You may ask yourself - a wrapup already? WMC hasn't even started yet.
As a WMC veteran, I know better than to arrive in Miami on Tuesday and hit the ground running. I chose to fly in to Fort Lauderdale on Sunday for a few reasons. To begin with, the FTL airport is much easier to navigate than MIA - trust me - and with Southwest, a lot cheaper and less drama.
The main reason though is that I wanted to investigate the oft-talked about gay club scene in Fort Lauderdale (FTL). FTL is widely known as a mecca for the 40+ gay male population - for those who don't want to live in New York or San Francisco - South Florida is the place to be.
Since its Easter, I will make the chicken/egg analogy - good dance clubs or gay male population - which comes first.
I started off at George's Alibi, a casual video bar where Barry Browder (aka Div-A-Matic) was mixing videos. Easily one of the best VJs on the gay scene, Barry was working the Pioneer DVJ's flawlessly mixing a contemporary set of commercial club music videos. Known for creating his own video remixes which often showup on videopool DVDs, Barry mixed in his brand new rerub of Tamia's new video "Me" - a flawless uptempo remix that brings new life to the video.
Walking across the street, a very scary one I might add, Bill's Filling Station was next on the itinerary. This new addition to Fort Lauderdale nightlife was recently opened and has the ambience of a 50s gas station (hence the theme.) I was greeted by a comedic drag queen lipsyncing a eurodance cover of Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats." I wonder if they knew a Nashville boy was coming. Spinning the music was Gary Nolan, another one of the best VJs on the gay scene who is also known for incredible video remixes. Best known for his groundbreaking videosets at the Bourbon Pub and Parade in New Orleans, the globetrotting DJ/VJ also has a residency in Ft Lauderdale. Its pretty incredible how this city attracts such top caliber gay VJ talent.
We hopped in the car and my host said it was time to go to Steel for the Jackhammer Tea Dance. What is a tea dance you may ask? Its a traditional Sunday afternoon party after brunch for a couple of hours of drinking and dancing, but ending early enough for you to make it to work the next day. Those in the know come to Steel every Sunday for Marc Scott's disco classics tea dance - all the disco classics - Viola Wills, Dan Hartman, Sylvester and a few current favorites. The crowd was definitely up for it and the place was packed with a very nice older gay crowd.
Its rare that at age 34, I walk into a club and feel like the youngest boy in the bar. That's a compliment, because this generation of gay men that was widely wiped out by the AIDS crisis of the 80s, isn't well represented (nor respected) in the youth-obsessed mainstream gay culture. The energy is electric and there is a true unity spirit of partying and coming together. No attitude, no ego - just guys dancing and having fun. To spend a couple of hours dancing to the wonderful disco classics spun by Marc Scott was the perfect way to start my WMC week.