For months rumors of Marquee’s triumphant return as a top tier player in NYC’s nightlife have circulated through club land. Its top secret renovations were promised to revolutionize what it meant to be a club in the Big Apple and its talent bookings were said to focus heavily on a darker, techno aesthetic. With the revered Strategic Management Group at the helm, there should have been very little doubt that the newly renovated club would shake the foundation of nightlife in Manhattan.
Upon entering Marquee, we were taken aback by both its elegant and grandiose design. Unlike many of the clubs in New York, Marquee was spacious – with high vaulted ceilings and a stunning mezzanine section for its VIP guests. While many of the city’s clubs feel claustrophobic and at times, maze-like, Marquee’s open floor plan and simple layout was a refreshing change from the lounges and low ceilings of its competitors. The Funktion-One sound system and lighting are state of the art and work in tandem to create a scintillating assault on the senses. Crisp highs and thunderous lows fill the space while the bevvy of LED walls, overhead spotlights, and accent lighting turn the room into a whirlwind of faded pastels and neon.
When we heard the announcement that Dubfire was set to open the venue we were simultaneously shocked and excited. The decision was decidedly unorthodox in a climate that is so often dominated by progressive house and Beatport Top 10 sets, but our doubts were quickly culled when we realized that Marquee is less concerned with the mainstream and more concerned with the music. We are sure the club could have secured a main stage, commercial booking to celebrate its grand re-opening but the decision to go with Dubfire secured its credibility amongst Manhattan’s more seasoned clubgoers – a group that is much more difficult to win over than their bottle service contemporaries.
Following up a stellar opening performance from New York City natives Sleepy & Boo, Dubfire opened with an intro edit of Joran Van Pol’s “Faded,” — unleashing what would become a flurry of mechanical clicks and pops for over 3 hours to a room that was packed but never crowded. The dance floor swelled as Maetrik’s “The Poem” pulsated out of Marquee’s speakers, driving the energy of the massive room into the stratosphere. As the night continued, Dubfire led on with his barrage of dark techno productions, gripping the crowd with a visceral, industrial groove and slowly coaxing the bottle service crowd, tucked away at their tables in the mezzanine, down into the energetic heart of the club.
It’s no surprise that Noah Teppenberg and Jason Strauss are behind the magic that is Marquee NY, they are simply translating their success and experience by bringing the same prestige and panache they’ve mastered throughout their careers to the recently re-opened club. What Marquee has accomplished is something for which clubgoers in Manhattan have begged for a long time – a club more focused on the music than promoters and overpriced bottles, a big room with big personality designed with dance music in mind. There are no gimmicks here, just a solution to a problem that New York City nightlife has had for a long time. If there was one thing that Manhattan needed it was a true big room experience and Marquee delivers in style.