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Excess - Boston, MA (USA)

The greater Boston area is home to a plethora of nightclubs. For each of these nightclubs there exists a collection of nightly events, which are run by their respective managerial promoter(s). For any given nightclub, a clubber (any person that attends such an event for the sake of being entertained) could find a large deviation in music and atmosphere between the nightclub's weekly offerings. This differentiation usually expands further, where a nightclub's first Friday of the month could be home to a "Drum n Bass" event, while it's second Friday houses a "Hip-Hop" night. This change-up of music and social scenes depends upon the promoter(s) whom are running the particular event. For the greater Boston AlternativeGoth, Punk, Fetish, LGBT, Metal, etc scene, there is a collection of promoters that tailor their events in order to differentiate and appeal to a majority subset of this Alternative scene (alt-scene).

The Alternative scene in greater Boston contains a bountiful selection of alt-nightclub events, each tailored to a majority subset of the alt-scene. Every Monday night at An Tua Nua a clubber could experience Boston's most long-lived Goth/Industrial event, Ceremony. On the third Saturday of the month, open-minded clubbers can attend Boston's definitive fetish event, Sin-O-Matic at Machine. The fairly fresh and aptly named Punk Night!, every Tuesday night at Machine, provides fellow punk clubbers a free congregation location. Indeed, there is quite a healthy selection of weekly and monthly nightclub events for which a fledgling clubber could find an immediate attraction towards. If a clubber were interested in attending a nightclub event with a balanced appeal to multiple subsets of the alt-scene, then Excess is the place to be every second Wednesday of the month at Underbar.

Since it's opening night over two and a half years ago, Excess is promoted as a monthly nightclub event for the goth, gay (LGBT), and fetish clubbers of the alt-scene. Every second Wednesday of the month, Excess is held at Underbar in downtown Boston, from 10pm-2am. Unlike most nightclubs in downtown Boston, Excess charges a comparitively minimal entry fee of $8. In addition, there is plenty of free on-street parking available within walking distance to the club, especially along the throughways of the Boston Commons; just be wary of posted street cleaning times. For those needing a safe place to store your overburdening bags and coats, Excess offers cheap and trusted coat-checking services. Perhaps the biggest expense when it comes to clubbing, is the price of a typical alcoholic beverage. Since Excess is located in downtown Boston, you should expect to pay $1-2 more than a typical bar or pub. It should be noted that I have experienced higher prices at other nearby nightclubs.

Excess will entertain you!

The Underbar, where Excess is held, is a well designed and furnished nightclub that is located in the basement level, just below Caprice restaurant. The interrior of the club is detailed with an odd combination of seashelled pillars, angular bar tops with metallic surfaces, white leather couches, and a large "rub my belly" Buddha statue. The layout of the nightclub is well-sectioned with a main room and dance floor area, a comfort promoting VIP section, and a smaller multi-purpose side room. The main room features two bars, two curvaceous couches, and an undefined dance floor. In the far corner of the main room is a raised and slightly walled off VIP section that is used to access the DJ, or get personal with a fellow clubber. To access the main room you must first walk through the smaller room, where the always accepting "rub my belly" Buddha resides. This smaller room features the same design details, bar, lounge couches, and undefined dance floor that the larger main room contains. Even the super-clean restrooms retain the same stylistic design details of the nightclub. Overall, the interrior design of Underbar screams classy modern-metro.

The initial concept behind Excess could be summed up as an "all-inclusive" alt-event. Aforementioned earlier, Excess balanced its promotional efforts across three major alt-scene subcultures: goths, gays (LGBT), and fetish. Moving beyond its promotional efforts, the music selection, played by the various DJ's, offered tunes that greatly amused each of these three predominate subculture groups. During Excess's earlier iterations, this social and musical amalgamation proved both successful and nonsensically fun. However, there is a subtle difference with today's Excess events. The difference is that the LGBT crowd has fewer numbers in attendence than the current big three alt-scene groups: goths, fetish, and burners. As the promoter(s) of Excess noticed an attendance drop, a strategical decision was made to increase Excess's appeal towards other alt-scene subcultures, like the burners. With this slight change in demographic appeal, came an equal change to the music being played (more dubstep). What remains unchanged and fully intact, is Excess's ability to entertain any and every clubber who attends.

The music played at an Excess event will certainly get you moving on the dance floor, regardless of your musical taste. At a minimum, there are two DJs spinning on a 30-60 minute set rotation. If one particular DJ can't get you on the dance floor, then the other(s) certainly will. When the RSVP numbers get high enough, the smaller room is used as a second dance floor with it's own dedicated DJ rotation. The acoustics of the main and smaller rooms are built to not interfere. As to the DJs themselves, DJ Dirge is the resident DJ for Excess. Without any doubts, Dirge is one of the best DJs in the entire alt-scene. Dirge knows how to meet the high standards of the goths, generate fetish foreplay on the floor, and inspire the burners to spin glowing patterns that match the booming beats. When the guest DJ(s) are spinning, they know what is expected from them, and they deliver every time. When it comes to the music at Excess, whether you are goth, fetish, or burner, your dancing needs will be satisfied.

Don't be afraid to dance on top of things.

There is a small issue with the music that should be pointed out. Any individuals who don't associate themselves with any of the big three alt-scene subcultures, would likely be ignored by the DJs. DJs, no matter which nightclub event they are spinning at, prepare their setlists with the majority subcultures in mind. Even for the alt-scene, which consists entirely of societal outcasts, there exists minorities. It is nearly impossible for an alt-scene minority (punk, metal-head, etc) to get a single request played by the DJ, of any alt-nightclub event. During Excess's first year, Dirge was one of the very few DJs to recognize and appease these various minority groups by playing a couple of their requested songs. Currently at Excess, however, such minority requests get ignored for the entirety of the night.

This continued negligence of the alt-scene minorities by promoters and DJs, although mostly unintentional, creates a "chicken or the egg" dilemma. Promoters and DJs argue that these minority groups never have an adequate attendance count to be considered. Conversely, the alt-scene minorities stop attending nightclub events to which they are being ignored. This dilemma, when left unchecked for an extended period of time, results in a highly segregated Alternative scene where dedicated gay-majority, goth-majority, punk-majority, fetish-majority etc events are the only types of events that are able to survive. From the very start, Excess was created to address this particular issue. But, since then Excess has slightly deviated from its initial intentions. Just a few small adjustments, like saving a few songs for the minority groups, could greatly realign Excess towards its ambitions. For any given night, 50-60 songs will typically get played. Allocating 2-5 songs to address the requests of the various minority groups would certainly go a very long way in reaching mutual satisfaction.

Excess is more than just music. It is a community of individuals, each with their own likes and desires, that gather together every month to have unsupressed expressive fun. For me, these people are the primary reason to return to the event, month after month. For others, they are attracted to the thought-provoking conversations, inviting eroticism, artistic outfit creations, or the many other attractions that these eclectic people share. If Excess were to continue expanding its promotional efforts to other ill-represented alt-scene groups, like Otaku nerds, the Excess community would greatly benefit. Although, you shouldn't wait for the invitation to land on your facebook page to feel accepted. At Excess, all misfits are welcome.

Review Scoring System: Grading A-F
DJ Quality A
Song Selection A-
Dance Floor Size A
Dance Floor Quality B-
Audio Quality A
Lighting Effects B+
Venue Furniture A+
Crowd Population B+
Crowd Attitude A+
Crowd Dancing Quality A-
Environment/Crowd Safety A-
Drink Cost C+
Drink Quality B
Value for Expenses B+
Potential Achieved~91.5%
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