Monday, March 8, 2010

Where To Be Merry: Live Music @ Dakota Lounge (CLOSED)

UPDATE: Dakota Lounge Has Closed. 

Once upon a time, there was a soulfully seductive place named Temple Bar, where all of the great singing legends would perform. And then its doors closed. When this happened, the gut-wrenching grief I felt was comparable to how I felt when Destiny’s Child broke up; it was as if my heart had been ripped out of my body - broken, battered and smashed.

So when a new Dakota Live Music Lounge emerged from the former Temple Bar site, I was initially skeptical. Undeniably, it had some pretty big shoes to fill and many questions muddled my mind: Could it be as down-to-earth as its predecessor? Would it attract not only well-known recording artists but emerging talent from the local L.A. circuit too? Could the drinks be as strong – and dare I say stronger – than the drinks before?

After visiting Dakota once again over the weekend for a special Haiti Relief benefit presented by m.a.m.a. earth and The Q Side, I can confidently answer all of the previous questions with a big YES. Dakota turns out to be an amazing venue, filled with good vibes, great music and deceptively strong Mai Tais. What I enjoyed the most was the lack of pretentiousness. It was like being at a friend’s house party, as so many people were easy-going, laid-back and chill enough to strike up meaningful conversations. Celebs like Res, Mateo, El Debarge and Bruno Mars nonchalantly intermingled with the crowd before and after giving powerful performances on stage. It was an intimate night for a very worthy cause.

I highly recommend Dakota Lounge if you like live music, strong drinks, dancing and not dealing with door drama or pretentious airs. Check out its calendar to find out which performers are up next. See you there!

The melodic Mateo (below) sang several heartwarming songs. His mixtape and his live EP, Get to Know Me, were recently released.

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El Debarge (below) is BACK! And he certainly still has the power to hypnotize. Chills went up and down my spine as he sang the Debarge hit singles "All this Love" and "I Like It" that evening.

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CONTACT INFO:
Dakota Lounge

1026 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA
90404 310.393.8200
www.dakotalounge.com

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