Das Bunker: Los Angeles, CA

Feb 11, 2010   //   by Emmy   //   Adventure, The Blog  //  1 Comment

Das Bunker Flyer

Das Bunker is one of those ground-zero scenes, the kind of club that everyone has heard of. It’s been a fixture of the LA scene for over a decade, in fact, hosting bands like VNV Nation, Combichrist and Covenant, who played just a week before we arrived.  So, were we intimidated? A little. Excited mostly, though, since we’ve heard about the place and hoped that it would live up to its hype.

Did it?

Yeah, it did, well enough.

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The club resides in a sizeable building (the Catch One, on Pico Boulevard), and you enter and go immediately through a metal detector and then straight upstairs. The door people are friendly, and the floor is glossy black. To your left is a monster-sized dance floor, with a low-ish ceiling, numerous small, well-padded alcoves and two stages. Two of the alcoves have mini-stages and stripper poles, and the lighting is strongly colored in the center with very, very dark corners. Right of the entry stairs, you’ve got a large, open bar area.  Das Bunker was far from empty, but its open spaces are large enough that you never feel claustrophobic.

Downstairs are the “Retro Room,” “Noise Room” and smoking patio. The “Retro Room” is where we spent most of the night, and its dance floor (about a third the size of the one upstairs and still bigger than many) is crammed in next to a bar with seating areas on the landing up above and off to the side. A brace of PCs along the wall in the sitting area means you can play solitaire, if you really want to take the antisocial thing a bit too far. In the Retro Room, we heard “Decomposed,” “Godlike,” “Soylent Green,” “Deutschmaschine” (twice), “Corporate Slave,” “So What,” “Another World” and “O Fortuna.” The Retro Room also has a projection unit on the wall that shows movies–and sometimes displays the song that’s being spun. Genius! On the upstairs dance floor, the music trended more toward newer fare, like “Stage 2” by X-Rx.

Head back through the maze of little hallways from the Retro Room and you’ll find a mist-filled “Noise Room” which is full of powernoise and old war movies projected on the wall.

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Turn the other way, and you’ll find the smoking patio, which is crowded and, well, a smoking patio. But! There’s also a hot dog cart on the smoking patio. So it’s actually a smoking and hot dog patio. Once again, genius!

The crowd at Das Bunker is friendly, too. Whether this says something about the club itself, or just that people from LA are always conscious that they’re networking when it comes to meeting people they don’t know remains to be decided, but it made for some pleasant talking to people. People-watching at Das Bunker is much like a gothic subculture roll call. Lexie turned out to be one of only two steamygoths, and Emmy seemed to be the only perkygoth in residence–Das Bunker is very monochromatic black, so my bright red was not Of The Normal but did not appear to hurt my fitting in either. There were a few cybers, a lot of fetishgear and rivethead types, a bunch of ’80s-style glamgoths and classic old-school goths, and even a smattering of Japanese-style gothkids. There didn’t seem to be any lolis, though; it turns out we visited Das Bunker on a night when LA’s lolitas were off at another special event.  Unlike some places that attract a wide range of the scene’s sub-fashions, there wasn’t any snobbery between groups that we noticed.  It’s a good place.

Das Bunker hosts many concerts as well; check out the website for a schedule and directions.

1 Comment

  • Hey, thanks for the great review. I’m interested in heading to Dad Bunker in April to catch Assemblage 23. I’ve never been, am really not part of the scene or goth or, well…whatever that is, lol. I just love the music and finally found someone to drag along with me (with the promise he didn’t have to dance if he didn’t want to heh). Anyhow…I doubt I’ll “fit in” but it seems like it doesn’t really matter…people are there for the music. Again, thanks for sharing your review :)