Rocking the McGrath Underpass
There aren’t many good reasons to meet someone under a highway overpass. (Handshake drug deals and drag racing are among the bad ones.) Enter the Somerville Arts Council, whose amalgam of events for the summer and fall have ingeniously utilized the vast corners of Union Square, including the space under McGrath Highway, at the intersection of Washington Street. The Arts Council planners deemed this unlikely spot perfect for “Project SUM” (Sculpture Under McGrath, an exhibit that opens September 8) and “Project MUM” (Meet Under McGrath), a ’70s-themed dance party that took place last Saturday night.
Equal parts intrigued observers and engaged participants, the crowd at MUM gathered beneath disco-ball-adorned concrete, surrounded by trippy, kaleidoscopic video projections and dancers gyrating behind backlit screens. I’ll admit, I wasn’t around during the ’70s. So my costume — a gym-class-style ensemble, with knee-high socks and a track jacket — was based mainly on inferences about the decade’s fashion I made from the Richard Linklater movie Dazed and Confused and reruns of the first few seasons of Three’s Company. Upon arriving and eliciting confused stares, I had a momentary flashback of “new kid at the middle-school dance” insecurity. That passed, however, and right there next to the AutoZone, and steps away from a Burger King, a hundred or so costumed and non-costumed partygoers united in dance to Blondie’s “Rapture.” (Okay, it was released in 1981, but who’s counting?) DJs Flack (of BeatResearch), Axel Foley, and Pace steered the party beyond its scheduled 1 am conclusion, and no one complained, but eventually, a man dressed like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas–era Hunter S. Thompson moved in from the periphery, the music slowed, and the reluctant crowd prepared to return to more conventional locales
: Live Reviews
, Hunter S. Thompson, Richard Linklater, Axel Foley, More