Thursday, February 15, 2007

Pre-Valentine's parties wrap-up

Men and women in jeans, button-downs and tight-fitting clothes huddled to keep warm as they waited to get inside Cans for the Fourth Annual Anti-Valentine’s Day Bash, the first stop on my round of parties Saturday.

Inside, people shouted over the music. Downstairs, pockets of people danced to a mix of ’80s rock and recent hip-hop hits.

Over in South End, men and women wearing all-black, liquid latex, electrical tape, jeans and T-shirts, dog collars (or barely nothing at all) waited to get inside Amos’ Southend for the Purgatory fetish party.

Inside, two shirtless men danced on stage. Near the rear of the club, a woman - her hands bound to her feet - hung from a swing suspended from the ceiling. A go-go dancer gyrated on a platform in front of the sound booth.

My final stop was at Southend Brewery for Six Figures Entertainment’s Valentine Heartbreak Ball. Six Figures is a new player in the urban party promotion world. Like many others, it promises an upscale atmosphere.

On Saturday, they drew a light, but fun crowd. They closed off the bar area with a white curtain and kept all of the partiers in the main dining area. When you walked inside, there was a VIP setup on the right. It featured a small buffet with pasta, chicken and salad. Each table also had a bottle of Moet. Nice touch.

Most of the men wore suits or nice jeans and button-downs, and the women wore tasteful dresses and slacks as well. Initially, all of the women were on the dance-floor side, while most of the men gathered in the bar area. The women didn’t wait on the men. They paired off and danced, or did the Electric Slide as a group. It felt like a high school prom. (Fellas, you looked real weak.)

Eventually, the promoters dragged a few men onto the dance floor. DJ L. Boogie’s mix of old school R&B - like Frankie Beverly and Maze - created an African American wedding reception/family reunion feel.

If Six Figures can keep the guys on the dance floor and continue to host parties like this, it might become the next big player in the urban party market here.