Downtown Abbey: On a Tuesday; topics discussed: Hula-hoops. Blonde mohawks. Demi Lovato.

By
From the July 31, 2014 edition

The DJ’s shaggy blonde mohawk covered her face as she violently thrashed her body to the bass, her moves perfectly syncopated to every beat and glitch she pushed through the speakers. Smoke machines and strobe lights fired during dramatic sound shifts and beat drops. To watch Risik, Trance Tuesday’s resident DJ, you’d never know the room was nearly empty.

Even though we parked a block away, the bass coming from Midway on High (1728 N. High St.) reverberated through the empty streets. Clusters of people sat around tables on the patio, as a woman hula-hooped in the center.

After explaining several times what a Bulleit “neat” was to the bartender, we were handed a watered-down Jameson cocktail and half a standard pour of Bulleit in a plastic shot glass. It was already midnight, and the only people on the dance floor were a man in sandals and a woman swaying against a Jack Daniels backdrop.

Failed plans and weak drinks made it seem like all hope was lost. That changed when Risik started playing.

A deconstructed version of Demi Lovato’s “I Don’t Care” brought a collective “WTF” from everyone on the patio. Curiosity forced us back into the bar.

Videos of bootylicious babes were playing on TVs behind the bar as the petite DJ fist-pumped and sang along to her own set.

“She reminds me of Moxy [Martinez] in like, 2008,” my friend said. “She is not giving a fuck.”

He was right. While the majority of bar patrons were outside chatting, Risik was putting on a well-orchestrated club show for a handful of people, complete with smoke machines, video and lighting effects.

She pressed on through her set, heaving bass at the growing crowd and exuding pure energy. The audience slowly started to move toward the dance floor, which only made her more energetic. The one-woman party she was having behind the DJ rig had spread to the rest of the room.

By the time she took off her headphones, I had already made plans to catch her next week.