Naughty & Spice Party at Afterlife

As of December 24, five chemical compounds used in smoking blends known as "spice" are federally banned. So of course, somebody had to throw one last spice party in the Valley. The night before Christmas Eve day, that's exactly what a Scottsdale club called Afterlife did, hosting a smoky fete dubbed the "Naughty & Spice" party.

This was our first visit to Afterlife, and right away, we were impressed with the club décor. The upstairs area where the spice party was held houses several rooms. In front of the main bar area, there was a foggy dance floor, complete with a platform dancer cage where tan ladies danced in fuzzy red-and-white bras, garter belts, and Santa hats. There was a second dance floor around the corner from the bar, and between the two dance floors, a room with a huge bed and an adult swing hovering above it.

But the crowd at Afterlife's "Naughty & Spice" party didn't include very many older "adults" -- probably because there was no alcohol being served, so the 18-and-over crowd took over.

Most of the patrons in the place looked like young college students, dressed casually in jeans, T-shirts, and hoodies. There were several smoking couches and tables throughout the club, and groups of young Scottsdale hipsters filled them, toking spice from hookahs and waving glow sticks around.

Between the mass amounts of spice being consumed (we counted no less than a dozen blazing hookahs and several spice joints) and the smoke machine on the dance floor, the amount of fog in the club was staggering. There were times when we couldn't see what was five feet in front of us. Thankfully, there were a handful of women wandering around, scantily-clad as naughty Santa elves or something, shedding red and white glitter everywhere. We occasionally found our way through the fog by following their twinkling trails.

At the beginning of the night, several people were dancing. The DJs spun electronic dance mixes, filled with throbbing bass lines that vibrated the floor. One guy tried some break dancing moves and inadvertently performed a comedy routine, especially when his attempted head spin turned into a fish flop. But as the night wore on and more spice was consumed, the dance floors thinned out, and many people just lounged on the club's leather couches, looking red-faced and slanty-eyed.

We should note here that we didn't smoke any spice ourselves. This is partly because we smoked several different blends while reporting for a spice feature back in August, and several ensuing spice reviews. But we mostly abstained because it seems to dumb people down, especially in a club environment. As the hours wore on at Afterlife, everybody was sweaty, high, and incapacitated. We didn't see a lot of lively conservations. But hey, at least we didn't see any fights, either.

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea