Going to the club, things get no clearer. Sure there are those fancy electronic darts boards and Japanese management, but there is also a falafel cart out front. They’ve been known to host some rad dance parties, of the reggae and electronic type, as well as their proprietary dance blowout, Heart Beat. But they’ve also hosted Japanese ska bands and Vietnamese metal bands.
Upstairs is a kind of ‘chill zone’, with a smaller dance floor, a Liar Ben graffiti wall, beanbags, a smoker’s balcony and some of those soft primary-coloured puzzle tiles that children play on. On a walk around Darts it doesn’t just feel like you’re moving from space to space — but more like you’re time travelling.
To really understand Darts, you need to experience it for yourself, which I’ve done — but all I remember is two girls dancing inside of the same one-piece orange swimsuit. So I deferred to professional party kids Moses and Bear for a double bullseye perspective.
Word: What was the last thing you saw at Darts?
Moses: I went for a D-Styles show that was put on by Beats Saigon. It seemed like a pretty good venue for that kind of music. And it was a pretty good turnout as well.
Bear: Wasn’t that a Thursday night?
M: That was a Thursday night.
W: How is that different to the Heart Beat parties?
B: Well the Heart Beat parties are a lot of fun. They do play drum-and-bass, which is not something that I’m into… but it’s good drum-and-bass, from what I’ve deduced. Cuz I really like it, and I hate most drum-and-bass.
They also have guest DJs come in, from other countries, and it’s a different collection of music than you typically hear at DJ nights in Saigon.
M: The owners are Japanese, which is why I think the music there has been pretty good.
W: How does it compare with other dance music venues in the city?
B: Whenever I hear that Darts is having a party, I’m excited, because so far from what I’ve seen they have a reputation for putting on a good time. And a lot of people know them for that, so they come out. Whereas when other clubs put on events it’s really a toss-up, you don’t know if you’re going to go there and no one’s come out or there’s a ridiculous cover charge and music that no one would listen to in their free time, much less on a night out.
W: Okay, what about the upstairs floor?
M: That’s where it gets weird… they have a bunch of kids’ toys. Maybe someone lives there.
B: I know that they have beanbag chairs, which is just not a good idea for people who’ve been drinking, because that is where you will fall asleep.
M: And liquid will be absorbed…
B: Oh yeah, drink spills, where do you put your drink? You’re in a chair, you’re sucked into it.
M: Why does this beanbag smell like urine?
W: What do you think about the temperature there?
B: Too cold, it’s too cold! I’m dancing and I need a parka.
M: I found the temperature to be quite nice.
W: I was cold, but that’s because I wasn’t dancing.
M: So Darts, Darts, Darts forces you to dance. That’s just not fair. I mean, you come there, want to sit down and have a nice falafel, play some darts. That’s just not fair.
W: Last question, why do people always get crazy at Darts, Darts, Darts?
B: Because they don’t get shut down.
M: It’s a real unassuming spot, no one lives around there. And the music’s good. — Ed Weinberg
Club Darts, Darts, Darts is at 224A Pasteur, Q3, or on facebook.com/DartsClubVN