Why We Need To Bring Back The Under 21 Dance Party
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Why We Need To Bring Back The Under 21 Dance Party

My friends often say they wish their children had these under 21 dance parties to go to, I think they do, they just rather not.

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Why We Need To Bring Back The Under 21 Dance Party
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Why We Need To Bring Back The Under 21 Dance Party: New Wave and Post-Punk Hits From Some of the Best Night Clubs in Philadelphia in the 80’s and 90’s

Philadelphia was a mecca for dance clubs in the late 80’s and early 90’s. One of the great things was the under 21 dance party nights, which clubs like Revival, Memphis, Voodoo and Asylum held on Fridays. I possessed a fake I.D. until I was 18 but I lost it, so these under 21 dance parties were a main stay for me until I could get into The Bank at 21. We treated these dance party nights like we did high school dances: Meet up in the parking lot with flask in hand, then strap said flask to a leg to enter the club. My friend Michelle and I were famous for sneaking in a flask of gin in order to create our own concoction which we nicknamed Christmas tree juice. Gin and Pepsi made for a drinking combination that smelled like pine needles. One trip to the co-ed bathroom at Revival and you were set with a cocktail.

The trick with Revival was to make sure you had your spot on the dance floor immediately. If you didn’t you were stuck on the sidelines. The dance floor was upstairs with a tiny DJ booth in the corner. The bar was located to the back of the dance floor. We under 21’ers had to go upstairs to dance since the downstairs was for those of age and much larger and was one of the few after hour nightclubs in the area. I remember I couldn’t wait to become a member at 21 because the membership card was black and had a winged angel on the front. Cool.

Revival is that one club I miss the most in Philadelphia. Set inside an old museum with pillars in the front, Revival was home to the latest DJ’s playing New Wave and Post-Punk music, as well as host to some of the greatest East Coast Hardcore/Punk Rock bands of the time.

As someone who had to get my dance on every weekend, Revival was my first stop on the party train on Fridays. With total respect and love in my heart, I offer you a playlist from the great clubs of Philadelphia:

  • “Blue Monday” by New Order
  • “Nemesis” by Shriekback
  • “Headhunter” by Front 242
  • “Join In The Chant” by Nitzer Ebb
  • “Get The Balance Right” by Depeche Mode
  • “Go” by Tones On Tail
  • “Cuts You Up” by Peter Murphy
  • “The Caterpillar” by The Cure
  • “Ball of Confusion” by Love and Rockets
  • “Tears Run Rings” by Marc Almond
  • “”Bird’s Fly” by Icicle Works
  • “Cars” by Gary Numan
  • “Don’t Go” by Yaz
  • “Genius of Love” by Tom Tom Club
  • “Fade to Grey” by Visage
  • “Sex (I’m A…)” by Berlin
  • “Nowhere Girl” by B-Movie
  • “Walk Away” by The Sisters of Mercy
  • “Whip It” by Devo
  • “The Look of Love” by ABC
  • “Goodbye Horses” by Q Lazarus
  • “Public Image Ltd” by Public Image Limited
  • “Telecommunication” by Flock of Seagulls
  • “Boy” by Book of Love
  • “Christine” by Siouxsie and the Banshees
  • “Wax and Wane” by The Cocteau Twins
  • “Heaven” by The Psychedelic Furs
  • “Head Like A Hole” by Nine Inch Nails
  • “Debaser” by The Pixies
  • “Chance” by Red Lorry Yellow Lorry
  • “Transmission” by Joy Division
  • “Wasteland” by The Mission U.K.
  • “Grey Cell Green” by Ned’s Atomic Dustbin
  • “I Go Crazy” by Flesh For Lulu
  • “Desire” by Gene Loves Jezebel
  • “Do You Wanna Hold Me?” by Bow Wow Wow
  • “Pop Musik” by M
  • “People Are People” by Depeche Mode
  • “Planet Earth” by Duran Duran
  • “How Soon is Now?” by The Smiths
  • “Blister In The Sun” by Violent Femmes
  • “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  • “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) by Dead or Alive
  • “Fascination” by Human League
  • “The Promise” by When in Rome
  • “Dancing With Myself” by Billy Idol
  • “West End Girls” by The Pet Shop Boys
  • “Close To Me” by The Cure
  • “Don’t Change” by INXS
  • “Sail Away” by Enya

It should be mentioned that “Sail Away” by Enya was our slow jam, although we didn’t slow dance to it. It was the DJ’s way of saying, “get out”, nicely. We all knew this without being told. What a great time, what a great city. My friends often say they wish their children had these under 21 dance parties to go to, I think they do, they just rather not, which makes me sad, you don’t know what you’re missing, kids.

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