Most summer days we spend doing everything we can to avoid sweating. We sit in the shade, we crank the AC, we strip down to bikini thongs and banana hammocks (OK, maybe there are ulterior motives for that), and we retreat to movies theaters and malls for a break from the crushing heat.
But at night, some of us go out in pursuit of the perfect sweat namely the kind that can only be achieved on the dance floor. Whether you are a city-dwelling hipster or one of the suburban hotel-club crowd is irrelevant under the glaring hot lights of the dance floor: Either way, glistening bodies moving way too close for comfort are what make us feel, well, cool.
At Cafine's, for instance, club owners turn the temperature down to an almost frosty 65 degrees before opening. Co-owner Todd Boyd prides his club on being literally the coolest in town but you could turn the place into in an igloo and it would still be one of the hottest places in town. The club offers three distinctly different nights of dancing each weekend. Thursday nights, it's Rhythm Sessions with progressive, house, techno and beat pumping through the old Signet Bank building at 4th and Grace streets. On Fridays, the club is called Go and features house and hip-hop. Saturdays, it's Boom offering New York-style house music with guest DJs from the Big Apple.
A few special events are planned this summer, too. International DJ Rick Mitchell spins for the crowd June 17; Lady Bunny, drag queen extraordinaire who started "Wigstock" does her thing July 22; and Aug. 19 it's Cafine's second annual "Madonnapalooza" featuring Madonna music all night long and former Richmond drag star Suzi Wong doing her best Material Girl.
On the other side of the river, you'll find an entirely different but no less sweaty crowd at Club Razzles in the Best Western/Governor's Inn. Tuesday nights it's Beach and Shag Night (that brings out the over-30s); Wednesdays it's Disco Night with 107.3 The Beat; Thursday is a Top 40 dance night; Fridays, Razzles teams up with XL-102 for a dance night with lots of wild contests; and Saturdays, Q94 hijacks Razzles and broadcasts its Party Radio night live from the club.
But what Razzles offers in the way of kitschy live entertainment just might be its ace in the hole. Anyone who graduated from high school in the 1980s will find it hard to resist the guilty pleasures of Slaughter June 8 or Skid Row July 3 at Razzles. The club has a kind of '80s hair-band revival going and is close to finalizing shows with Warrant, Great White and hold on, "Sister Christian" fans Night Ranger for later in the summer. Bang your heads, Richmond. Just buckle up on the way home.Club Guide:
A complete listing of Richmond's many places to shake your groove thing, with photos, directions and reader