D’s boyfriend had gone to one of these “Dancing On The Charles” events before last year, and so I tagged along. Basically it’s a series of electronic dance nights outdoors by the Charles River held throughout the summer and organized by this Boston DJ duo called Soul Clap. They bring in various DJ’s so there’s a fair amount of variety throughout the evening (7 p.m. to 1 a.m.), and apparently the events have gotten pretty popular. More facts about the events can be found here.
So how was it? Deb and I met in Harvard Square and it takes a little less than 1/2 an hour to walk there from the T stop. We got there right at 9 so the cover was still $10, although apparently it was $20 after that. Deb got an Anna Taqueria-style beef burrito for $6 which was nothing special (they had tacos as well apparently) and a beer. When we first got there it was fairly empty, but by 10 there was a decent-sized crowd that was still getting bigger. By the time I left around 10:45 (because of a previous engagement, not because I was bored) the area had gotten pretty full. Not a lot of people were dancing even by then, although there were more than a few who had brought their trusty glow sticks. The music wasn’t particularly memorable overall, although the rotating DJ’s did provide variety. Personally I most enjoyed the music when we first got there, which was more funk-based. There was a rather too-long stretch of fairly generic, sparse techno, the type with dreary old sci-fi movie samples, and when I was leaving the music had changed again to more Latin-flavored electronica. Accompanying the music were two screens with the usual screensaver-like visuals, which were rather better assembled than many I’ve seen, although in general they didn’t seem to be very closely tied to the music.
It seems odd to think that the music at the event was actually the least memorable thing about it to me. Although it was a somewhat chilly evening I enjoyed hanging out under the stars just chatting, and it was definitely a nice alternative to the usual club scene. The crowd was generally fairly indie but not unfriendly, although someone else who went told me he was bothered by all the smokers which I hadn’t really noticed at all. Overall it wasn’t something I’m dying to check out again, but it would be a nice thing to check out on a warm summer night, so if someone I knew wanted to go next year I would definitely go. There was a photographer apparently from the Boston Globe there, but I haven’t seen anything on their site about it, although I did come across this this fairly uninformative entry on one of the Globe’s blogs about one of the events in August.
Update: Here’s the link to the pics the Globe took, accompanied by fairly generic captions.