If you’re doing things correctly and nonessential to society’s functions at present, you’re under self quarantine and will be for several weeks. You miss your friends. You may be bored. You’re worried and you’re anxious. That’s understandable, and that’s fine. We’re all there.
However, if you’re of a specific subset of Egan’s regular from, say, 2009–2019, you may miss author, famed social media personality, track jack expert, and donut connoisseur Brian Oliu’s themed dance parties. They were the sort of warmhearted joy you could talk about with your mom the next day (almost). That’s assuming that you weren’t hungover so badly that you couldn’t form words.
Brian Oliu’s feel-good brand of energy-slash-dance party combined the best of Egan’s regulars with the sheer drunkenness one could only find in a Hunter S. Thompson work. The place was packed every time. They were especially bombastic during football season. (Egan’s is in Tuscloosa, the college football capital of the world.) Even non-dancers, i.e. me, would find bliss there: stand in the corner with a this-feeling-will-never-end smile on your face and soak in the weekend, the freedom, the vastness of this wondrous and cheerful universe; if one could bottle the experience, let’s be honest, it would stink like hell. That’s Egan’s for you. But it would take care of any woes, at least for those few hours.
Which brings me to the replacement. Since the pandemic began keeping more and more of us indoors, Oliu, ever the commander of good cheer, began hosting his dance parties on his Instagram Live feed from his garage, designed to perfection to capture the Egan’s of yore long before the takeover began from Trumpers and others who like to strip people of governmental protections. It’s ideal. Of particular note is how his garage features the same lights once found in the infamous smokey bar, illuminating just enough of a person’s face to make out who they are or not. The very pictures that once hung on Egan’s walls now adorn his carport. You may find yourself wrapped with brothers in arms in those images as he pans the room with his moves. You’ll hear your favorite song. You’ll want to get up and shake it. Some of you will get up and shake it. It’s a pure (half) shot of nostalgia, sure, but it’s exactly what we need while trapped in the house.
Take it from me, the guy who wouldn’t dance to save his own mother, it’s worth an evening visit or three.
You can find Brian Oliu’s dance parties in the evenings on his Instagram: @beoliu