Maybe a change for the better...
I'm giving XL 4 stars simply for getting rid of that relic promoter John Blair. Aside from that,I will acknowledge that the club is in dire need of some serious improvement in a few areas,like their staff. As far as those complaining about the club being "pricey", what NYC nightclub ISN'T pricey? You can't expect walmart prices in one of the most expensive cities in the world.And it's not as if XL doesn't offer ways to get discounts. I got into XL free before midnight,so what the hell is you guys' problem?
That said,I was there this past Saturday night (2/16/2013) for Paulo and it was bonkers. The last time I enjoyed XL like that was when Peter Rauhofer headlined back in late December 2012. Regarding the statement made in the first sentence,there have been rumors floating around for the past week or so about John Blair being "ousted" from XL nightclub. Allegedly XL was his idea,which I'm sure it was, but considering his miserable track record with clubs over the past 7+ years, I'd assume XL was trying to cut the baggage that was causing the club some dead weight. Besides, back in mid 2007 (shortly after ROXY closed down) I heard from a few insiders that John Blair was part of the reason why Gene Denino (former owner of ROXY) was willing to give up the space outright as west Chelsea was being redeveloped for over-privileged yuppies. That in itself may or may not be true,but given the sagging numbers at ROXY prior to its closing,it's quite plausible. And to cite another example,for those of you who remember Avalon Saturdays (John Blair's pathetic attempt at "bringing back" Saturday nights) it ran from March 31, 2007 to June 23, 2007. He couldn't manage to keep the crowd sizes large enough to fill the space,so the management of Avalon axed his party from the club. Then he "moves" over to Splash (which as many locals will tell you,is hospice for no longer relevant promoters and parties in gay nightlife). All of this was taking place while Peter Rauhofer's weekly WORK! parties at the old octagon space on west 33rd was blowing up and drawing massive crowds. While it's great to have a new gay megaclub in Manhattan, John Blair's shoddy history with clubs was affecting XL nightclub. He was repetitively bringing in typical mediocre circuit cheese DJs (i.e. Manny Lehman,Tony Moran,and Tracy Young) who pretty much will play music that mostly circuit queens tripping on ecstasy and special K would enjoy. The city's megaclub scene has always been about House Music. I shouldn't have to go to straight clubs (i.e. Marquee,Pacha,Cielo,and soon to be open Sankeys and Ibiza's Space nightclub) to hear good music by world class House Music DJs. Apparently, the team running XL nightclub saw the dwindling crowd size on Saturday nights (which is one of their major club nights) so they did alittle house cleaning and ousted the alleged "king of NYC's gay nightlife".
Evidently,it has not occurred to John Blair that the scene has changed and the "Chelsea boy" and "shirtless muscle queen" image is a horse that was put to death years ago. Besides,if people have been paying attention,they'd notice that the gay "party scene" has moved into Hell's Kitchen. Chelsea is dead! It's time to "think outside of the box". You cannot create something new and pull the same old crap that has failed in the past and will likely fail again. It defeats the purpose. Hopefully at this point,XL will improve and grow now that John Blair's stranglehold on the club is no longer. I'd like to look at this as a "new beginning" for the city's only large gay nightclub. They do have some new ideas and plans coming,so let's see where it takes them.