Saturdays at House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston. 617.482.0106. chrisharrispresents.com
PHOTOS BY: MICHAEL DENHAM & BILL BERGGREN
Growing up as an underage gay bear, my concept of gay bars began and ended with what I saw on Queer as Folk. These illusions were quickly shattered upon my first trip to The Alley. Since turning 21, I saw what gay bars had to offer and found that it wasn’t quite what I’d seen on the TV. No go-go boys, no expansive dancefloor with hundreds of intoxicated queers, no real party. This is precisely the purpose served by gay nightlife guru Chris Harris’ Epic Saturdays. It’s gay Babylon—where hot men can get together to take off their shirts, sip mixed drinks and dance the night away.
Drink 1: Cuba Libre ($7) When I asked Kiley, the ticket taker, what drink I should order, she immediately suggested sangría. Perfect. As a Spanish-American, sangría runs in my veins. When I went up to the bartender and made my order, she shot me a perplexed look. They did not have, nor did they ever have, sangría. I went back to the door and got the new suggestion of a rum and coke. At only $7, the drink packs a punch and was an inexpensive way to get started.
Drink 2: Long Island Iced Tea ($11) Looking around after my Cuba Libre, the party hadn’t really gotten started yet. There were maybe 25 people max on the dancefloor. The hard and loud electro music blasting all around made for an intense environment. Intense and kinda faggy—like a Long Island. While it may taste like a kick of gin and tequila to your scrotum, you get what you pay for … and in the case of the Long Island, you’re paying to get plastered.
Drink 3: Sam Adams ($5.75) Gays go gaga for Gaga. Say that five times fast, because few statements that accurate have ever been written. As soon as a remix of “Telephone” came over the speakers, the gays flocked from the bar to the dancefloor in droves. I turned to my über-butch photographer and asked him what he would order me. He told me Sam Adams. OK, then. Beer.
Drink 4: Epic Cocktail. Since the DJ was onstage and wasn’t coming off anytime soon, I had to desperately track down event organizer Chris Harris. After explaining my mission to him, he suggested I go to bartender Mike to get the “Epic Cocktail,” who confirmed that it was just his spin on a Tahitian. There were so many weird flavors combined that I didn’t really know what to think, but it certainly wasn’t as fruity as some other Tahitians. It was like a tranny on acid: It’ll fuck you up.
Drink 5: Vodka and sugar-free Red Bull ($10). At this point in the night, the club started to look like an episode of Queer as Folk, with go-go boys dancing on platforms and more people on the dancefloor than should be possible. I was scared. I saw the little Red Bull fridge and figured, “Why not?” Once again, another punch of liquor to the gut with little in the way of actual flavor. Wanna get crunk? Go wild.