Nightclubs have long provided a place for people to come together and celebrate music, dance, fashion, art and culture. Following the long dry spell of nightclub closures, identical twins Jonathan and Andrew Landan, regulars on the party scene, have kept a close eye on Chicago’s big reopening and have been busy making up for lost time.
“It’s crazier than it was before the pandemic in our minds. Every night out feels like New Year’s Eve,” they remarked, which seems apt given the sense of new beginnings and optimism in the air. People are showing appreciation and paying homage to the simple pleasures of listening to live music and enjoying each other’s company.
The renowned Underground Chicago (56 W. Illinois St), founded by Billy Dec, reopened with a triumphant return on July 16 to mark their 15th year in business. “The positive and excited energy is bursting out of people, you can feel it! You can feel how bad they have missed the action, movement, lights, sounds, drinks, dance and interaction!” said Dec.
The Landan twins were in attendance at The Underground’s first night back open to the public. “It was packed! We are so happy for all the clubs in Chicago,” they said.
“The positive and excited energy is bursting out of people, you can feel it! You can feel how bad they have missed the action, movement, lights, sounds, drinks, dance and interaction!” said Dec.
According to Dec, it was imperative that they fight to stay alive because nightclubs have always played a pivotal role in cultural evolution. Just like the rise of the Roaring 20’s followed on the heels of the pandemic of 1918, the time is ripe for rebirth and rejuvenation.
“After an unprecedented and impactful run, we look forward to constantly elevating and innovating our industry,” said Dec. He will debut a sister venue in August, inspired by the Roaring 20’s called The Underground Cocktail Club that will share the same building as the Underground but with a separate entrance.
Howl at the Moon (26 W. Hubbard St) entertained a dance floor of people eager to bust a move to their favorite song on a busy Friday night in July. A recently engaged couple twirled on stage in front of a cheering crowd, while talented musicians filled the air with energizing music.
“This is the kind of place that thrives on a packed house,” said Phil Ginsburg, who was there with friends he hadn’t seen in months. “It couldn’t exist without big groups. It shows resilience that it’s still in business. It’s good to see that again.”
“Our musicians have been putting on high energy shows and our staff, new and old, have been in fifth gear for a month straight now,” said General Manager Nathan Alan Nickells. “I see a semblance of 2019 with a little urgency to shake off the cabin fever sprinkled in there.”