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CLUBS in and around Orange County | WANNA DANCE?

Vivid Color: There's No Stoppin' the Teen Boppin'

July 16, 1998|ZAN DUBIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

"All ages" doesn't really mean it. Otherwise, the second my guest and I passed the door guard at Vivid, Kokomo's new, all-ages promotion, a 17-year-old would not have asked, "Are you somebody's parents?"

I blame my guest; he was wearing a tie.

Yet minutes later, as I jostled off the crush of a dance floor with Lynnze Sleeper (the 17-year-old whom I forgave and asked to dance), I was asked, "Are you her mother?"

No way--we didn't really look that old. Yeah, we did. We were easily twice the age of most everybody there, not even counting the few who looked preteen.

Budding hormones, however, had many of the miniskirted teens looking older themselves, thrusting and grinding to the delight of young male onlookers. One such clutch, when they weren't cheering the girls on, answered with a mating dance of its own, combining seamless Michael Jackson-style space walks and break-dance moves to work up a major sweat in one dark corner of the two-story A-frame warehouse.

In fact, everybody was sweating, dancing hard to hard-core hip-hop spun by Jason H., late of the recently closed club Liquid in Huntington Beach. The girls not already wearing tube tops rolled up their spaghetti-strap tees to just below bra-line, and fliers doubled as hand-held fans.

This club has caught on quickly, and the sheer volume of the crowd--1,000 passed through on a recent night--humidified the temperature too. It was impossible to see where the official dance floor ended because dancers had commandeered all free space that wasn't blocked by currents of commuters streaming throughout the club like inmates exercising at a prison yard.

Not that this place is oppressive, even with its fat black air conditioning ducts and beer banners. It's definitely not disco-happy; it couldn't be with a Tribe Called Quest thumping. Loyal patrons love it: the music, the casual vibe, the ethnic mix, the virgin strawberry margarita with whipped cream and a cherry (no alcohol is served).

There's also a cool patio, mercifully equipped with water spritzers overhead.

The Tuesday night party is run by Jonah Miller, promoter of the 15-and-up Monday-night Wreck Room in Huntington Beach, and James Taylor and Adam Anastasi, who ran the popular Liquid.

Looks like the trio has already generated lots of energy with this new endeavor.

Kokomos also recently opened Summer School, a 16-and-over gig on Wednesdays.

BE THERE

Vivid, at Kokomos, 17927 MacArthur Blvd., Irvine; (714) 355-1499 or (949) 250-1077. Tuesday. Doors open at 8 p.m. Cover: $10.

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