Welcome witches and warlocks,
Today I will be reviewing the horror themed event Drunken Devil Presents: Curse of the Jungle Drums. To best describe the theme, I will turn to an edited version of their press release.
"Find yourself transported to Pele's Hideaway, a lavish tiki bar in Hollywood, circa 1954. Back from an exotic expedition, a famous explorer has brought a mysterious idol to the bar's owner as a gift; the idol, however, is cursed, and causes the club-goers to go mad, killing each other."
Before we dive right into the review proper, I need to point out a few things that were a problem with the event. I am going to preface this by saying: Drunken Devil had no control over these issues. I feel it necessary to shine a light on these things not to be negative, but to provide some constructive criticism for future events.
First, there were some major malfunctions with the microphones. While this was thankfully not apparent during the live music portion of the event, it reared its ugly head when The Devil and Matt Dorado tried to address the audience later in the evening. It was so bad that I was unable to catch a single word of what Mr. Dorado had to say about the evening. When I asked my group if they were able to catch the gist, most of them just said they also were unable to hear him. Luckily hearing his speech was not necessary to appreciate the event as a whole, so it is relatively easy to write this problem off.
Second, and most obvious to the majority of the attendees, there was a problem with the air conditioning in the venue. Now, the air conditioners were definitely working, but if one was not standing directly under a vent, one was probably roasting in their costume. Upon entering we saw two people walk out of the space to the eighty to ninety degree weather because they needed to cool down. I figured they had to have been overreacting as outside was quite warm, but within the hour I saw the wisdom of their move. Clearly this one had a bigger effect upon the event as a whole as people were either walking in and out all night or congregating under the vents just to stay cool.
Of course, another great way to stay cool was to partake of the fantastic open bar. Featuring a nice mix of tiki based drinks, the counter proved to be a cornucopia of creative cocktails. Even when there was a long line, the bartenders were rapid fire with their concoctions making the waits for a beverage incredibly short.
While we were in the queue for some booze, we found ourselves amused on more than on occasion by the hired entertainers. Our first run in was with one of the table magicians who was working the guests who already had their drinks while those in line glanced in on his tricks. He was effective at creating an atmosphere and tailored a few of his jokes to those waiting in the queue.
Later in the evening we had some fun talking with the costumed performers. Each of these characters had a distinct personality as well as a backstory tied to the event. This made for some fun, easy interactions as the guests were allowed to engage or not engage as they saw fit. To me, this was one of the highlights of the evening as the actors were quite a bit of fun and went so far as to dance with guests during the musical performances.
Speaking of the music, the Jennifer Keith Quintet helped provide a lot of ambiance to the proceedings with their retro styled set. From jazzy classics to slower standards, their song choices perfectly encapsulated the mid-fifties Hollywood theme. It was easy to stay in the swing of things since the music permeated every inch of the space; from the front room to the darkened back lounge.
In case it was not clear earlier, the theming of the event was not down to just the drinks and music, but extended to all of the decorations as well. Of particular note, and probably my favorite spot of the evening, was the dimly lit lounge in the back of the space. This was the perfect spot to just hang on a couch while soaking up some booze or ambiance (or both). While this was the highlight for the theming, the rest of the space was filled with plenty of retro styled furniture and props. Some of these items were rather interesting (such as the map) while others were slightly more generic (like the vines hanging from the ceiling). What became clear during one portion of the event was this; no decoration was safe from the wrath of the jungle gods.
Granted, the destruction of these props happened not at the hands of the deities themselves, but instead was carried out by the three lovely angels performing the burlesque acts. While the first sets by the titillating trio were quite good, each of them had a bang up second act that blew their opening numbers away. They also played well to the crowd, reacting to the catcalls and pulling down the imitation vines while the crowd crowed in approval.
All in all, this was a great event for those looking to dips their toes into an all-inclusive horror themed party. From the wonderful use of the space to the entertainment that allowed guest to engage at their own comfort level, this was a worthwhile event that warranted a look. Heck, the drinks and burlesque alone would be enough to draw in casual fans, even if they did not want to partake of the rest of what the party had to offer. Assuming the level of quality stays the same going forward, I would recommend people check out future events put on by Drunken Devil. For those looking for a bit of a VIP experience, make sure to check out their exclusive membership, the Sinner's Social Club, which gives attendees a private pre-show cocktail hor, featuring cabaret performances, small bites, and specialized crack cocktails!
The Creeping Craig