Upon entering the downstairs location I was immediately greeted with a throng of sweaty humanity and loud music. So far so good. The music itself was above par for a cover band (if somewhat loud, since you can't be more than about 10-15 feet away from the speakers without significant effort). The pop cover tunes that Metalsome were performing were well executed. Even the quality of the karaoke performers was pretty good.
But then my perceptions changed. I looked for alternate routes for exit, since we were in a basement. I had trouble spotting anything resembling another way out. The crowd was dense and they were drinking. Not uncommon for a club like this, but in such a tight packed space with a small stairway to the ground floor this could be a recipe for disaster.
Singers enter the stage from pretty much anywhere when they call your name. There is no organized system whereby you check in before it is your turn to sing. The MC (English Nick from Atlanta radio) just calls out a name and that person (hopefully) pushes their way through the crowd to get on stage which is slightly above floor level and has no railing or safety wall. As the evening progressed random people migrated onto the stage both the bouncer and band seemed to get more uncomfortable. Some times they pushed back when the wrong person put their foot on stage. They were making comments like "wow this is a large crowd", which slowly evolved into "you people are out of control" and a few other tyrades from Nick about only going on stage when it was your turn when he suspected someone was lying about who they were. Shouldn't that be the staff's job to determine who is supposed to go on stage? Simply letting those folks enter from the side would solve that problem. So with the yelling I felt like a school boy getting scolded for being out of my seat.
Sensing that something bad might happen, with the mix of drunken crowd energy and negative banter from the MC, I called it an early evening. But this fails to mention that near our parking space one of the members of our party had their car broken in to, and the police officer who arrived on scene said "this happens all of the time here".
All in all, it was a good concept, but it could be better (and more safely) executed. I have to wonder if the fire marshall has been down there on a busy evening...
Pros: Good concept
Cons: Bad delivery