“The Range” in Slab City
As I alluded to in the previous post, Slab City features a “nightclub” made by some of the residents. “The Range” boasts a stage positioned between a bus and an RV, a wooden bar, and numerous couches and chairs for seating. The stage lighting is created from large Christmas lights and buckets.
I visited The Range on a Saturday night during a local talent show. I was completely surprised by the talent. Many single acts performed, along with newly formed and established bands. If a performer was not up to par, they were quickly booed off the stage and replaced with a new act. However, this only happened once.
While the acts played covers and original music, the audience either took in the scene from dilapidated couches you would normally expect to see sitting next to a garbage dump or from the makeshift dance floor. As the night progressed, those same cushion-less, floral couches became resting spots for those who over-indulged. The whole notion of normalcy soon became much more lenient. Weird things seemed normal, while outlandishly unbelievable things became just slightly odd. Clothing became optional, and couples did not shy away from PDA. Still, the acts kept on playing. I made my way back to camp relatively early, but many stayed until morning. When I awoke, I could still see people dispersing from the venue to haphazardly stumble their way back across the desert to their respective campsites or the nearest bush.