Have you ever attended an event that solely existed to provide a good time? Where it's not about images or appearances, political correctness, or following the latest trends? Instead, it's about a curated mood and an endless circuit of happiness that travels from the hands in the air down to their body's two-stepping feet.
On Friday, March 24, 2017, AB+L Radio captured another night of good vibes at the monthly installment of DJ Wally Spark's "The Groove", an R&B only party, at The Basement in East Atlanta Village.
Now, R&B isn't a genre about being shy. Nor is it a night of slow dance and romances. The genre itself compasses the musicality of funk and jazz; the emotional range of rhythm and blues; with the rebellious spirit of hip hop and dance, all melted down into contagious hooks and relatable testimonies in 3-5 minute songs. So when this is the premise of the night, you experience a range of emotional depths and decades worth of cultural movements in a short time frame. The DJs' sets spanned the genre's history, from 70s disco blends to new jack swing hits, to the 90s dance electric sonic jams.
"The Groove" is a night of nostalgic atmospheres that call you to do one of two things:
1.) Sing your heart out
2.) put on a damn show.
At times, the crowd would sing along in unison to whatever song was playing, taking on whatever mood the song provoked. If it was a love song, the crowd would turn to the person closest to them and begin to serenade each other as though no one else was there. If it was a dance song, battles would break out in a matter of seconds as couples twirled their partner around. It was like a soul revival of some kind or like a collection of reflections of our now and the making of us. The happy days, the struggles, the heart breaks, and the in between all came out in beads of sweat on the dance floor.
I would have never imaged a crowd of 20-40-year-olds being able to not only party together, but to break into the electric slide when "Before I let go" came on or for it to feel like a Sunday morning worship when "Melodies from Heaven" began to play. But it happened, without missing a beat, effortlessly.
"The Groove" isn't about a bunch of random songs or old school vs new school. It's a conversation between bodies and souls, all orchestrated by R&B melodies.
Bri Simpson is the Creative Assassin at AB+L Radio. You can see and purchase her artwork on her website brisimpsonart.com and follow her on IG @bri.simpson
Invert The World is the Creative Director for AB+L Radio. Check out his website for more of his work. www.inverttheworld.com