Pittsburgh dance party expands with New Year's Eve debut at Roxian Theatre | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh dance party expands with New Year's Eve debut at Roxian Theatre

click to enlarge A Black DJ leans over his setup as people dance around him.
CP Photo: Amanda Waltz
Slappers N Bangers

It’s no secret that hip hop, rap, and R&B are underrepresented genres in the Pittsburgh music scene. But however much it’s the case now, it was even more so in 2015. So when local venues told DJs at the time not to play too much rap, Neal Dudash, aka NFD, reached out to Arie Cole with an idea.

“NFD pitched a party to me that would literally be too much rap," says Cole. “It reminded me of the basement parties I grew up with.”

Today, that party, titled Slappers N Bangers, has become a monthly occurrence, sharing trap, hip hop, and R&B with eager ears at Spirit, Brillobox, Trace Brewing, Thunderbird Music Hall, and Casa Brasil.

And this New Year’s Eve, the dance event takes place at its biggest venue yet: Roxian Theatre.

“It’s an exciting step for us. It gives us a chance to do some bigger things than what we’ve been limited to before,” says Dudash. “When we started out one of the goals was to eventually become a staple of Pittsburgh nightlife like a lot of the other events we came up going to. I think we have definitely achieved that and it’s been fun to watch it happen.”

click to enlarge A white DJ wearing a ballcap and sunglasses turns a knob on his setup
CP Photo: Amanda Waltz
Slappers N Bangers

Femi, another local DJ, will join Dudash and Cole during the New Year’s Eve show, with added visuals via a large LED wall controlled by local artist Terry Boyd, aka Nox.

“Expect a show,” says Cole. “People come to Slappers N Bangers to dance until they sweat, and that's what we give them. We’re working to make this event our biggest.”

For those who have yet to attend a Slappers N Bangers event, Dudash describes the party as “a little more intimate and exciting” than others. “There’s an energy that makes it feel closer to a house party than a club,” he says.

But whether attendees are Slappers N Bangers veterans or newbies, Dudash and Cole aim for every party-goer to simply have a good time and feel as though they can be themselves.

“There’s no party like Slappers N Bangers, and if it's your first time, you’ll feel that,” says Cole.

After Roxian, Dudash and Cole hope to, not only perform at local venues like Mr. Smalls Theatre and Stage AE but also to take Slappers N Bangers on the road.

“We definitely want to see what Slappers N Bangers could look like in places outside of Pittsburgh,” says Dudash. “Each year I’m thankful that we get to do this event and grow it bigger and better. I think the goal is to keep doing that.”


Slappers N Bangers. 9 p.m. Sat., Dec. 31. Roxian Theatre. 425 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. $18-78. 21 and over. instagram.com/slappersnbangers

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