Axis Powers

A look at what makes Tucsonans gush over one of Scottsdale's cheesiest dance clubs

"It's so exciting to come here when it's busy. From the street you can see shiny expensive cars and Radius' incredible light show. Nothing matches the energy that Radius has."

Looking around--Radius, that is--there is indeed energy on this Thursday evening, and everybody is having a blast. Like little numbered balls in a lottery machine, heads bounce around most unpredictably to the strong synthesized cadence of melodic trance. Up the lighted stainless-steel staircase, people watchers look down upon the action, occasionally pointing at whoever looks interesting. Female bartenders--dressed in vinyl attire that Barbarella would die for--struggle to serve a throng of thirsty customers. Evidently, those who complained are taking what they can get as if to say, "Oh, well, there's nowhere else to go--might as well party."

Actually, Andrews and Garcia, who were so disgruntled with the musical selections, brought up Meqca as a palace of the progressive--albeit a bit too small.

"Phoenix is in need of a good club," Andrews says. "Maybe like Meqca, but way larger. In Europe there's house and techno on the radio all the time, but not many places here play a solid mix of it consistently. I have never ever heard Top 40 dance type stuff there [Meqca]. Plus, the girls are better--more class."

Garcia offers, "Phoenix is like a delayed reaction or something. We're so behind in music. I like that place Meqca 'cause it has good music and good people."

Suddenly, a blond girl at the bar turns her head and retorts, "Meqca's way too pretentious. It's so hard to talk to people there and it seems like the girls are just looking you up and down. The music is so monotonous. It doesn't make me wanna dance." After spilling her drink, she reveals she enjoys karaoke nights at Pattie's. With Corona in hand, she slurs, "Go check out Maloney's or Dos Gringos if you want to meet good people."

Getting back to the more progressive theme at hand, it should be mentioned that promoter Steve Kushnir is bringing Jesse Saunders to Meqca to headline a special event titled "Innocence." Also on the bill is Robert Oleysyck, resident of the legendary Las Vegas superclub Utopia, San Diego percussionist Antonio Sacca, Phoenix's own Z-Trip, and Meqca resident Kevin Brown.

As a pioneer of house music, Saunders has been turning the tables for more than 20 years, and his 1984 single "On & On" has been called the first house single. Saunders himself sums up his skills by saying, "I feel that because I was a DJ when a DJ was just a DJ, and we had to mix records together that were not produced with drum machines and the tempo varied, I can handle any situation at any time, and play for any crowd in the world. I can take the same 18 records and play a two-hour set anywhere. People are always amazed at how I rock the crowd without having crates of records like most other DJs."

Jesse Saunders is scheduled to perform on Thursday, June 24, at Pompeii in Tempe, with Uberzone (midnight to 3 a.m.); and Friday, June 25, at Meqca, with Robert Oleysyck.

Contact Mr. P-body at his online address:

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