Yes, we’re sure that, at that bar, you do dance like you’re in your own living room, with just a few of your close friends; unabashed, without embarrassment. But at Neo, when we go to Neo, we’re all dancing like we’re in our showers. And no one’s home, no one at all. It’s the kind of dancing you see from Buffalo Bill, in “Silence of the Lambs,” when he’s fondling his ambiguous genitalia, blasting Q Lazzarus’ “Goodbye Horses.” Yes, they play that song there, all the time, basically every Thursday night, which is New Wave night. One time, our friend made out with a girl, aggressively, during that song. No, he didn’t know her. No, neither of them were drunk. No, they didn’t speak after that night. No, it was not obscene, it was actually one of the more pure and beautiful things we’ve experienced in years, this making out. They were “dorks,” just two dorks, used to being dorks and used to feeling like they can only express themselves and their love for the weird retro things they somehow, truly—truly and deeply—very much love; they were used to being only able to express these things in the shower. No, our friend does not make out with strangers anywhere else, nowhere else, ever, in the whole world—to our knowledge, this is the one-and-only time this has happened. Same for her, if we had to guess. Nearby there were two grown-ass men; one was overweight and bald. We think he’s a professor at UIC, or DePaul, or something—a PhD of something ornate, and he was wearing a kilt, and two-stepping with his eyes closed and his hand on his heart, looking close to tears as he muttered along through every word; his eyes were closed, as if he couldn’t face the dim shine of the disco ball above him, in this state of transcendence with New Order playing; he looked as though he’d be utterly lost and quickly melt away, if he were to fully face this utter transcendence. And the other man, the other grown-ass man, he had been stretching the most serious of stretches for several songs before he took the dance floor, in this most captivating of dungeon-resembling rooms, down an alley in Lincoln Park, this free-spirited ghetto (free from even the gender roles of nearby Boystown, and Andersonville, which seem rather confining when one is at Neo), this grown-ass man, following his stretches, was worshipping that disco ball. As our friend and the girl made out, and the kilted man looked about to cry, this other grown-ass man (who is at Neo every time we go there, behaving this way) was spinning his figure viciously, waving his arms in frenzy, right beneath the disco ball, incapable of not loving this disco ball and all that surrounds it. Us? How were we acting? Well, you’ll just have to come along and see, love.
Neo, 2350 North Clark, (773)528-2622, neo-chicago.com
Best of Chicago 2012