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The Chicago Traveler

Free Your Mind, Neo

by User ImageMatt B on May 1st, 2008

Last weekend, my BFFs invited me out for a night of drinking and dancing. I was all for it. And then they told me, “It's industrial/Goth.” Of course, all kinds of stereotypical images started coming to mind, and I began to wonder what I was going to wear for our trip to Neo.

neo nightclubBeneath a sign that looks like it has been hanging there since the club's opening in 1979, Neo's alley entrance immediately sets the mood. Arriving about 11 p.m., we each paid our $5 cover and stepped inside. If I could sum up my first impressions in one word, it would be 'dark.' Black walls, black floors, black tables, black stools' even the music is thick, full of bass, and murky. Fortunately, I had dressed appropriately with a charcoal shirt, black cap, and leather jacket.

The three of us ordered our drinks, and although I have heard comments that they are pricey, the cost was average, especially for a weekend. Beverage in hand, I took in my surroundings and observed the bar's patrons.

neo nightclubNow, I should begin by saying that I have a fondness for Goth culture; I am fascinated by all things dark and brooding. The club itself is fairly small, consisting only of a dancefloor, a bar, and a few tables. There are a handful of stereotypes that you will find inside Neo. Guys wearing long black trenchcoats; girls wearing fishnet stockings and bright red lipstick; and chains, buckles, and zippers everywhere. Yes, this is where all the 'freaks' from high school come to hang out. But there are also plenty of folks in just a T-shirt and jeans (like me), and I never felt out of place. And unlike most clubs, where dancing alone is socially taboo, here most of the dancers have no qualms with expressing themselves solo on the dancefloor.

All in all, I had a great time. The ambience may be dim and 'edgy,' but it's also more relaxed and nonjudgmental than most places. The bar hosts Metal Nights on Mondays and features new wave classics on Thursdays. This club may not be for everyone, but you have to visit at least once to decide for yourself.

Take the red pill, and peek inside the rabbit hole.

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Photo credit: (c/o Flickr) polomex, karebear60657, lobstar28

Neo: 2350 N Clark St; 773-528-2622
Sun ' Fri: 10:00 p.m. ' 4:00 a.m.
Sat: 10:00 p.m. ' 5:00 a.m.
Street parking difficult
Public trans: Bus # 22, 36

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POSTED IN: Bars and Clubs

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