Crybaby, a new nightclub in Oakland, opens its doors with a promising lineup of shows

This weekend marks the official opening of crybabya new 400-seat nightclub located in the old Uptown Nightclub building in Oakland — and from its initial lineup of shows, the 21-plus venue looks set to establish itself as a promising new independent venue in the Bay Area .

Crybaby’s official opening arrives on March 4, coinciding with the region’s popular First Fridays, featuring DJs Shortkut, D-Sharp and Lady Ryan. Saturday, March 5 is electro-funk revivalist Dam-Funk, and Sunday, March 6, it’s a hardcore bill topped by Trash Talk.

Similar diversity and gender agnosticism run through the club’s schedule through April. Upcoming shows include touring hip-hop groups like Armand Hammer and Bbymutha, British footwork/jungle DJ Sherelle, Chilean reggaeton artist Tomasa Del Real, SoCal hardcore band Xibalba and the return of the night. Local lowrider-soul DJ Suavecito Souldies.

Dam-Funk plays Crybaby’s opening weekend on Saturday, March 5. (J3)

It’s a welcome renewal not just for the Uptown site, which closed due to pandemic losses in 2020, but for the landscape of independently run sites in the Bay Area. Over the past five years, large live music entities like Live Nation and Goldenvoice have taken over shrinking concert spaces in the Bay Area, and independent venues like Slim’s have closed.

Crybaby’s founders – Dominic Green, Jesse Tittsworth, Miles Palliser and Conrad Loebl – aren’t going for an “ultralounge” format like the one that replaced Slim’s. Rather, they want “a nightclub without social barriers”, as Billboard reported in January. “I felt like a lot was lost, especially in some places here in Oakland,” Green told the magazine.

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