Focused and on a mission. Probably the most well thought out pure dance club in the city. Lounge and VIP areas are cushly inviting, and the lighting is subdued but lush, lending a warm glow to the overriding energy of the space. The tunes are loud and thumping in true club style, and the multitude of friendly, hiply dressed patrons take advantage of it all on the well positioned dance floor.
OP anyone? No? That's ok, since they don't have it. What they do have is everything else, which we suppose is a decent compromise. You wont find a multitude of exotic mixers or martinis on the lineup at Rain, but what you will find is all of your favorite liquors and beers served up quickly and for a reasonable hit to the pocket book. Speed is definately a noted and welcome feature of the bar, as are the strong mixers and above average rail quality. The metros are the best we've had in Milwaukee, and the premium liquors (Grey Goose, etc) are a bit pricey but generously poured. If you're a Tequila fan, you'll find a better selection than the standard Cuervo. Buy a few rounds and you'll probably find yourself doing a shot with a member of the outgoing bar staff, on the house.
Rain has, get this, SIX regular DJs in it's standard lineup. Most, like DJ Whizzkid, with impressive pedigrees spanning the larger and more seasoned venues in Chicago and New York. Catch it at the right time, and Rain will serve you some of the hardest big city sound you can handle, served up on a sound system of huge acoustical deliciousness. Sets on the weekend are a good mix of House and varied electronica, with a healthy dose of pure hip hop fun. We've been impressed at how well the sets are engineered - the right number of pulsing, all out energy grooves, followed at exactly the right time by a breakbeat or downtempo number with a more true techno-ish feel. Hat's off to the DJs.
This is one of only a very, very few clubs in the city where we're consistently approached by people throughout the night. In English, the people are very friendly and outgoing. This applies to the staff as well, who have always been courteous and acted like real people instead of employees. Real people with, gasp! a sense of humor! Guys take note: The girls are hot. And there's a lot of them. This is definately a good place to come meet people if you can handle yourself in a conversation with three or four ladies at some point before the liquid courage turns your words to slush. Ladies take note: The guys are friendly, and the, um...lounge lizard factor seems to be well below acceptable levels. We've never had a problem just grabbing the nearest person when a hot track starts booming and hightailing it to the dance floor. Why? Because dancing is the order of the evening, and everyone seems to spend most of their time doing it. Come early, stay late, and dance, dance, dance.
One of our favorite things about Rain is the lighting. Just like looking in a mirror under flourescent lights will pretty much give every living soul on earth a terrible complexion, a great lighting job can turn even the most dubious of spaces into the magical land of Oz. And dubious Rain is not. Couple the already sumptuous decor and furnishing with a well installed and tuned lighting system, and the result is...well, good. Very good. Like walking into a place where nothing matters except the beat, the drink, and the cutie across the room. Weekend at it's best. Our only beef: The general seating over near the door could be a little more plush. But, with the great job Rain does setting the mood, and all of the people who are coming to take part, you're going to be on the dance floor all night anyway, so who cares?
What to wear:
While a snapshot of the patrons at a trendy dance club can often look like a gothic funeral from all the black, the atmosphere at Rain lends itself well to color, and dancers respond in kind. Ladies, colorful tops with slim dark pants work well here, though we've seen plenty of shimmery skirts and the always passable midriff black. Guys, check out the Central Park Jean from Kenneth Cole. Thin, dark denim cut low at the waist and large at the ankle. The takehome message is: Sleek and sexy, but you don't have to go posh. Be comfortable, because you're going to want to dance. A lot. Please leave the sneakers at home. And you probably won't get in with a hat, so trim and comb the hair. You also won't be needing the 40 pound crucifix necklace to enjoy the evening here.
When to go:
Mondays are a popular Service Industy Night (SIN, how clever) and ladies night combo. Weekends are the best with Fridays being a better night in our experience. You pretty much can't go wrong, though, so stop by whenever the spirit moves you.