RED Nightclub is a new club featuring house music and EDM. Located in Liberty Village , this club boasts state-of-the-art lighting and an incredible sound system.
I visited RED late one Friday evening. On the outside, the club's name is advertised in blue lights (basically a Stroop test ) and inside the entrance is a coloured, illuminated checker-board wall (basically the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour backdrop if the Bonos were EDM fans).
After paying cover (usually $20 but can vary depending on special events) and walking into the club, it becomes clear how massive RED is. The main floor is separated into a few section that can be open or closed depending on the needs of the night, and there is a smaller, more intimate dance floor on the lower level.
The main floor is set-up simply, with leather couches for bottle service lining the perimeter. A long bar occupies one side with a projection screen in the corner of the space. The ceiling is covered in lights, cascading red waves of luminescence across the dance floor. At one end of the space is the DJ booth, raised above the dance floor like an altar.
The night I attended, the booth held four(!) DJs (Head DJ, Sous DJ, Assistant to the Sous DJ and unpaid intern with something to prove). The main floor proved to be the more mellow of the levels; while I was there, only one person really danced, breaking it down like Lazarus in front of the DJ altar while the rest of us stood around like Doubting Thomases.
The space downstairs is completely different. It is much smaller, with booths on one side and another bar at the end. There is another DJ booth with three more DJs (seriously, RED has more DJs than the sitcom lineup of the mid 90s). Maybe it's because of the intimate space or maybe because of the proximity to the washrooms, but the downstairs space was packed with high-energy dancing.
Exhausted from watching people dance in a way my body would never consent to, I ordered a vodka soda ($8) as noted by the bartender as their most popular drink. It was pretty standard for a VS, good and moderately strong.
As I drank my beverage and creepily watched people I didn't know, I was struck by the diversity of the patrons at RED: there were people in ADIDAS tracksuits, girls in furry boots with no pants on, a dude in a white polo shirt, and a really drunk guy in a hat asking people to guess how old he was (42?).
Given the rich history of the building , it makes one wonder if people ever toiled away in this very spot, thinking about their hard work, sacrifices, and dreams for the future, including that one day their great-grandchildren would be free to celebrate, love and drop MDMA with people so very different from them. It really puts this whole thing into perspective.
Overall, RED was a fun place to listen to EDM, watch some great dancers, and think about life in a way that confronts my own mortality. Though cover is on the high side, the quality of the space and sheer volume of DJs make it worth the cash.