the origins of house music can be found in a warehouse: Chicago’s Warehouse club in the late 70s and early 80s. Black gay men found respite in society during those nights. DJ Frankie Knuckles used the music to embody the freedom of expression the dancers yearned for.

“Raves these days are idealized. People think of it more like festivals, big stages, big sound systems, lights and everything like pyrotechnics,” says Sterling Hasley, resident DJ at Meet Me Underground Boy Blk. “The feel of the underground at the time, especially in the late 80s, was that it had to be a safe place for people who were considered outcasts at the time, people of color and the LGBT community. Raves were their safe space, so we wanted to bring back that aesthetic, that feel, that real authentic organic feel, that raves had back then until now.

For Hasley, the heaviness of the pandemic, talk of an impending recession and societal unrest necessitated the raw energy that house music cultivates. House music evokes a spiritual experience that builds resilience and overcomes adversity in difficult times.

“The dance floor is a very sacred space that I take seriously,” says Karina Salas, who performs as DJ Karsalad. “House music can be very repetitive and rhythmic, almost like meditation. I can leave everything behind, go dancing and not think and feel free on the dance floor. It’s one of my favorite feelings and it’s what always draws me to a space like Meet Me Underground. People can feel comfortable enough to come and do it.

Every Monday, you’ll find big-name fashion designers, service industry workers, construction workers, doctors, scientists, and even a middle-aged man with a bubble gun called Ta2Dann.

In the flurry of tempo-fascinated bodies, you’ll see Dallas photographer Oscar Lozada, muralist Dora Reynosa, rapper Johnny B33, freelance artist A-Wall, artist Harpoon, and scientist Bry Chanel.

“The atmosphere is so free. Everyone is dancing,” says Chanel. “It seems there is no care in the room. No one really cares about your appearance. You can dress up or dress up as much as you want. Everyone just wants to have fun.

Chanel, now a regular on Meet Me Underground, first visited the recurring event last April.

At Meet Me Underground, there are no cliques. The hierarchy does not exist.

“Every party that we all [Meet Me Underground organizers] We’ve been to Dallas or Fort Worth, as long as we attend events and show venues, it’s so exciting,” said CB Smoove resident DJ Codie Binon. “It’s a huge mood ruiner and spread a message of love. It’s been really painful to see for years and years how clickable this metroplex is. When we started Meet Me Underground, breaking that barrier was a huge goal for the team.

Inclusive culture was started by party leaders. At Curfew Bar, Gonzales greets dancers at the door. Halsey made it a priority to get to know the bar staff. When the DJs aren’t on deck, they join the dance circles by heading to the center or cheering on the dancers via Binon’s signature karate chop hand dance. Gonazles are often seen staying true to the roots of the house culture by prioritizing safety. He regularly circles the dance floor to make sure everyone is safe and having fun.

Meet Me Underground began in Dallas on August 10. Over 300 guests hosted the weekly party at Green Light Social. Hasley and Binon hit the deck alongside resident DJs Sordelo, Karsalad and IAMYU. Regulars and newcomers received the Meet Me Underground team with electrical energy.

“After being out all night, you show up for work and you can remember that you just had the best time of your life dancing on the dance floor with a whole bunch of people you’ve never met. “, says Jordan Edwards, who plays the role of DJ IAMYU. “It’s exhilarating. That’s why every time people show up at Meet Me Underground, we provide that personal care.

With five resident DJs bringing their own flavors, attendees can expect to delve into house subgenres including soulful black house, deep house, dubstep, tropical house, disco and funk. No two parties are the same.

“It’s a safe space for everyone, no matter your ethnicity or sexual orientation,” Halsey says. “You’re going to experience something you’ve never experienced before and at the end of the day you’re probably going to go home and think about it until the following Monday or the following Wednesday.”

Share.

Comments are closed.