On a simple wooden outdoor stage, a blond girl in florescent green leopard print tights wildly grinds her hips in a circle.
Industrial dance music buzzes and throbs through the speakers, while a dozen zombies in blood-splattered clothing bob their heads below. There's a giant, burning halo spinning over the dancer's head.
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At least, that's what it looks like. It's really a big hula-hoop with several flames burning all around it, and the blond -- a young goth-punk looking girl with a half-shaved head -- is whipping it around her body. Her name is Kalei, and she's one of the entertainers at "Singe," a flaming new event that takes place at The Firehouse.
The Firehouse is the perfect place for a post-apocalyptic party like Singe -- it sits in the heart of central Phoenix, but the backyard's surrounded by enough vacant lots that Singe just feels like a big pop-up party in the desert. A giant UFO welded from metal beams is perched on the roof.
Apparently, the big summer style for the ladies at Singe is black electrical tape in X shapes over nipples, along with ripped fishnets and painfully bright pink or purple hair. Mohawks made a comeback with the guys; at least four dudes are sporting huge thin spikes that scrape the tree branches behind the Firehouse, including local DJ Beautiful John, who greets us, James Bond-style, as we arrive. "Hi, I'm John. Beautiful John. DJ Beautiful John," he says.
There's a zombie theme tonight, and Firehouse proprietor Michael 23 looks glowingly undead. His head's covered in so much makeup and white powder there's a faint cloud around his head when he stands near a light. The whole scene tonight looks like Mad Max meets Sid & Nancy under the direction of George Romero. With stuff on fire.
The performances at Singe range from Kalei encircled in flaming hula hoops to fire breathers to traditional fire twirling with poi sticks (which sometimes looks like someone swinging really long fireball Nunchucks). At the first Singe event on May 28, there was a guy wearing a thin coat of combustible gel on his skin who lit himself on fire and danced. Bravo!
Local DJ Vex (who has spun at *Sadisco events) spins a dark dance mix that includes a wicked mash-up of The Beatles' "Come Together" and Nine Inch Nails' "Closer"; the music booms down the block and fills First Street.
By midnight, the backyard is filled with glow stick ninjas, zombie dancers, and bouncing breasts with X-tape nipples. And the party rages on.
"Singe" takes place at 8 p.m. every fourth Friday of the month at The Firehouse, 1015 N. First Street. There's a $5 suggested donation at the door. Call 602-300-7575 for more information.