Ann Arbor’s 'The Bang!' announces final dance party, 'The Bang! Must Die'

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DOUG COOMBE
  • Doug Coombe

After 18 years, Ann Arbor's monthly mixtape dance party, The Bang!, is finally calling it quits.

Perhaps it is time. As a press release announcing the party's final installment says, "Countless couples have met at a Bang!, some spawning what are known as 'Bang! Babies.'" The offspring of a hypothetical couple who met at the first party would be old enough to go to The Bang! now.

The party was the brainchild of artists Jason Gibner and Jeremy Wheeler, who threw the first Bang! at the Halfway Inn, aka "the Halfass," a music venue run by a student-run nonprofit in the basement of U of M’s East Quad. After three parties it was shut down and moved to the Blind Pig, where it earned a following for its costume-themed nights, like the 1980s workout-themed "Physical Bang!", the Valentine's Day-themed Love Bang!, Space Bang!, Tiki Bang!, and even Ninja Bang!

It was also beloved for its eclectic, mixtape-inspired, genre-spanning playlists — created on actual cassette tapes — with tracks ranging from rock 'n' roll classics, indie rock, and electro-pop, with Squeeze's "Bang Bang" as an unofficial theme song.

The final Bang! party — the Halloween-themed "The Bang! Must Die" — is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Blind Pig, 208 S. 1st St., Ann Arbor. Cover is $8, or $11 for those under 21.

“The Bang! is 18," Gibner and Wheeler said in a press release. "Time to move out of the house and get its own job."

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