Five years ago a group of friends who shared a common interest in soul music decided they were going to put a mix together and summon all their friends into one space to dance, sweat, and have a good time. Turns out this group of over-achievers couldn’t stop at that. Since their humble beginnings at Dahlak (1771 U St. NW), what started as a small and somewhat unknown dance party has grown into the epic monthly throwdown of funk, soul, R&B, and hip-hop that is FatbackDC. I am sad to report that this Saturday will mark the final party at Liv/Bohemian Caverns/Tap & Parlour (Corner of 11th & U NW).
IT’S GOIN DOWN: What usually takes place on the 1st and 2nd floor of Liv will clear out the entirety of the Liv/BoCav/Tap & Parlour space with three different DJ setups to keep you entertained. This is a five year anniversary and a funeral twofer, and the guys promised a lot of surprises. A few years ago, the Fatback crew surprised nearly 2,500 people during their set at the Hirshhorn After Dark with a live marching band who ended up showing up just as it began to pour. Instead of running for dry land, the partiers started a conga line complete with pumping umbrellas. So, while they’re not divulging anything about what the surprises might be, you can bet you won’t be disappointed.
ALL LOVE, BABY: At its core, Fatback is about bringing people together and making them comfortable enough to let loose and get down. If you look back on archival Fatback fliers you’ll notice the common thread of pig, bacon, burgers, and BBQ. “We wanted this to feel like a family backyard barbeque, where people come together to drink and break bread, which is why we tied ourselves to the imagery of the pig early on,” explained one Fatback DJ Philippe Chetrit. It almost always works. If you’ve never been in a room full of sweaty people you don’t know swaying arm and arm to “Lean on Me” then you just haven’t lived. If for some reason the vibe hasn’t yet kicked in, Chetrit knows exactly what to do. “90’s R&B always does the trick. Throw on some R. Kelly, Janet Jackson, or Whitney Houston and the crowd always loves it.”
IN THE MIX: Every month, Philippe Chetrit, Danny Harris, KC Higgins, Michael T. Miller, Sean Peoples, Steven Swann, and Patrick White offer up a mixtape full of jams you forgot about, jams you’ve never heard before, and jams with hooks you thought were Kanye originals, all of which are available for free on their website. I won’t go so far as to call this link NSFW, but beware: DESK GROOVING.
BONUS: Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Fatback brings you a few bump n’ grind playlists. Check out the Fatback Tender Loin sessions: here, here, and here.
See you Saturday at Liv, Bohemian Caverns, and Tap & Parlour (all at the corner of 11th & U St. NW). $10 cover, doors open at 10pm. I strongly advise against any attempt to be fashionably late, this line is known to stretch pretty far down 11th.