Ever since the Marquee Nightclub reopened in New York last month, people have been bugging me to go. Literally everyone…it’s kind of ridiculous how many people want me to review this place. Aside from other obligations, I don’t really have a reason for not going, except for the fact that it’s not really my scene and expensively-clad, drunk, assholes are annoying. I also always choose music over venue, so that’s just me. But, I finally decided to check the place out last Saturday while Gareth Emery was in town to perform. Find out what went down below…
Backed by the royalty of the US nightlife scene, Jason Strauss and Noah Tepperberg of the Strategic Group, Marquee NY promised to be the plushiest, upscale venue I’ve ever been to (unfortunately I can’t compare it to their Vegas venues). I’ve been to LAVO and TAO (their NYC establishments) but since Marquee was their first nightlife venture back in 2003, I got the impression that it was meant to be the flagship and a leader in New York events, so my expectations for its grand re-opening were pretty high…And I would be lying if I said they were not met.
Everyone loves to hate on these kind places, especially if you are poor like me and tend to frequent underground, slightly illegal, warehouse raves with the best music you’ve never heard. But every now and then I will throw on a pair of heels to experience music and alcoholism like the majority of my generation.
Entering Marquee is like entering the gateway to a shiny alien dimension where all people do is look glamorous and party and your wish is the staffs command. The hallway to get to the main club area is literally a tunnel of ambient light, and you can hear the thumping bass drawing you in to dance. I know I’m waxing poetic, but seriously…all I could think about was that these people know how to provide an experience and I was still just in the doorway.
After checking my coat at the (free, what!?) coat-check, I glide past a concierge desk, but am stopped to be informed that they have an envelope for me. I take my envelope hoping for the best, and yes! it’s filled with drink tickets…tonight’s gonna be good.
It might have been the fact that I am press…ok, lets be real – it was totally because I was press, but still, the service at this joint was impeccable. After discovering my stash of drink tix and getting everything sorted, I finally entered the massive space that is Marquee.
And not massive in a Pacha, 4-floor kind of way, but one big tall room, with stadium style VIP seating in the back, bars on all sides and one big dancefloor in the middle underneath a rad disco-ball in a cage of lights. And it’s all decked out in urban grunge steel decor and lights and the sound…the sound is fantastic. Funktion-one baby, yeahhhh.
I honestly can’t say much about Gareth Emery. He’s is cool I guess, but I was expecting one thing and he definitely delivered another. And it was a little too trancy-pop. Everyone else in the place seemed to be digging it though, and it was the best sounding crap I’ve heard at a place this size..so there is that.
After about an hour of checkin’ it out and digging the decor I peaced, only to find you cannot exit through the entrance (this explains why when I entered it was more a gateway to the beyond, less a cramped doorway to drunken hell, sweat and runny makeup). No, no you must exit through a separate door on the opposite side of the club, through the sea of bobbing bodies. That was annoying, but now we all know and can plan accordingly next time.
The coat-check line was literally what I envisioned my personal hell to be like – unruly drunk ugly people standing in an endless line waiting for a perky 20 something bimbo to wait on them, so I cut that shit and jumped in front of two arguing frat boys (no regrets!) and dashed out the door.
And that, my friends, is Marquee, experienced by yours truly.