Tim Sweeney looks like this, only he's cut his hair short.
The Beat Down: Tim Sweeney
Thurs, July 12th 2012
It takes a lot of things to make a dance night go off--good music, a good crowd, the right space, vibes--but it only takes one thing being wrong to throw everything off. Last night, new-ish monthly dance night The Beat Down had almost everything in place: guest DJ Tim Sweeney of beloved WNYC DJ mix radio show Beats in Space was selecting some outstanding tunes (in an hour he played not one track I knew but not one track I didn't totally dig), the good-looking crowd was dancing enthusiastically, and as for vibes, well, I missed this bit, but the Beat Down actually has live vibes players accompany their DJs. The problem last night--assuming that it wasn't just the first week of real summer weather making everyone forget about nightlife all around to instead just hang out on lawns, porches, patios, rooftops, etc--was the space.
The Beat Down usually resides at Barboza, the Neumos basement venue whose appeal I've discussed here, but a scheduling mix-up last night had them moved up to Neumos proper. In Barboza, last night's crowd would've looked pretty jumping--not sold-out, but solid--but in Neumos main room, it was small enough that the curtain had to be drawn in the back cutting the room in half, and even then if felt a bit sparse. At a bumping dance night, you want to feel enveloped in the crowd, with enough room to dance, sure, but not so much that you won't ever bump into someone or possibly rub up against a stranger--a little proximity goes a long way towards creating the sort of sexual friction that a dance night craves, too much room, too much open space can sort of deflate it. So it's a testament to Sweeney and the Beat Down's crowd then that people kept it feeling good and lively despite everything well into the bar's closing hour.
Hard to say from last night if The Beat Down will be one of Seattle's great new dance nights (among other things, I missed their fine resident DJs, Nark, Recess, and Kadeejah Streets), but I'll give 'em another chance.