The Spazmatics @ Mavericks

Advertising worked on me. Couple of weeks ago I got excited and interested, when I read that Mavericks, “the largest nightclub in Sonoma County” is opening real close to my workplace, hence close to my home. I’ve been looking for a place where I could go occasionally dancing. A night club wasn’t necessarily my first choice, but I found myself open to the possibility, when I read that they will have live shows too, with bands playing.  One of the first bands to play there after their August 23 opening was The Spazmatics. I never heard of them, but reading that they are an 80’s cover band, who put on a  “revenge of the nerds” style show, I knew this would be a good night to check out the new place.

The show was scheduled for 9 PM so we got there 10 minutes before that. The place looked a bit less flashy, than I would have suspected based on their website and flyer. Admittedly some parts of it was not totally finished. But this, slightly industrial, look didn’t disturb me, I liked it this way. My wife of course saw the previous incarnation of the location in her mind’s eye: Funky Monkey, a children’s indoor gym and pizza parlor, where she took our daughter once. The dancefloor was great, meaning good quality flooring, the dj booth in one quarner, a nice size stage and opposing it a little separating wall, behind which onlookers could sit and watch the show without disturbing the dancers.

We ended up being two of those onlookers for an hour as the band only started at 10 PM. Meanwhile we were looking at a different kind of show: line dancers. I’ve never seen line-dancing before. 6-10 people danced in (imperfect) unison for all sorts of modern songs, I never heard before. They looked like having fun, so it was fun watching them too. An hour of it was just a bit too much, even for my wife who enjoyed sipping some good wine.

Finally the band started and we burst onto the dancefloor with another 20-40 people. The place was not packed, which was an advantage as we had ample space for dancing. They had put on a great show with lots of antics, playing songs that I knew without exception. There was a short intermission after 50 minutes. After that the people, mostly women who have been line-dancing before the show started to do the same for their music. The frontman of the band kept challenging them whether they can line dance for the next song. And they could. As I recall they only failed to do so during the Beastie Boy’s Sabotage song, but they tried even then. Meanwhile we had a blast too, dancing for most of the two hours we were there. We left at midnight, at what I think was a second intermission and not really the end of the show. The very last song that we listened and danced for was Nena’s 99 red balloon, a song I danced wildly during my highschool years.

I had a suspicion that the band was using playback technology and not really fully playing live. The drummer and the singer was live for sure, but the sound of the whole band was much more perfect and rounded than I would have expected.  Now that I checked on the internet I realized that “Spazmatics” is a franchise business that exists in many US cities catering to people like me, who are nostalgic to 80’s rock music. This strengthened my suspicion. I don’t mind that a bit, I had a great time. See below how I captured the band and the place.

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