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The Sound Bar: DJs, VIPs and Fire Wielding Sword Dancers

414 Sound Bar, interior
414 Sound Bar, interior
courtesy of

The Sound Bar, located at 414 3rd Ave S. Minneapolis, is a rave kids dream, which may very well make it many other people's nightmare.  Decked out to make everyone feel like a VIP the Sound Bar is divided into a dozen private rooms, separated by sheets and suggestive curtains, and two large dance floors: one near the entrance and one in the back, down the hall, past the confusing but elegant bathrooms.  The walls are covered in the clashing and tacky art work of Ken Farkash and giant projector screens (Johann, the owner, is big on integrating music with lights and images) which on the night I visited, consisted largely of images from anatomical text books, played in a loop.

The deals can be generous, if you get there early.  Most nights there's all-you-can-drink vodka drinks (Phillip's) for $5 up until 10 pm.  Thursdays through Saturdays there's a plethora of DJs and entertainers passing through it's doors.  Last Thursday saw DJ's on the patio, inside on the main dance floor and in the back room spinning trance/house/techno with a healthy serving of Hip Hop.  It also saw Wildflower, the techno singer, who is also, apparently, a fire wielder and who was accompanied on this ngiht by a conga player and another woman who set swords on fire.  Later, in the back room, two large white MCs took to the stage and at one point, eulogized their fallen friend to the tune of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's "Crossroads".  Their performing names escape me.  To say the least, you are going to have an interesting night if you go to The Sound Bar. 

Saturday nights are the somewhat ill-advised Ghetto Fabulous night, and word from a former bouncer is it's not the best night to visit, but all in all, The Sound Bar is a good time and a good night out if you don't take yourself, or your fellow club-goers attire, too seriously.  It's layout is creative, it's entertainment ranges from "unique" to "questionable" and as a place to hear some solid dance music it is definitely a note worthy spot in Minneapolis' downtown

Take this bar in with your favorite vodka mixer and club shirt.