Electronic Destination Kingdom nightclub rises again: Dance music venue reopens off Red River after 2018 abrupt closure – Music

The Super Flu audience at Kingdom Nightclub on September 16 (photo by John Anderson)

With a new location in downtown’s Red River cultural district, Kingdom nightclub rose from the ashes of a brutal lockdown in 2018. Previously established as a destination for high-profile EDM, house and techno artists on East Fifth , Kingdom reopened last month at 505 E. Seventh. Doubling its past capacity, the club moved into the former event space site and venue South by Southwest Ironwood Hall.

Opening night saw surprise sets from Texas native son Matthew Dear and Yoshitoshi label boss Sharam. The night ended with some heartfelt and uncool promotional videos of venue owner Garrett Boyd petting his foster chihuahua George, followed by a digital business card announcing the August 27 kickoff as “Night One”. Fans texted a listed phone number requesting a link to purchase tickets.

“People think they have to be cool to be in techno. Nobody’s that cool. I wanted to show people that I don’t have to wear a blouse and put on eyeliner. You you don’t have to sniff palo santo every morning to be in it,” Boyd told the the Chronicledownplaying Kingdom’s former status as a world-class nightclub.

Opened in 2011, the original Kingdom site on Fifth Street closed alongside Ethics Music Lounge during a controversial lockdown in 2018. Both music centers had their locks changed by new owner World Class Capital Group, owned by struggling real estate mogul Nate Paul. When Kingdom closed, Boyd was on the mend – recovering from a divorce and a health issue that he says nearly killed him. RealMusic Events, the booking team he worked with for many years, moved to far east Austin to work on their own huge electronic club – the Concourse Project – which opened last year. Boyd fell off the radar, keeping tabs on a new space as far back as 2015. He now operates Kingdom with his brother Justin.

Promised as a celebration until 5am, the club’s first night ended unexpectedly after a fantastic techno set by Dear at around 3.30am, when the police arrived regarding a problem with the installation at the door . Afterwards, the DJ/producer posted a rave review on Instagram: “There aren’t many passion clubs left in this world, and especially in America. I felt that energy in the old kingdom and I I could only imagine what the new place would be… Last night moved me.” In a comment on the post, performer Sharam lamented the missed after-hours tag, or back-to-back DJ sets, that he and Dear had planned.

The new spot uses the alley entrance between Neches and Red River, past the food trucks across from the Chess Club and Barbarella, and near some surprisingly cheerful murals. A 600-person capacity roughly doubles that of the original Kingdom, made even bigger with four brawny lighting trusses projecting beams of color onto the floor, rosettes on the walls and LED strips on the floor. During a tour of the space before the opening, Boyd said the visual effects layer cake was inspired by spaces as varied as the Amsterdam Dance Event, blade runnerand a cool women’s clothing boutique in Atlanta.

“I opened the first realm with a two-week delay, then I had to live with it for 10 years,” said Boyd, a former doorman at the closed Sixth Street nightclub in Barcelona.

A curved roof of wooden pieces will remind fans of the undulating ceiling of the old club, although nothing has been salvaged from the space Paul took so unceremoniously – apart from the grilles for a few loudspeakers. , now mounted above the DJ booth, which fans can watch down from the terrace above. Below, Boyd pointed to the green room, snapping his fingers to prove that the space is acoustically dead or perfect for someone prepping a set. Above the bar, a giant cream-colored stone slab, which Boyd specified as honey onyx, glowed like a salt lamp. The owner described a sunrise effect when the room is plunged into darkness and the lights come on slowly. About this palo santo, Boyd said he preferred a bottle of Le Labo’s popular Santal to flavor the club.

He’s already been the opening act a few nights at the Kingdom, fulfilling a years-long dream of playing at his own club again. Musically, Boyd’s personal tastes grew out of a love of the Global Underground series of live DJ mixes, particularly from artists like John Digweed, Sasha and Nick Warren. So far, the Kingdom’s calendar has been full of international headliners: Germany’s Super Flu and Italy’s Undercatt representing melodic techno, fellow Germans Frankey & Sandrino with heady tech house, and Corrupt UK with UK bass house, of course. Australian drum ‘n’ bass band Pendulum (October 14) and Detroit-based Planet E boss Carl Craig (November 4) complete the growth schedule.

There’s still no place to sit while you disco on the ground floor of the Kingdom, unless you buy a bottle or walk to the terrace above the booth. You’ll have to wait until the booze-free afternoon to gain free access to the separate benches that line the club – true to the original Kingdom – so be prepared to dance or die.

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