Buzz is Back
It's been over a year since Nation nightclub closed, leaving the long-running Buzz dance party without a home. It's been a tough 14 months for fans who used to gather every Friday night to hear world-famous electronic DJs like Paul Oakenfold, Deep Dish and John Digweed. Buzzlife Productions has thrown parties at a variety of venues since then -- bringing Paul Van Dyk, Steve Lawler and Rabbit in the Moon to the 9:30 club, hosting John B at the RNR Bar and Lounge and Charles Feelgood at the Rock and Roll Hotel, and promoting shows with Krafty Kuts and Dieselboy at Avenue. Problem is, none of those clubs felt like home.
Last month, Buzzlife Vice President of Operations Amanda Huie announced that the party would be resurrected at the multi-room Fur nightclub every Friday night, beginning on Sept. 21. Until now, there have been no details about the lineup or tickets.
So without further ado, here's everything you need to know:
The grand opening party features genre-hopping techno DJ Moby, Dutch trance DJ Sander van Doorn, Buzz founder Scott Henry and a few local DJs that have yet to be confirmed. Tickets cost $25 during the pre-sale (available Friday through www.groovetickets.com/buzz). Doors open at 9 p.m. and you won't be kicked out until 4 a.m.
I have to admit being surprised to see Moby headlining the return of Buzz, and I'm sure I'm not going to be the only one. At this point of his career, he gets more press for his views on animal rights and the environment than his music. Going through dozens of pages of speculation and growing excitement on the Buzzlife online message board about the grand opening, no one had put forth Moby's name.
"Moby's one of those names that people don't even guess anymore, because he's so big," Huie explains. "We really wanted to come out with a bang." The Buzz staff had mooted acts like Paul Oakenfold and Paul Van Dyk, but Huie points out that a lot of those bold-face names had either played at Buzz in the run-up to Nation's closure or at a special event in the last year, so the Buzz staff was looking for something different at the new venue. Besides, she says, "Every time Moby does something, he brings new people into the scene. We love him and we're really flattered."
Moby's last visit to D.C. was in April 2005, when his sold-out 9:30 club show featured guitars over turntables -- much to the displeasure of one Washington Post reviewer. This appearance should be a complete 180. According the blog on Moby's official Web site, Moby.com, he's preparing tracks for a February 2008 release, and he told Billboard.com last month that the new material is a dance album inspired by Grace Jones and Donna Summer.
Even more promising: Reports from Moby's Labor Day weekend DJ gig in New York said he spun an old-school rave set with lots of techno and acid house.
Van Doorn, meanwhile, was just in the area for the Virgin Festival. His new track "Riff" is an infectious piece of work, blending tech-trancey beats, deep bass and funky electro touches. The song, which was recently named Single of the Week on the BBC, and a remix by esteemed DJ Carl Cox can be found on Van Doorn's MySpace page. His debut album is expected later this year.
Scott Henry really needs no introduction. Buzz's founder is a true local legend, having spun at clubs all over the world and thrown some of the best parties the Washington area's ever seen. He's spun everything from hardcore to house, and if you haven't caught up with Henry lately, you can check him out at Five tomorrow night -- and you don't even have to pay to get in.
Beyond the music, Huie is enthused about creating memorable and over-the-top decor, using Miami's RKM, the production company who created sets for the "Queer as Folk" club tour and lent their design skills to famous venues like Miami's Space and New York's Twilo and Crobar. Buzz is inviting the crowd to be part of the act, too: People who "go all out" with their outfits will get in free. (There's more information about that on buzzlife.com.)
Every Buzz event will be open to anyone 18 and over, though there will be drink specials -- including $5 Red Bull and vodkas and $3 shooters -- from 9 to 11 p.m. for those who've turned 21. And while Fur is much more of a megaclub than Nation, the Buzz crew negotiated Fur's management down to a simple dress code: No white sneakers, men in shorts or excessively baggy jeans, though I have the feeling the latter rule will be open to interpretation.
Since Buzzlife announced that it was taking up residence at Fur, the club's owners have made some suggested changes, including moving the DJ booth to a more prominent area, removing some VIP seating and rearranging walls to improve traffic flow between rooms. A new will-call window has been added outside to cut down on lines. Huie also gushes about a concierge desk that will help find lost items and reunite lost friends, but says that Buzzlife's modifications will be an ongoing process. "Our crowd is so opinionated," she explains. "Once we get people in here, we want to bring our community into it and get them involved [in deciding what works and what doesn't]. We don't want to rush into anything."
Event lineups for the rest of 2007 will be announced by Friday, Sept. 14.
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