Perhaps it’s because I started sneaking into clubs in the 10th grade.
Perhaps it’s because I avoided the dreaded “freshman fifteen” by religiously bussin’ a serious sweat –finals be damned– every Thursday through Sunday during my Black college experience days.
Perhaps it’s because I grew tired of the same faces and their too-cute-to-dance personas complete with companions donning touch-a-button faces and rude bwoy stances that rival the lean of The Tower of Pisa.
Can’t quite point it out, but for some reason, the past few years have found me not feeling the ATL party scene at all. But when I found out that my long-time homeboy was celebrating his birthday on a night when the hubs and I actually had a sitter, temptation got the better of me, so I dusted off my hot-girl shoes, backed out my super-fancy eye shadow (that I don’t put on for any and any occasion), cleared my throat to create my sweetest tone and said, “uhm, Baaaby, let’s drop by Kahlil’s birthday party tonight, okay?”
I expected to have a decent time both because I was celebrating an important Earthstrong, and because I’m familiar with Highlanda’s vibe-inducing powers on the ones and twos. What I wasn’t prepared for was an experience that far surpassed my expectations, and left me with a sense of hope on behalf of the sacred few Atlanta party-goers who are looking for a break from the same ole’ show!
Let me give you a straight-no-chaser L.V.V. (Location, Venue, Vibes) breakdown of the Earthstrong Par-tay!
Location: More time, the drive into the city from an Atlanta suburb is not, I repeat NOT, worth the gas money, because truthfully, I can get the same vibes from Youtube or my iPod without the fuss! Not to mention the fact that too many deejays spend too much time bussin’ new tunes, and bad-mouthing other deejays, and not enough time genuinely enjoying themselves and linking their energy with that of their crowd’s. The Bentley’s, a quick 20-minute commute from our northern Atlanta suburb was already a great selling point for me! And since all of us looking to release some stress and catch a vibe don’t live in Atlanta proper, it’s great to know that there’s an option that doesn’t involve excessive highway time.
Venue: After a quick ride to Chamblee, we pulled into the unassuming parking lot, not knowing quite what to expect. It looked so small on the outside, I thought, “Aha! That’s why they went with the whole ‘Intimate’ theme.” When I got in though, I was surprised to see that the space was much larger than I expected. Boasting a sexy deep-red theme throughout, the swanky set-up included plush seating (that offered great views of the dance floor and the deejay booth), seemingly Asian-inspired low circular tables, plenty of candles, a clean bathroom (hallelujah!) and a diverse and well-stocked bar! Very “Neo-soul meets Caribbean Flair”; I was definitely feelin’ it. The camera crew, consisting of The Fyah Sisters and ATL Kings, had the paparazzi feel in full effect as they scouted out the shy faces, while still making sure to showcase the video light seekers and their latest dance demonstrations; pure niceness! Indeed, my good eye shadow had not gone to waste.
Vibes: When I tell you that there were no shoes-to-floor commitments that night, I mean ev-er-y-body was dancing all over the place! The music was a sweet elixir of dancehall, hip hop, conscious reggae and of course, soca. The high-energy tag team included DJ Lion Chef of Apocalypse, Philip 5 of Cartel Sound, and Kahlil Wonda and PEC of Highlanda Sound. Each deejay brought us their unique energy without interrupting the flow of whatever vibe their predecessor had taken care to create. Even my hubs, who usually reserves his dancing skills for the football field, had to give in to the energy of the music that night! Beads of sweat, bottles and glasses raised high, and party patron singing out their favorite tunes, permeated the air and resulted in a true example of people who decided to heed Mr. Vegas’ advise and Tek Weh Demself!
Promoters Mixx Promotions and Highlanda.net have clearly found a Friday night niche with Intimate at The Bentley’s. Located in the Clairmont Center Plaza one block from Dreamz ATL, this venue is sure to continue to hit a sweet spot with Atlanta partygoers for some time to come.
If you missed it, no worries; it’s a [weekly] ting!
Log on to www.highlanda.net and www.highlanda.wordpress.com to stay in the know, and email RSVP@highlanda.net or firstname.lastname@example.org to get your V.I.P. on and get Intimate pon a Friday night!
Words by Akilah S. Richards aka Execumama