Where: New York City, New York
Place: SOBs (Sounds of Brazil)
Address: 204 Varick Street @ West Houston
Reviewer: Robert Abrams
SOBs is a New York club that specializes in Brazilian and Caribbean music. They know how to go all out for a big party.
SOBs New Year's Eve bash included a six course dinner, three bands, a DJ, two dance troupes, a house full of people, and lots of noise. Brazooka's keyboard player was sensible and brought earplugs.
The first two bands, The New Swing Sextet and Brazooka, were excellent and full of enthusiasm. Once the party got going, the dance floor was packed continuously. I left around 3:30 am. I was originally going to stay for the included breakfast at dawn, but I figured seven hours of revelry was enough for one night.
As is typical of clubs, there were lots of people bopping and bumping and grinding, but relatively few dancing in partnership. There was a least one person who was making an admirable effort, but whose feet stopped moving every time he sent his lady into a turn.
At the start of the evening, there was at least one person who was dancing without her shoes. Later on in the evening this would have been dangerous, in part because a couple of patrons had dropped their glasses and thus left broken glass on the dance floor. At some point in the evening, the SOBs staff sensibly switched to plastic cups instead of glass glasses. This observation about the glass is not intended as a criticism of SOBs. It was a crowded floor, and New Year's Eve besides: a certain amount of caution is only prudent under such circumstances. You could think about being mindful of the possibility of broken glass on a dance floor as a form of expanded floorcraft. On the other hand, there are certain rules of etiquette that every dancer ought to observe. People should not bring glass glasses or bottles onto a dance floor. Barring this, if someone does drop a glass on the floor, he or she should take responsibility and alert the club staff immediately.
All in all, SOBs was a great place to ring in the New Year. SOBs has been a NYC venue for a variety of music and dance for 17 years. Check out their website for upcoming events.
A Salsa demonstration
Double hot Salsa
Samba dancers in full regalia mix with the crowd
Patriotic samba costume
Brazooka was the second band of the night
Raise your hands and sing
The audience responds
The band leader works it
Some danced; some just watched the band
Raising a toast to the New Year, Century, and Millennium (we were all calendrical purists at SOBs)
Brazooka bathed in light
The bass player works it
The singer sends one to the rafters
Detail of decorations
Balloons and electricity