Live Blog: 24 Consecutive Hours at Pop's Nightclub

Categories: Fiesta!

Sunday, March 9, 2014 - 1:34am
IT'S ALL HAPPENING. A big change just happened here. DJ Big J just took over, cranked up the music and turned on the lasers. And 40 people walked through the door in the last few minutes. IT'S ON.

Sunday, March 9, 2014 - 1:26am
I'm kinda big on life anniversaries, and it occurs to me that exactly one year ago today/tonight, I did the most monumentally stupid thing that I've ever done in my adult life. It involved an adventure to a different establishment not too far from here. I'm not giving up any details; you'll have to wait for my memoirs.

Sunday, March 9, 2014 - 12:23am
I'VE BEEN HERE FOR TWELVE HOURS. The place is filling out. I am fueled on broccoli and ready ready ready.

Sunday, March 9, 2014 - 12:09am
I have solved the greatest mystery of Pop's. If you've ever been here, you've probably seen these signs on the wall with seemingly random letters on them. The signs light up in parts, illuminating certain letters. Before tonight, I'd figured out that the sign is a security alert system. But with the help of my new Pop's employee friends, tonight I learned that the letters correspond to different areas of the club and are lit up when an employee sees some kind of potential problem happening (a fight or something) to alert security and other workers.

POPSsecurity.JPG

Wanna learn how to decode the system? I have the key.

WSRRWBUB SB PB DJ L E M G N

WS - WEST STAGE
RR - REAR RESTROOM
WB - WEST BALCONY
UB - UPSTAIRS BAR
SB - SOUTH BAR
PB - PRODUCTION BOARD
DJ - DJ BOOTH
L - LOBBY
E - EXIT
M - MAIN BAR
G - GAME ROOM
N - NORTH DOOR (PATIO)

Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 11:22
First friend visit! My friend Lindsay showed up! Here she is, doing her Samantha Ronson onstage.

POPSlindsay.JPG

Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 10:31
Now playing:


Party.

Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 10:16pm
Sports sounds off, music on. The night at Pop's has begun.

Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 9:25pm
Dinner time! I got hungry so I went next door to the Penthouse Club and picked up some steamed broccoli. Yes, I saw some breasts there. No, I don't have pictures of that. I did see a dancer helping an old man use his iPhone, though.

POPSbroccoli.JPG

Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 8:08pm
Bartender Brian Werner tells me that he has a YouTube channel where he uploads clips from virtually every band that plays at Pop's. This will be good for my research. Check it out here.

Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 7:20pm
Took a nice little break for a bit. Talked with the awesome employees here and heard lots of great stories -- like how Pop's accidentally booked Nickelback back in 2000 on a metal show assuming they were a different metal band.

Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 5:55pm
I was just sitting here wondering if I've ever written about Pop's before today. I don't think I have, but I remembered talking about this place in an interview quite a few years back. I've interviewed Kelley Deal of the Breeders a few times, but on this occasion in 2008 the Breeders were due to play at Pop's.

Me: So you're gonna come here to St. Louis. Do you know about the place you're playing? It's kind of like that place you'd go to see a Journey cover band.

Kelley: Ha! The place that we're playing there? Really? Oh God, I hate when you tell me shit like that, it's so weird!

Me: No, it's a fun place, but it's in East St. Louis, and it's sort of like, you have to stay on that street or you die.

Kelley: [Laughs]

Me: So don't go roamin' around there.

Kelley: OK. I mean, will people not come because of the location?

Me: No, you can totally go there, you just have to go straight there and then leave. Its like, in the middle of a couple of strip clubs.

Kelley: I can take my clothes off, that's what you're saying?

Me: Well, uh, next door at least. Or, uh, probably there, too. It's your show.

Kelley: I'll just take 'em off there, too.

[I was at the show. She didn't take off her clothes. Tease.]

Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 4:57pm
It's just me and one other guy here now. A pretty girl just came in and picked up a paper (job application? pay check?), but then she left. She had nice boots. If you ever need a place to host a party, try Pop's on a Saturday afternoon. You'll have the place to yourself with no rental fee!

Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 4:02pm
If I start losing my mind later, remind me that things could be worse. At least I'm not live-blogging Billy freaking Corgan playing a faux-intellectual eight-hour jam. The horror.

Continue to the next page for earlier dispatches.


Location Info

Pop's Nightclub

401 Monsanto Ave., East St. Louis, IL

Category: Restaurant

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81 comments
Nathan Kromat
Nathan Kromat

I don't feel like she got the real experience with out having a single drink

Stu Heck
Stu Heck

She deserves a tetanus shot.

Kaitlin Riley
Kaitlin Riley

I can't believe it took you guys a year after we first discussed this to finally do it! Way to go!

Arti K Patel
Arti K Patel

Bahaha did you try to sell it? I remember the damn cat and cage lol

Katie Markert
Katie Markert

Arti K Patel remember the time I brought a cat there in the backseat of my car? Then tried to sell it for $300? The good ol days lol

Gina Marciano Mitauer
Gina Marciano Mitauer

Pops...where the leftovers from the other bars go..... In hopes of still being picked up for the night!! Not safe for women there!!! Glad those days are long gone!!!

Danielle C Dumey
Danielle C Dumey

Everyone always says they don't like going to pops, but after the STL bars closed they are the first to jump up and try to get everyone to go. I always have fun def a good late night stop to finish off the night!!

George Acosta II
George Acosta II

I saw 2 guys in a fist fighting at 6:30 in the morning there, it's a wild place !

Nikki Holland
Nikki Holland

How could they tell how old he was if he was wearing a mask?

Katelyn Stapleton
Katelyn Stapleton

Creepy. I bet he was looking for something/one. He took my move too. Except, I leave a note at the bar and I am way to unfashionable to keep up with his style.

Tami Jolly-Bollinger
Tami Jolly-Bollinger

The place really don't suck. I have had friends that was in bands play on that stage. My sons band plays on that stage. Hell the 20th of this month he will be on that stage with his band Acid Era. You people want to put that place down. It is a place local musicians like to play. And you talking about real journalism...this is RFT!!! For as long as I can remember thats what RFT has always been about...the local scene. I do agree though who ever did it could have done a better job. Maybe been there a night when bands was there.

Adrian Gandara
Adrian Gandara

That place sucks. I can believe this passes for journalism. I guess there's no real news in the world. Try going to that place when they don't know you're a journalist.

Greg Jackson
Greg Jackson

she powdered her nose in the bathroom, sounds about right.

Tami Jolly-Bollinger
Tami Jolly-Bollinger

LoL Pops is in Sauget not East Saint Louis and it isnt as bad as a location as you make it out to be. I grew up here. If any band wants a tour I got ya covered.

Tim Corkill
Tim Corkill

I liked the old pops....And what a great way to get the youth to visit MONSANTO blvd...And do some drunken whoring..

Rachel Gillooly
Rachel Gillooly

I have been to POPS 2 times in my 31 years of life both times bei.g sober I don't drink because I need my brains intact but both times I was injured by drunk people. I avoid concerts anc crowds to avoid serious injuries.

Michele Chapel
Michele Chapel

Had the best late night breakfast after the clubs in STL closed at 3 in the mid 80s..ya Im old but I lived when we knew how to party..loved the original POPS

Lori N Tim Fowler
Lori N Tim Fowler

You wouldn't catch me there in that area anymore, no freaking way.

Virginia Superwolf
Virginia Superwolf

Will you hire me to do an overnight live blog reporting at The Oz next? I already live facebook my thoughts & observations that come into my headspace all day errday

Kelly Brantley Hagerty
Kelly Brantley Hagerty

Pops is my favorite place for people watching... All walks of life and mostly everyone is having a good time. What's so bad about that? Mega bonus points for a good 80's cover band!

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