Live review: The Dance Party

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The Dance Party w/ Bombshell, Such Mad Hope, Secret Hospital
The Milestone
Dec. 18, 2011

Gathering around the bar, the patrons of the Milestone were ready to throw down on a Sunday night. Band members and show-goers ordered tallboys and talked amongst themselves, waiting for the music to start and kick the night off. It was an unusual night. It was certainly headlined by a different genre than the venue is used to. It was catchy and sweet, something most weren't sure about, but some were excited beyond belief of what they were going to see.

After Rock Hill's Bombshell's upbeat radio rock, Such Mad Hope's noisy punk and Secret Hospital's catchy, funky, slightly nerdy but all-around-awesome B-52s reminiscent rock, everyone was geared up and ready to go, in the mood for The Dance Party to take the stage and bring them to a place they don't typically go.

At first, it wasn't apparent whether The Dance Party was a train wreck or a variation of a genre that is typically looked at as distasteful for those who aren't into pop. Their singer was a scarf clad, v-neck shirted, hipster Prince with moves like Mick Jagger and a voice to kill. In fact, it was like Prince had met the Darkness then had a ménage trois with The Faint, producing this catchy offspring for everyone to get down to.

With high ranges that got the girlies dancing like an MTV special, it was surprising they weren't squealing to him like groupies as they swung their bodies side-to-side. Taking notice of his surrounding and the graffiti, their singer commented on the Bad Brains tag from years back, “We don't sound like Bad Brains but I guess it's cool — we're from there [D.C.].” It was an odd comment, seemingly one to connect him with the venue that he seemed slightly out of place in with sequenced side-step dance moves and an appeal to pop-culture. But it didn't matter; most everyone was already with him.

Regardless of the “American Apparel has talent and no turntables” feel, everyone was smiling and happy. After a handful of party-starting covers including an impeccable cover of Prince's “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” Milestone owner Jonathan Hughes, with a cheesy grin on his face and dancing a sexy jig, said it best, “The back of my head hurts from smiling and laughing. This is awesome.” Things were really weird there — really weird, but really good.

Although it was a strange night, for sure, it was a much-needed night at the Milestone. Instead of the typical, dramatic, serious music that is appreciated and heard day-to-day there, it was an upbeat fandango — lighthearted and spunky. Some may not have wanted to admit they were enjoying what they were hearing but it was probably denial because they, too, were caught dancing — whether sarcastically or genuinely, when no one was looking.

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