Around The World in 80 Raves takes you into the basements, warehouses, and back rooms where the magic happens—from Caracas to Calgary and back. Photo credit: Nasty Mondays
NAME: Nasty Mondays
LOCATION: Barcelona, Spain
RESIDENTS: Kosmos, Radiocontrol, and Rho if you're into electro; MadMax and Soren if you're all about the devil horns.
VIBE: Spanish sock-hop.
VENUE: Apolo, a former theater that now hosts a wild range of different parties (and crowds) every night.
WHEN IT HAPPENS: Mondays. Duh.
WHATS THE DEAL THO:
I rolled up at 12:30AM to Apolo, a former theater tucked back from the nightlife-centric street of La Rambla, and I was one of the first to arrive. I paid my €15 euro cover (there's no guest list, much to my chagrin), and walked onto the medium-sized dance floor. There was almost no one else here, which is weird, because Nasty Mondays claims to draw "all of Barcelona." So I told myself that I'd just stay for an hour-and-a-half—enough time to pick up on the vibe before going back to my hotel to catch some Zs before my flight to Italy in the morning.
In Barcelona, entry to a club tends to come with a drink, so I got a vodka lemonade (which is apparently a thing people drink outside of college parties in Europe). Going through a door confusingly marked as an "emergency exit," I found the top floor, where a group of Spanish nineteen-year-olds were twisting and shouting to rock music like we were in Rydell High.
They certainly weren't out of place. With a DJ booth made out of a vintage car and a Sailor Jerry-style logo of an anchor, Nasty Mondays wholeheartedly embraces cheesy Americana. Yet it somehow doesn't come off as costume-store-rockabilly. Even with the sea of leather jackets in the rapidly expanding crowd, this is a rock party that isn't just full of "rock people."
Even though they kept playing my parents' favorite songs all night, there's no question that at least some parts of Nasty Mondays qualify as a rave. For most people, the massive dance floor in the main room seemed to be where the party was. Locals were screaming along to songs in perfect English, joined by tourists who (like me) had been told that there was no other party better for starting your week with a hangover.
Once I OD-ed on rock, which honestly takes me like ten minutes, I headed back downstairs, and realized that the smaller electro room, called Nasty Bass, was now packed. Just like raves at home, it came complete with a groupie thirsting over the DJ and creeps taking zoomed-in pictures of girls dancing.
The three residents, DJs Kosmos, Radiocontrol, and Rho, were going back-to-back with live distorted MC-ing. The music made lightning shifts from fidget to electro to bass to moombahtoon to dubstep to some kind of sound that could only be described as "making you shake your ass." But for me, the official transition from "responsible mom concerned about catching her flight" to "OK I'm going to shake my ass and not worry about not having data on my iPhone" happened during a Craig David remix.
A party that isn't reliant on headliners to sell tickets is a testament to a strong reputation, and I think this is because the soon-to-be- nine years old Nasty Mondays is full of genuinely good, unpretentious vibes. It takes a certain type of person to be down to go out on a Monday, and apparently there are enough of those types in Barcelona to pack a two-floor club. BRB I'm moving.
ONE UNFORGETTABLE MOMENT: Watching DJs play classic rock hits from a booth made out of a 50s greaser car and thinking, do people still listen to rock music? Wait, do people think that because I'm here and I'm wearing a jean jacket that I listen to rock music? Shit.