That's right, man, today Brown Passports is taking a chill out break in Gangnam at the hipp(i)est joint in town: Rainbow.
Rainbow is chill, wild, wide-open, cavernous, dark, light, colorful, moody, thumping with bass heavy techno, lounging with a few strummed reggae chords, utterly drunk and... well... never sober. The contrasts make for marvelous entertainment -- there is no point in the night at which this place gets tired or old thanks to the wealth of live bands, late-night DJs, hookah flavors, nooks and crannies, psychedelic blankets and improvised jam-sessions. This is neither your hippy father's club nor your rave-loving younger brother's.
The requisite trippy-fishes, yellow submarines, Rolling Stones graffiti, travel photography and band posters greet you from the moment you walk into the club. And then, the light show, which is spread over the whole club, including a delightful little creek constructed right in front of the bar
Oooahh, far out man! The combination of candles, black lights, neon colored bucket drinks and hippy-spectrum light shows beaming wherever the eye wanders makes for very cool lounging. Really, is there any need to move around or get moving when y0u have your wine crate, your hookah, your booze and good company?
The range of hookah options makes this place a justifiably popular draw among many looking for some place to kick it on a chiller night, and the hookah is both generous and probably uniquely available in the beer-hall heavy Gangnam area. And, of course, there is really no other place to indulge in hookah but at Rainbow -- its just too perfect a place not too. For those who don't like to do their puffing in public, the many little caves and nooks scattered around provide plenty of subterranean smoking options and various places to explore.
Most importantly, the booze is cheap and plentiful. Behold, the almighty bucket!
While you sip on your potent punch, the DJ of the hour will blast whatever is appropriate for the moment -- at 11 when I arrived, this was some heavy house with some crowd-pleasing remixes to get everyone energized and knocking back those buckets. The music began to mellow out, from indie dance music at 1 to Latin and World music at 2 to Bob Marley and various reggae classics around 3 AM.
But if you are still here at 3 AM, at the most ripe stage of drunken euphoria, who cares about what music the club is playing when you can play some music of your own?
Rainbow generously allows even those reckless 3 AM patrons to use the many instruments that are scattered around the bar, including the acoustic guitar featured above and the ubiquitous African drums of various shapes, sizes and timbres. So after you are finished with your umpteenth round of 'Never Have I Ever', pull a few of these guys together and lose yourself in a poly-rhythmic drum circle -- or, perhaps more likely lose your beat in an drunken, arrhythmic one:
Or do a little of everything at once! Hookah, alcohol and African drums go together gloriously!
How to get there:
1.) Go to exit 6, Gangnam Station (line 2)
2.) Walk two blocks and turn left
3.) Walk down one block and turn right
4.) Rainbow will be another 2-3 blocks down the road, on your right
Check out next post for a special gallery tour of that ultimate hangout spot, Hongdae!
This post was originally published at Painting the Passports Brown.