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Five Spot old school dance party in East Nashville will leave you breathless

The Hawaii 5 Band, which I have not seen, but which are playing where you will be dancing.
The Hawaii 5 Band, which I have not seen, but which are playing where you will be dancing.
Courtesy of Jacob Gordon

At first glance “Monday night bar scene” is probably not what enters your mind when you think “art in Nashville”. But, holy freakin’ crap, ya’ll, you have to go the Five Spot on Monday night sometime. The scenario is roughly this: every Monday night from around 10pm to 2am at the Five Spot, four deejays spell each other as they spin a collection of late 40’s, 50’s, and early 60’s dance tunes to a packed bar of dancing people of mixed ages. This is possibly the only place in Nashville where you can go dance without having a complete stranger try to get you to be jiggy with his junk, which is enough recommendation for me. “Say no more,” said I to my friend, “I am there.”

Yes, this is no ordinary bar scene. This is East Nashville. I admit it, I was a skeptic. I have heard the East Nashville hype more than once before, and I didn’t go to college for nothing. The “cool scene” usually means “exactly the same scene as everywhere else, except more difficult to get into.” Well, not in East Nashville! Even fat men of advanced middle age can go and do a poor attempt at breakdancing during the Monday Night Dance Party and be totally welcomed. I have seen it with my own eyes.

The cover is $3, making it affordable for all, and Shirley Temples are $1.50, thus undercutting typical bar soda costs by at least 50 cents, depending on the venue and meeting my personal guidelines for affordability. (In my mind, it’s not public if the Public can’t afford it.) For an additional $2 the cute door guy will hang up your coat and stand guard over your purse or “satchel”. Or you can leave your coat and purse in your car in one of the numerous free parking spaces available. If you’re coming to hang out, come at 10pm. If you want to get straight into the dancing, come at 11:30pm.  But either way, you will have a good time!

One caveat: this is a smoking bar, so if you have a problem with doing aerobic activity next to someone puffing like a chimney this is maybe not your scene.