Jewel's Catch One
January 31, 2014
Club venues come and go all the time in L.A. The individual parties, meanwhile, are tough to keep track of, even the great ones. Which is why, when a party manages to not just sustain but to thrive over long periods of time, it's a really big deal.
The industrial party known as Das Bunker did it for 17 astounding years. On Friday night, they finally bid adieu with a black-swathed bacchanal fitting for the occasion.
See also: Our brief history of Das Bunker
But it is really gone for good? As Liz Ohanesian noted, there's a very strong chance it will be resurrected, in a new location with a new vibe. The promoters have been hinting at this, if not downright promising its return. (See the flyer below.) But we do know one thing: It won't be at John Giovanazzi's live venue The Complex, at least.
Still, Bunker at the Catch One is done and it was in this space where it really became a sensation, first amid underground goths and industrial heads. Over the years it's attracted a mix of all kinds of people, from thrashers to ravers, or "gravers" as we like to call the fishnet-covered, monster-booted, glow-in-the-dark-ghouls and beat heads. Of course, no matter how you dressed by day, you wore black at Bunker if you wanted to fit in. Many did not want to fit in, though, and the get-ups were always one of the main reasons to come. Bunker was a people-watcher's dream (or nightmare). Plus, the music bookings were stellar and the DJs were too.
On Friday, the energy was palpable the moment we walked in. Many never got in at all. There was a very long, very dark and restless line snaking around the block that stayed that way all night. It took us 45 minutes to get a drink. Come to think of it, every time we've come to Bunker on a hot night, the bar was a fiasco, so we wouldn't be surprised if the service here was one of the reasons the club is moving!
The downstairs "old school" room was almost as packed as the lazer-filled one. In fact we almost never got down there due to the jam of pierced, dredded, and spiked swarms in the stairwell. It was always our favorite room, thanks to older sounds and the set-up. You could actually see other people. Despite the rep for being gloomy and distant, the club's most ominous looking guys and ghouls have always been the friendliest and most willing to let us snap a photo.
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Bunker was a community, but it never felt like a closed one. An appreciation for spanking beats was all anyone needed to feel part of the bashing within. Here's hoping wherever it goes and whatever new form it takes, it retains this feel.