When we got out of the bus, our driver pointed us in the direction of the Margaritaville and we were on our way. The line snaked out of the club midway down the block, full of people in various shades of “Aloha” tourist apparel and thot-couture. Outside of Margaritaville, there was a number of street vendors that formed a sort of bazaar market featuring a range of goods from jewelry, paintings, and the like. The air was a smoky, savory, and salty swirl of jerk chicken on the many grills of the various street vendors and the nearby ocean. This all seemed to be a common, yet welcomed experience, not all too different from a place like Frenchmen Street back in New Orleans.
My base perception of Margaritaville was that it was a sordid fusion of Applebee’s and a Daiquiri Shop, featuring none of the strength of either establishment. It’s where your aunt goes to feel sassy over marginally spiked drinks, randomly grinding on things while your uncle buries his head into his cobb salad. Once inside, I quickly realized that this Margaritaville wasn’t like any of the others that I had visited. The music was blasting Pitbull or something, incomprehensible yet catchy, neats vibrating through my shoulders. I felt myself walking in slowly, like a 90s BadBoy video, the lasers and lights, smoke and…smoke. There was a stage where a DJ was spinning and hyping the club up, deftly switching between various tunes and what I later found out was some tracks from up-and-coming locals as well. It was like the dance scene in The Matrix Reloaded. Just a mass of bodies looking like rhythmic, sweaty clay-doh. I eventually made my way over to the bar on the far end of the 1st level to grab a Red Stripe. Beer in hand, the night could begin…er…continue. The Margaritaville Montego Bay experience was every single club experience I’ve ever had: grab drinks, dance (badly) with strangers, get annoyed that the DJ has no sense of flow, gain a number, lose a number, lose friends, find friends, become very ready to go, marginally escape fighting, and then somehow wake up in my bed hungover the next morning. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.