Two years ago It'll Do Dancing opened it's doors and filled a void in the Dallas dance scene that had been dominated by V.I.P. bottle service clubs and big arena festivals. Both skewed more towards mainstream pop music than old school dance culture. Brooke Humphries moved into an old Latin dance hall off of Columbia and brought a bare-bones throwback approach to the club.
Since then, the club has staked out its spot in the scene, and this weekend it will celebrate its second anniversary with a suitably mega party headlined by DJ Miguel Migs.
From the time it started, It'll Do had all the right ingredients: A top notch sound system, no bottle service, no V.I.P., a big dance floor, a nice DJ booth, minimal lighting, a 20-year veteran behind the decks as the club resident and most importantly actual house music every Saturday. Not the typical commercial EDM version, but actual house music.
It's success wasn't a foregone conlcusion, though. Dallas was once a hot bed for underground dance music back in the 1990s. It was an integral part of the infamous Midwest rave circuit that brought everyone from Richie Hawtin to Jeff Mills down to DFW on a regular basis. That pretty much disappeared after the demise of the rave scene in the wake of the nefarious anti-rave laws. Dance music culture as a whole got stereotyped as more drug culture than dance culture.
For the next decade house music was relegated to the dark corners of the Dallas club scene. Sporadic parties still happened, but nowhere near the scale of what used to be the norm in the previous decade. A lot of those rave kids from the '90s grew up, had kids, got real jobs and real life responsibilities.
The new EDM explosion rose to prominence toward the end of oughts, bringing a new generation to club culture. Dallas has been an epicenter for EDM with a steady stream of touring shows and big festivals like Lights All Night. Unfortunately the new EDM sound is targeted more at a younger demographic. The older generation of house fans were left out of the equation and left with their memories of "the good old days" or very long road trips to destinations like Movement Festival in Detroit.
And so It'll Do was more than welcomed, immediately bringing out not only old house heads but also a younger generation who wanted a venue with an old school vibe where there were more dancers than talkers. According to DJ Red Eye, the club's resident DJ, "Our dancer-to-cellphone-starer ratio is pretty damned good. Almost no iZombies, which is pretty much the major difference between now and the '90s".
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When asked about how close It'll Do is to an authentic dance club experience from back in the day, Red eye explains, "It's pretty damned close. Brooke and I are '90s club life aficionados so every element we have (or don't have) is exactly from the way we remember things being." Getting the formula right, he says, doesn't have to be compliated. "I mean its pretty easy. Back in the day a good nightclub had five things: great talent, great people, great staff, music unlike anywhere else in that market and a 'fuck it' vibe. I believe we've checked all of those off the list here."
West coast deep house veteran Miguel Migs was the first feature act to play It'll Do on opening night two years ago, so it's a particularly special occasion to have him coming back for the anniversary party. Veteran DJs like Migs have been the standard in the consistently stacked calendar, which reads like a who's who in underground dance.
LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, Maceo plex, Disclosure, Mark Farina, Juan Atkins, Felix Da Housecat, Simian Mobile Disco, MK, Todd Edwards and Sasha are a small sample of the international talent that has come through the club's doors. Many of those touring artists have gone on to claim in tweets that It'll Do is one of the best dance clubs in the country. Sounds like another check on the list to us.
IT'LL DO CLUB hosts its two-year anniversary this Saturday, July 19 at 10 p.m. with Migel Migs and DJ Red Eye. 21+. $15.