Downtown’s Eastside Tavern, also known as Dirty Disco on Friday nights, has undergone a few changes since last year when Stephens Life featured the themed dance party that occurs every Friday night in an article, claiming it as one of the most unique places in Columbia. Dirty Disco has a new resident disc jockey, which has led to new music, flyers, photographers and, of course, new themes.
Former resident DJ, creator, and promoter Leroy Lee has turned his duties over to Josh Thompson after accepting a job in Illinois.
“I think Adam Boisclair and Leroy Lee will always own Dirty Disco. They just handed the reins over to someone who would keep it going in the right direction,” Thompson said. Thompson is now Dirty Disco’s resident DJ and is in charge of booking, making flyers and posting photos to their website and Facebook. Because of his many duties, Thompson describes himself as a “Swiss army knife” for Dirty Disco.
Thompson graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in radio broadcasting. He had some success in the radio industry for a while with his radio show “Nerd Word.” However, Thompson acted on his passion of DJing by playing at house parties on the weekends and Thompson also mixed beats online while in college. After hearing about Dirty Disco, he recorded a mix and sent it to Lee. Thompson played his first show at Dirty Disco in January of this year.
After his first show, Lee asked Thompson to play about once a month. Once a month turned into two, which then turned into three and that resulted in Lee offering Thompson a residency.
Thompson thinks Lee offered him the job over others because he proved he was reliable by showing up any time he could play. Lee saw what Thompson had to offer and thought it would be a good fit.
Thompson accepted the residency and moved to Columbia from Cape Girardeau this summer.
“I had two months to get my footing and try and keep the ball rolling”, Thompson said.
This summer Thompson gained confidence in his position at Dirty Disco by prepping for the upcoming school year.
Thompson said Dirty Disco’s play style is mainly the same with the addition of playing newer music.
DJ’s Friznanco and Shreddie Mercury have played at Dirty Disco before, however, Thompson said they are playing more often. New DJ, Dr. Awkward, has had a great response since performing at Dirty Disco, according to Thompson.
When it comes to the new flyers, “Leroy and I share an eye for very minimal, clean looking flyers but when it came to fonts, I went crazy,” Thompson said. They are currently trying out new logos.
Also among Dirty Disco’s changes is a change of photographers. Dirty Disco’s former photographers moved on to other adventures, which left Thompson to find replacements. Right now photographers come and go, but Thompson is trying to find steady people to come capture memories every Friday night.
The sets and vibe are different from night to night as well.
For example, Monday nights are geek nights. On this night, come in and “geek out with some board games and watch whatever totally geek movie is playing that night,” Thompson said.
Tuesday nights are comedy nights with “The As Yet Unnamed Comedy Show”. On this night, people can come see some comedic talents for free. Wednesday nights are trivia nights with a cash prize. Thursday nights are karaoke nights, which Thompson describes as, “downtown Columbia’s biggest, best karaoke night.” Friday nights are the Dirty Disco dance parties where people 18 and older can come to a theme party and dance. Saturday nights feature live music from locals or the occasional dance party.
Even though Eastside Tavern has gone through some changes, Thompson said he believes it is still the Dirty Disco people have come to love.
Lee said last year in a Stephens Life article that Dirty Disco is popular among people who appreciate something different from the “generic dance club experience in Missouri.”
Lee also said Dirty Disco draws in a very diverse crowd and that he is “really proud to be a part of a night life where all kinds of different people can come together, have a great time and feel comfortable being themselves without being judged.
Thompson agreed with Lee’s comment saying there is still a “really open, happy crowd to be a part of, nobody judges, nobody takes themselves seriously, and nobody is having a bad time.”
Therefore, other than a few minor changes, Dirty Disco is still the unique place Stephens Life claimed it was last year. Thompson said, “There is a reason that our Friday nights get packed and sweaty. We really work hard at this every week to make sure that everyone leaves with a smile on their face and some solid memories.”
If you are tired of Columbia’s typical club scene and are looking for a different night life got to Eastside Tavern on Friday night to experience a Dirty Disco dance party. Be sure to check the website before you head out the door, dirtydiscodanceparty.com, so you know what the theme is. There is no cover for people 21 and older. Everyone else will be charged five dollars before 10 p.m. and $7 after.