She just dances and keeps on dancing. She holds her glass up high, and pours out her beer as it splashes on the dance floor below. Instead of pouring some out for her homies, she is pouring some out for her girls' night out, or maybe the calculus exam she bombed earlier in the day. This is Rack City.
Sound like a weekend night downtown Minneapolis in some uber-expensive nightclub? Just a typical Tuesday night on the West Bank. It's been the best-kept secret in the city for years now that the best party night in the cities is Tuesday nights on the West Bank between Triple Rock Social Club and The Nomad. Up and down Cedar Avenue throngs of college kids, hipsters, artists, musicians, and pimps mix in to the eclectic mix that is fueled by two for one drinks and dance music.
The night starts off at Triple Double at Triple Rock. This is a weekly event developed four years ago by Wes Winship. With the rotating schedule of three DJs every week -- mixed with no cover, two-for-one drink specials, impromptu Nintendo tournaments and random prizes ranging from free pizza to exclusive vinyl and posters -- it contends for the best weekday party anywhere. The night also hosts an exclusive list of the cities best music selectors from Get Cryphy, Wants vs. Needs, Mike 2600, Paper Tiger, King Otto, Gigamesh and others. Even P.O.S. has hit the tables to move the crowd.
Triple Double @ Triple Rock
Photo by Lars Larson
The crowd is split between the drinkers and the dancers; the boozers enjoy the floor show from above as Warren G blasts through the sound system. Warren's smooth voice puts a pack of drunken Augsburg girls in a trance and starts to sexually gyrate against confused hipster guys who don't know how to handle the situation. They try their best to be Justin Timberlake, but fail after a few too many beers, and just stumble over their feet.
The bar is a battle, patrons jockey for a position to order a drink awhile trying to remain civil, the folded one dollar bills in their hand due little to sway the bartenders attention their way. I was in line being patient until a brunette cutie tried to pull me to the floor, but the flower pattern on her dress was too angry and distracting, and her slant eye drunkenness was a red flag. She disappears onto the dance floor amongst the b-girls, awkward Timberlakes and flying Oreo cookies being tossed into the crowd. I didn't have any milk, so I hit the door and walk outside.
I follow the heard of people down three blocks to the Nomad, I witness cries of girls in high heel pain and guys debating sports as they carefully walk circles around puke and litter down Cedar Ave and carry the mob to the front entrance. As we walk up, we hear Tyga telling us all about Rack City once again.
Out the Box Tuesdays was started up about a year-and-a-half ago and is hosted by B Rock and Frank Castle. They carefully arranged their two-for-one drink specials when the Triple Rock specials end. It's 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Triple Rock and 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. at the Nomad. The vibe here is different. Triple Double is much more of a party vibe, and Out the Box is a more of a time to grab a drink and socialize amongst loud music.
The DJ train wrecks a couple joints as they mix, but they throw in a couple local tracks to keep the local scenesters in attendance happy. The bar is packed with people trying to get as much alcohol in their veins before the clock hits two. A few local rappers flirt with the female bartender with bright color dyed red hair, as she works hard behind the bar. They stiff her with a cheap tip. Smooth game, fellas.
Tuesday night patio @ The Nomad
Photo by Lars Larson
I wander outside, and the patio is filled with smoke and gibberish; talk of SXSW, Match.com and Romney winning Ohio tries to compete with the drunken noise of more people walking down the sidewalk, the smell of vanilla Black & Mild's almost choke the glowing moon from above.
Back inside the club, everyone's body is 70 proof and things loosen up. The DJ finally gets girls on the floor losing inhibitions to Jay-Z, as guys get brave off Budweiser and try dancing with the stars. This time, awkward Timberlakes from before and Denzel's are fighting for prime booty dance space behind the girls. Denzel wins and the JTs head back to the bar to pound more beer. It all blends together like a potion of misbehavior and new jack debauchery.
Minutes later it smells like curfew and people empty into the streets dreading that 9 a.m. Humanities class and people scatter into different directions. Just another successful Tuesday night on the West Bank. Rack City.
Every Tuesday Night: Triple Double at Triple Rock Social Club. Doors open @ 10 p.m. 18+ No Cover. Rotating DJs. & Out the Box Tuesdays at The Nomad World Pub. Doors open @ 9 p.m. 21+ No cover. B Rock and Frank Castle.