“I think it’s going to be completely different from the other attempts,” Coleman says. “The other attempts were just using the name and maybe try to bring in a DJ that spun at Backstreet. This is going to bring in more elements than that.”
Jungle has hosted several successful Backstreet-themed parties over the past two years that featured the reunited cast of Charlie Brown’s drag cabaret, but Atlanta’s 3 a.m. closing time for bars and nightclubs has kept the true essence of Backstreet from being resurrected.
“This is going to have an all-night venue,” Coleman says of Legends, where the Club Q party will take place from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. “It’s licensed as a convention center, and because of the convention center license we’re able to stay open later. The laws are different with convention centers versus nightclubs.”
Whereas other Backstreet tribute parties have been heavy on nostalgia, Coleman says he and Jardim wanted to imagine what the legendary club would be like if it were still open today.
“The DJs we’re bringing are going to play updated versions of Backstreet music,” Coleman says. “Instead of repeating the old music that was played back in the ’90s and the early 2000s, we’re actually bringing it forward to 2010 and what Backstreet probably would be now, which is the progressive, tribal feel in there, and just getting kind of down and dirty with the music.
“Instead of rekindling something, we’re kind of thinking about Backstreet after many, many years, and we just kind of saw what Backstreet would have been in 2010 and made it that,” Coleman adds.
Located across the interstate from Turner Field at 181 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd., Legend has an off-the-beaten-path allure that Coleman believes channels Backstreet’s vibe.
“The feel in this club is more of an underground feeling, more of a progressive feel, and again, there’s not another venue in Atlanta that has felt that way,” Coleman says.
Jardim and Coleman have been planning the Club Q event for six months after being approached by the Legends staff about hosting parties at the convention center during holidays. The venue was built in the 1890s and used to be a church, with a granite and brick exterior, and columns and vaulted ceilings inside.
“We’re looking at having an event down there about once every four to six weeks to keep the people interested in it and not making it week in and week out,” Coleman says.
In addition to the Memorial Day weekend party, Coleman and Jardim have also solidified Club Q parties at Legends for the Fourth of July, Labor Day weekend, during Atlanta Gay Pride in October and on Jan. 1, 2011.
“What we’re going for with Club Q is a very tribal, more underground type feel and so we’re choosing DJs that are able to write music in that genre,” Coleman says.
Leading the DJ line-up is DJ Twisted Dee, an internationally renowned DJ/producer who last performed in Atlanta during a double-header set at the Heretic and Body Shop in 2009.
“She has been traveling the world the past couple of years, and we’re lucky enough to get her here for Memorial Day Sunday,” Coleman says. “She’s more of a progressive, tribal sound and that’s the sound we’re going for at a lot of these events.”
Atlanta traditionally undergoes a gay exodus during Memorial Day weekend with many heading to LGBT events in Pensacola, Miami and Washington, D.C., but Coleman is optimistic that Club Q will draw a strong crowd.
“I think the fact that there is an alternative to stay in Atlanta, hopefully it will allow people to stay here, and there’s enough people to go around,” he says. “There’s thousands and thousands of people who stay here, so we’re expecting a really good crowd.”
Top photo: DJ Twisted Dee (Photo courtesy Madtizzy Productions)