Mar 23, 2008


My first visit to Beta was surprisingly favorable. As you should know, Modeselektor and Steve Bug headlined at the new Lodo [Lower Downtown, the burgeoning upper-middle-class/frat boy infested part of downtown Denver] club. My contempt for big Denver clubs like Vinyl and the Church did have me feeling a little wry about the "new, profound experience" they had advertised, but as I said I was pleasantly surprised for the most part.

The first thing that comes to mind was the sound system. Utterly ridiculous. Beta is implementing some "new technologies" to power the bump of the club, when I first strolled into the club (around 10pm) it was some of the best sound I've heard to date. It was incredibly clean, perfectly adjusted, you could literally have a successful conversation at a moderate level with a friend despite the huge volume of the sound, incredible. HOWEVER, when the headliners played they turned the bass up a little bit high, and even with plugs, the bass still felt red and lost considerable quality.

Aside from that, the staff was incredibly friendly and responsive, they had enough people bar tending that getting a drink was seamless. They had recycle bins and even their water cups were the new biodegradable plastic cups which is a first for a night club in Denver for sure.

Beta consists of two floors with the Beatport Lounge (which comes from the locally originated, Beatport, music downloading site for DJs that helped start the club) on the top and the Main Floor below, with an inside balcony that over looks the main floor crowd. Both rooms had the same type of sound system. The main floor was very spacious and did not get too over crowded, and it was very well ventilated. I noticed throughout the night that I was dancing really hard but not getting profusely hot and sweaty, which is a problem that 90% of clubs/venues have. The Beatport Lounge is pretty cozy, neither of the headliners played up there, but I was sure that if Modeselektor played up there as originally detailed, it would have gotten really muggy, not to mention crowded, in there.

Another thing that would have been nice was a planned itinerary. I felt that a lot of the night was spent scrambling up and down from Steve bug to the Beatport Lounge (where Modeselektor were originally suppose to play). Later in the night some of the staff were telling my friends and I that they were going to start downstairs and then go upstairs. The time of the set was not communicated to or unknown by most of the staff. They started telling us it was going to start at 11:30 upstairs but they didn't start playing until 1:30am on the Main floor. Which also only gave them only one hour of performance which was also a bummer.

The club itself has a lot of interesting art, and a decent laser/light system, the lighting was very well done. They had some amazing visuals during Modeselektor's set that synced perfectly with the music. It was very clean, and did not get to crammed anywhere except for the corridor between the Beatport Lounge and the upstairs bar adjacent the balcony, but employees were quick to tell people hanging out in the narrow space to move along so everyone could pass though. They, of course, had those annoying people in the bathrooms who you're suppose to tip for squirting soap in your hand, but I suppose that's to be expected.

So overall, I was pretty satisfied my experience, and as long as the keep bringing out artists like Modeselektor, this will not be my last visit to the new venue. Jesse Rose next weekend maybe?

pros: The sound system, spacious, good vibes, art, nice staff, and they recycle
cons: Sound too loud during headliners, bathroom creeps, overpriced drinks, itinerary not available
overall: B+