Downtown Abbey: On a Saturday; Topics discussed: Catacombs, swamps

From the July 17, 2014 edition

An expensive pre-party at Booty Klap in the Brewery District led to a sweaty dance pit at Clampdown’s 10 Year Anniversary party and turned a Saturday night into a wet-hot mid-summer’s night rollick.

We walked into Brick in the Brewery District a bit confused. The lush surroundings would have been on par with Tony Soprano’s favorite steakhouse, rather than the site of a raucous dance party. A wide staircase led us down to a podium where party-goers paid a $10 toll for the privilege.

Downstairs, the lavish surroundings of the upper level were replaced by exposed stone walls and vaulted ceilings. I suddenly found myself at a techno party in the catacombs. Another $10 later, I had my first drink and made my way to the dance floor. Non-descript techno boomed through the system, and the “weekend warrior” crowd danced with obvious apprehension on the narrow dance floor.

It kept getting later, but the music didn’t get any more bootylicious, so we decided to leave the booty-clapping behind. We headed north to Clampdown’s 10th Anniversary Party at Hounddog’s Pizza.

The bar formerly known as Ravari Room felt like a swamp. A visible cloud of sweat hung over the pulsating pit of bodies as the bass line vibrated the walls. Bodies clad in soaked-through T-shirts and skinny jeans crowded the bar. At this point, ordering a drink would have been an exercise in futility. I took the remainder of my $10 buzz to the dance floor.

The predictable, yet satisfying soundtrack fueled a riotous crowd of Clampdown regulars and college kids as they sacrificed personal comfort for the sake of the party. It was sweltering, but nobody cared. The music kept moving, and so did the crowd.

“Thanks for 10 years” splashed across the projection screen onstage. Several party-goers meandered next door to pound some pizza and sober up before the long ride home. Smeared makeup, matted-down hair and foggy black-rimmed glasses dispersed in all directions. The Clampdown’s 10th birthday party was more like a booze-laden 21st.