Due for its public debut tonight, AgeHa wooed hipsters with its soft opening last weekend. The club was packed on Friday night with party-goers who couldn't wait to get a glimpse of what the Tokyo-bred dance club was all about.
The club took over the basement location formerly run by C3 (Champagne 3) in Xinyi district, removed the glitzy decor, and transformed it into a spacious rave-vibe venue with very little seating.
"An underground atmosphere is one of our appeals," Yoshida Toshinobu, the general manager of AgeHa Taipei (and Tokyo) said. "In major cities like New York, London and Tokyo, it's been an ongoing trend that people don't just sit around drinking in booths when they go clubbing; instead, they expect to dance and enjoy the music when they go out. And that's exactly the kind of clubbing concept we'd like to introduce to the trendsetters and music lovers in Taipei."
Two of Japan's hottest acts, Ken Ishii and Disco Twins, played last weekend.
The fierce techno music and dark room full of enthusiastic revelers harked back to rave's heyday. Aside from the awesome sound system, the venue has a powerful ventilation system, which makes for comfortable clubbing. The other highlight was Japanese pole dancers. The two female performers made pole dancing look like an art form.
Taipei's latest addition went down well with clubbers.
"The giant underground space with expanded dance-floor is excellent. Without any frills, AgeHa focuses on the sound and music. Their amazing sound system could be the best in town," said David S, resident DJ at Room 18 and InHouse.
"It was very reminiscent of old raves. I'm happy to see that they will be offering an alternative to the pop that every other large venue in Taipei provides," said Mike Jansen, a DJ and booking agent. "They're bringing DJ Muro [Aug. 18] from Tokyo ... . The real test for me is if AgeHa can draw a large hip-hop crowd that can enjoy a set without Fatman Scoop."
As for AgeHa's upcoming party schedule, every Friday is Tokyo Dynamite (electronica) and Saturday is Fever (hip-hop/reggae), featuring Japanese DJs/artists and dancers. The headliner tonight is Emma, a huge-name Japanese house DJ. Tomorrow night DJs Hasebe, Yoshikazu and MC Ryu provide the music. The entrance fee is US$700, the club is open 10pm to 5am and is located at B1, 171 Songde Rd, Taipei (台北市松德路171號B1). On the Net: www.ageha-taipei.com.