Last weekend, I headed out late Saturday night to catch Collection of Colonies of Bees at The Mad Planet.
With a friend new to Milwaukee and venturing to Mad Planet for the first time, he mentioned his assumption that Mad Planet's Center Street blue building was a comic book store. The lack of windows and crazy graffiti murals apparently acting as the tell tale sign the shop was concealing racks of Superman and Spiderman inside.
I was surprised and so I started stacking Mad Planet's appeal as a night or dance club up against the other spots around town. And after careful thought and deep consideration, one chief conclusion came striking through: Mad Planet is nothing like the other dance clubs in Milwaukee.
Other spots, like Decibel, Soho 7, Tutto, Suite or Apartment 720 all fit neatly into a category typified by mainstream dance floors, DJ booths, high end cocktails and low level lighting. There are differences in appeal and appearances but in house similarities outweigh discrepancies tenfold.
That being said, they broke the mold when they made you, dear Mad Planet.
Potentially a distant cousin of 1990s Metropolis or Unicorn Club, Mad Planet doesn't play by the typical dance club rules. They host the shows they want to see, mix clubhouse vibes and value a hot dance party over LCD lights and flat screen televisions.
Mad Planet might not even fall into the overarching club/dance category but in this town, with a limited number of spots to bust a move, we notoriously lump it with the rest.
For those who have gone, what's your judgment? Dance club? Show venue?
How does it rank against all the others in town? Worthy of such praise?
There isn't a coat check, bathroom attendant or valet service out front. You don't have to abide by a dress code and bottle service refers to deals on Miller High Life. If you could mate low key ambivalence with a bumping dance party, Mad Planet might very well be the offspring.
But if you write Mad Planet off as a Riverwest infused hipster hideout, your narrow interpretation is surely going to cost you. There are plenty who only venture to Riverwest to catch Mad Planet's 80s dance party or 88.9 Radio Milwaukee's Saturday Sessions with The Get Down.
In the next month alone, the club rocks Ellusive Parallelograms, Kings Go Forth and a night simply deemed "Disco, Boogie and 80s Soul." Quite simply, there isn't much else like it.
OnMilwaukee.com staff writer Maureen Post grew up in Wauwatosa. A lover of international and urban culture, Maureen received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
After living on the east side of Madison for several years, Maureen returned to Milwaukee in 2006.
After a brief stint of travel, Maureen joined OnMilwaukee.com as the city’s oldest intern and has been hooked ever since. Combining her three key infatuations, Milwaukee’s great music, incredible food and inspiring art (and yes, in that order), Maureen’s job just about fits her perfectly.
Residing in Bay View, Maureen vehemently believes the city can become fresh and new with a simple move across town.