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Photo by Vishal Malhotra.

Welcome back to the part of the summer that makes me question why I ever moved a thousand miles closer to the equator. Last week, I elected to postpone celebrating my 40th year on this planet until my half-birthday rolls around in January. I figure that if you actually love your friends, you don’t ask them to put on nice clothes and sweat in a large, congealed mass of humanity. If you have only frenemies, plan a July party on a shade-free patio and draw penises on the faces of whoever passes out from heatstroke first. 

On Friday evening, I left my heavily air-conditioned home to meet friends at one of my usual haunts, Lola’s Trailer Park (2735 W 5th St, 817-759-9100). When all the doors are shut, it’s very cool inside the building, even in summer. But then, around 7pm, when it was still blisteringly hot outside, someone decided it was the right time to open all the doors and windows. The heat came whooshing in as if Lucifer himself had some bad chili and ripped one in our faces. Our whole table of 12 immediately called for our tabs before we were welded into the metal chairs.

I would love to stay indoors and not see anyone until October, but that isn’t exactly realistic. So there have to be places where a whiskey and “rocks” won’t instantly become a melted river. For me, a perfect summer spot has very few, if any, windows. The indoors must be nonsmoking, because I’m tired of forking over money to support the true gender inequality that is dry-cleaning bills for nice women’s clothing. The place should be open seven days a week, do interesting stuff before midnight, and have a good happy hour. Bonus points for games, easy parking, and a location that does not make my Lyft bill $60 to get home. 

Luckily, a hodgepodge of local bar and music folk clearly had clairvoyance for my bitchy list of wants and needs, and they invented Main-At-South-Side. MASS opened a few months back in the space once occupied by El Remy Nightclub and sports a stage at one end, a well-stocked long bar running down the side of the room, and 20-foot-high ceilings. It’s dark, cool, smoke-free, and you’re surrounded by four black walls in a windowless room. Is downtown Fort Worth under attack by Godzilla at this very moment? You wouldn’t know, nor would you care. 

In previous Last Calls, I have thrown a solid whine and cheese party for the lack of live music that goes down before the witching hour. MASS puts its headliners on no later than 11pm, which is a bonus for remembering what the band you came to see actually sounds like. 

Even better, this month MASS started hosting Wayhomer Wednesdays, a live music happy hour planned by locally managed music site The Synaptic Empire. From 6 to 8pm for a scant $3, you can check out popular local live acts and be home before the streetlights turn on. VVOES will bring its power pop to your ears tonight. The following Wednesday, self-dubbed “alcohol-fused garage rockers” Huffer will rock the early evening MASS patrons. 

If you love live music, your beauty sleep, and not frying outside, be sure to check out Wayhomer Wednesdays. Hopefully, it will inspire MASS to make this a part of regularly scheduled programming at the venue beyond just the July dates. Grab a comfy barstool and a frosty beverage any day of the week to keep it cool at this new hotspot.

MASS, 1002 S Main St, FW. 682-707-7774.

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