That was, until last Thursday at the Zombie Room. Portland's Strength, a three-piece disco-synth outfit, headlined a bill that also included Belt of Vapor. To a room of 60 or so uncoordinated-looking folks from all the disparate parts of Spokane's 20-something scenes -- hipsters, gutter punks, roller girls, a few doofy journalists like me, the loud rock kids who follow Belt of Vapor everywhere, Belt of Vapor themselves -- they broadcast a simple promise: Bring us your greasy, your tight-jeaned, your ironically over-dressed masses, and we will make them dance. They kept their word.
With the first stab of bass, everyone began gyrating and jumping and sweating and making out all over the place, all crushed together around the front of the stage while singer Bailey Winters, a waifish whirlwind of sexual ambiguity, pranced and flexed nuts in the cramped space between the synths and guitar stands onstage. The night was electric.
Hockey was famous for getting the too-cool kids to dance, but not on a level even approaching what Strength did Thursday. People were swooning. Winters would stretch out his arm and the crowd grabbed for it like he was Justin Timberlake. The dance floor was chaos. The dam of reserve that the room had used to keep a fa & ccedil;ade of detachment all night had cracked and a miles-high wave of elation and very sweaty enthusiasm had burst forth.
My point is a simple one. Really more of a plea: Spokane needs disco. Like, bad.