With the beautiful weekends of spring now in full effect, Mondays have become more difficult to endure. Rising temperatures and heavy pollen counts make me think one thing: I have to go out. Thankfully Keep on Movin’: The Monday Night Dance Party has buoyed my spirits on my least favorite day. I recently made the six-block jaunt to The 5 Spot to check up on this East Side tradition.
The 5 Spot, with its plethora of local players and East Side staples, makes you feel like you’re in a music town; it can feel like musicians outnumber everyone else. After paying the $3 cover, I was greeted by long wooden bar tables that serve as convenient locations to centralize groups. I headed to the bar where I was pleased to see both Boddingtons and Pabst in the same beer cooler; I always like to have at least one good beer before I travel down Pabst Alley.
Music gear dominates everything at The 5 Spot. The muted light of a drum set chandelier illuminates an old sturdy pool table. Broken cymbals are reborn as curtains. The bar’s many local show posters proudly proclaim, “Yes, this is a music venue. Please do not request Freebird.” This all sets the scene for a velvet lined stage that supports the most rockin’ DJ rig this side of the Cumberland.
The weekly event is hosted by Electric Western Records co-founder/artist Jacob Jones, who splits DJ duties between himself and other troubadours. He throws down the dance party gauntlet by playing old school favorites like The Four Tops and Sam Cooke. I dare you to be a wallflower after hearing the grooving tunes at the spot. Electric Western has redefined the Monday night barscape by creating a friendly environment that is free of pretense and full of dancing.
I know what you’re saying. “I can’t dance, and I don’t want people to make fun of me.” Stop it! You’re not in high school. When you mix alcohol, good music, and fun-loving people in one space you get magic: a room full of sweaty adults moving around without a care in the world. The floor at The 5 Spot is full of kids trying and failing in their attempts to recreate the twist, all of them having a good time. If that’s not enough, there’s always safety in numbers: the dance floor is empty and intimidating at 10pm, but by 11:30 the whole floor is grooving. Good things come to those who wait.
Keep On Movin’: The Monday Night Dance Party has become more popular as of late, so don’t be surprised if you only have enough room to shuffle around during the most busy moments. This influx of our friends from across the river has made it more difficult to get a drink, but it’s all worth it to share some East Side love from our favorite dance party host. Overall, Electric Western Records has given the East Side a great cure for the Mondays.