Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Le Showcase is a boîte de nuit off the Champs Elysées, highly recommended by exchange students and Parisians alike for its lively ambiance, fashionable crowd and good music. The venue itself it great, tucked underneath Pont Alexandre III, right along the Seine. The interior of the club is fully decked out with neon industrial lighting and framed by giant arches and floor-length windows, such that (theoretically) no matter how immersed in the music or caught up in dancing you may be, you'll never forget you're in Paris. Imagine my total and utter disappointment when we showed up on Saturday night to a pretty much empty boîte, with a few guys dressed as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum running around to the somewhat bizarre live electronica band. Maybe les Français and I have a different idea of what constitutes a good time?

The club was divided into several sections, with the main dancefloor in front of a stage. About half an hour in, more people started showing up and the band started playing on stage, so feeling more hopeful, we made our way to the dancefloor hoping for the best. Unfortunately, the 'best' was not exactly what we got. (On a side note, I should add that somehow, by the time we made it to the dancefloor, about a third of the guys in the club were dressed in this ridiculous Tweedle Dee costume.) Bizarrely, despite all the strobe and neon lights, the band playing could only be described as "emo". Whiny lyrics, depressing guitar solos, shaggy hair...the whole nine yards. The Tweedle Dees looked content doing their obligatory head bobs, of course, but we, looking for something more, sick of swaying along mindlessly to the repetitive and sappy melodies. Luckily, they were quickly done with their set, and the next band started setting up on stage.

I was feeling more optimistic about this band, which played something with a greater semblance to dance music while setting up. But alas, yet again another letdown. We quickly realized that the "hipster-esque" band who emulated a (bad) American Apparel ad would not live up to our expectations either. They were playing electronica; it had a decent beat and people around us were actually dancing (beyond just moving their heads up and down), but there was something off about the band. Maybe it was the way the band felt compelled to shout out seemingly arbitrary English words randomly during their songs. Or maybe it was the way that everytime the music picked up and you could start dancing the bass would suddenly stop or change. Or maybe it was the way the lead singer spent the entire time playing on his Nintendo DS on stage.

(The Tweedle Dees)

(The lead singer playing on his DS)

Needless to say, it was an "interesting" experience...though not at all fulfilling. We had gone to Showcase under the impression that it was a dance club, not a live music venue with no dancing. Other than the interior and the location of the club, I was pretty disappointed on all counts. I've been to, enjoyed, and danced to live club performances of electronica before, but at Showcase, watching the lead singer bash away at his Nintendo DS just didn't do it for me.

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