Seattle has a long established and globally successful reputation in rock and alternative music. It is home to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, and Alice in Chains, and hosts national talent with its annual music festival Bumbershoot. Seattle’s jazz roots run deep as well. The Earshot Jazz festival and the city’s many jazz bars keep devotees of the genre satisfied year-round. The Hip Hop scene is not quite as large or street-level as in other cities the size of Seattle, but it is on the map. DJ and Hip Hop artist Macklemore has received national acclaim for his much discussed song Same Love about marriage equality. Macklemore’s message was so powerful and well-received that he and Same Love‘s co-producer Ryan Lewis recently performed the song on Ellen.
On a smaller scale, there are always performances from world-class musicians of every genre happening around Seattle. I personally enjoyed an intimate, classical guitar performance at the Frye Museum in October. It is clear that music is taken seriously in Seattle and it is an integral part of the culture.
There is a missing piece, though. There are many clubs around town, but solid nights for dance and house music can be hard to find. The annual Decibel Festival has grown in recent years from an underground, regional gathering to an international electronica extravaganza, but week-to-week the nightlife is a tad lackluster. I’ve often wondered which venues draw a party-hardy dance crew. It seems there are a handful of dance clubs in Seattle which cater to this crowd but one in particular has been causing quite a stir.
Q opened September 8, 2012. Its chic design and central location at Broadway and Pike Street makes it a 12,000 square foot hub for the hub-bub and pulse of this colorful city. It is crisp and new, contemporary and fresh with clean lines and an upstairs area that serves as a great retreat to cool your heels. The dance floor is large enough for liberated dancers who need space for limb-swinging moves and there are cozy alcoves for the more modest.
Walking into Q, I felt the same excitement that I felt in my 20s. On first impression, it had all the class and the style of any reputable London dance club—but it was less hassle gaining entry, which is always a plus, especially in Seattle’s winter months. The smiling staff—even the door security—were accommodating and unpretentious. What they offered was an upscale aesthetic and friendly service to each paying customer, and that felt good.
But the jury would be out for me until I had heard what is to me the most important ingredient to a successful evening at a dance club: the music. As a European, I am fastidious about good dance/house music, and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed. DJ Terry Hecker did a great job incorporating house with newer genres. The dance floor had a sophisticated yet glamorous vibe to it, filled with revelers who rocked their fashionable threads and effortlessly bounced and swayed to the DJ’s delicious beats. One thing is certain—Seattle has a real night club and the Vanguard Seattle crew and our arty friends will be seen ensconced in the lounge regularly.