Motown on Mondays is on the move. The DJs behind popular dance joint — which focuses on remixes of the Motown hits of yesteryear, as well as old-school soul, funk and disco classics — are planning to pack up their tracks and head across downtown Phoenix from the Crescent Ballroom to a new home at Last Exit Live starting on Monday, May 11.
According to co-promoters Adam "Dumperfoo" Dumper and DJ Tricky T, the reason that M.O.M. is making the move to a new venue is because they'd hoping to the get the party started earlier in the evening.
Since launching last summer in the Crescent's lounge, Motown on Mondays normally started around 11 p.m. after shows in the venue's main room had wrapped up. And while Dumper says the night benefited from concertgoers sticking around to dance to Motown-era jams laid down by the night's residents like Tricky T and Pickster One, they felt a bit restricted by the later start time.
"Crescent's awesome, but we wanted to be somewhere where we could start a little earlier," he says. "It was a thing where starting at 11 o'clock was a little bit tough for us because we want to bring in more acts and live bands and stuff like that. We just want to move to a place where we can do it ourselves and build from there and have our own thing."
Running a dance night on a Monday can sometimes be a difficult proposition since many people are typically worn out after the weekend or have work the next day. However, Motown on Mondays, which is put on at bars and clubs in 17 cities across America since launching in San Francisco in 2009, has managed to carve out its own niche, both in Phoenix and elsewhere.
"Its been pretty easy because a lot of [service] industry people go out on Mondays, which is why we're so successful right now, because they're the people that work all weekend, like bartenders and DJs, and want to come out," Dumper says.
And they've attracted others who want to get in some drinking and dancing on a weeknight but not stay too late.
"The other people that come here on Mondays are older and they want to get out of there early because they work the next day, since its Monday," Dumper says. "So if we can get people who will come and hang until 11, that's cool, and then we'll get our second wind of our regulars that will come in at 10 or 11. I think that starting a little earlier will bring in a different kind of crowd then with where we've been."
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And when Motown on Mondays Phoenix moves to Last Exit for its earlier start time, it will also have many patrons rolling up to south-of-downtown venue on two wheels. That's because local non-profit bicycle group Phoenix Spokes People will be holding a "Slow Roll" to the night every Monday evening from Civic Space Park until the summer heat gets too overwhelming.
Like M.O.M., the ride is a local spinoff of a national event, in this case Detroit's weekly "Slow Roll" around the Motor City. Tricky T says digs the copacetic nature of the origins of both the ride and their dance night.
"That's the cool thing about it. The Slow Roll originated in Detroit and do did Motown," he says. "That's why they're super stoked on it because of the whole Detroit/Motown connection. They just want to chill, ride around for an hour and end up at Last Exit and party." And when they get there, they'll hear Tricky T and Pickster One in the mix along with renowned local turntablists DJ Element and DJ Akshen, as well as special guest DJ Sessions from Seattle's version of Motown on Mondays.
While Dumper says there won't be a live band for the first edition of Motown on Mondays Phoenix at Last Exit, they'll feature local funk act on May 18, as well as Daddy Rich from 3rd Base and local musicians Goonie and Just Chris in June.
"Last Exit is a little more geared towards what we want to do, like if we want to setup a band, we can do that," Dumper says. "It's a different kind of vibe for us. I just like the venue and its got good sound."
Motown on Mondays Phoenix moves to Last Exit Live on Monday, May 11. Doors open at 8 p.m. and admission is free.
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