Sparkling on Riverside

Ever-changing East Riverside welcomes the new Diamond Ballroom, just inaugurated this past weekend. Austin salseros have sorely missed Miguel’s La Bodega, gone from Colorado Street. The Diamond Ballroom is in part of the old Riverside 8 movie complex. The entrance is in back, behind the Joy East. Although beer, wine, and set-ups are available, this is not a bar. To keep the riffraff out, a dress code is strictly enforced and there’s a ten-dollar cover charge. And by the way, Manuel’s downtown is also now featuring Latin dance events with live music Fridays and Saturdays beginning at 11 p.m. The DJ music that’s around at various venues does not replace the scene at La Bodega. Copa has DJ music during the slow days of the week, but goes live on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, sometimes bringing in very hot bands direct from Puerto Rico, for which people come into Austin from all over Texas and sometimes from other states. The Diamond Ballroom opened with musica tropical, but it sounds as though there may be old-school Tejano bands to be booked as well. There will be grand array of music, including Yayo Castillo, Manuel “Cowboy” Donley, and Little Joe, on November 11, at any rate. The Diamond e-mail list promises to keep the interested informed.

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