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Saturday night scene at The Beach Club

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Beach Club HTIn a couple hours, Siesta Key’s Beach Club does a complete 180-degree transformation.

But right now, bright lights show patrons wearing Spanx and undersized Hollister tees on this Saturday night in an attempt to look youthful and hip. A group of women, one clad in a sash that says “Bachelorette,” gather everyone around for a dance-off to a special song. A slender, elderly man brushes by as he slips through the crowd of middle-aged youngins and breaks out in a dance of awkward pelvic thrusts and flailing arms. Everyone cheers. Suddenly, he crouches down, ready to spin like a street dancer.

This is what happens at 10:30 p.m. when the newest and hottest jam of the night so far – Usher’s decade-old hit “Yeah!” – comes on at the Beach Club.

Flashback ‘90s punk covers with a ska twist performed by a live band and recordings such as Montell Jordan’s hit “This is How We Do It” play, making the atmosphere dated, but enjoyable for those who are old enough to know the music of the 1990s. It’s still bright, few drinks are in hand, and the spotlight is on older, curvaceous bodies squeezed into ill-fitting outfits. I need a drink.

“Well, we have several, but I’ll make you a good, strong one,” bartender Bethany says before she hands me a pink lemonade concoction laced with strawberry vodka. I start to hum Green Day’s “Longview” with the band as I suck down my seven dollars worth of liquid relaxation.

The band takes a break and rapper V.I.C.’s 2008 banger “Wobble” blares through the speakers as my older counterparts just stand around. That is not what I expect at a club.

But at 12:30 a.m., The Beach Club transforms. Once the band leaves the stage, the front entrance becomes a revolving door for just about anyone. I see a complete wedding party fresh from the reception, another bachelorette bunch, tipsy beach bums, tourists and a handful of younger people plow through within minutes. And it doesn’t stop until near closing. It’s obvious that the Beach Club is the place for a killer after-party or a stop on the bar-hop train rather than the one place to spend an entire Saturday night.

As the lights dim and the DJ dusts off the modern Top 40 club hits that I expected hours before, the live stage becomes an area of wild partying and the dance floor is packed with a mix of 20, 30 and 40-somethings. Just getting around takes a hot second and if you’re lucky, you might be able to hold onto that $5 beer if you shimmy your way through.

I like that The Beach Club can act as two different types of scenes. While I found the later part of the night to be more appealing, I think the live music is something that us 20-somethings should check out as well, and not just our parents. Maybe then we could teach them how to “wobble” when the club starts to get as wild as it can.

Last modified: June 6, 2014
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