As we navigated the velvet ropes

leading into Towson's Torrent Night Club (512 York Road, [443] 687-0284,

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), we were greeted by an ambiance reminiscent of our nightlife forays in Madrid. The space-once home to the Recher Theatre, the suburb's celebrated live-rock concert venue-has all the trappings of an upscale European club: pounding electronic beats, swanky black leather VIP couches cordoned off from the plebeians, and a large silver disco ball suspended above the dancefloor. The far-reaching room, capped off by an immense neon-lit DJ booth which covers the back wall, was illuminated by an alien-blue glow, the color of which perfectly matched the blue of the bartender-recommended (and CP-approved) Blue Hawaiian cocktail ($7), a concoction of Blue Curaçao, pineapple, and Malibu Rum. Torrent has all the ingredients for a high-end club experience, except the spirit. Fifteen dollars buys entrance to the club and the night's performer-that evening, DJ Tom Swoon, a Polish-born mixer who's toured with greats such as DJ Avicii, responsible for the 2011 pop-crossover hit "Levels." With that resume, we expected an engaging show, but at 11:30 p.m. we were forced to start the party with the only other soul on the dancefloor. An hour and a half later, the large crowd of 20-something jeans-and-sneakers-sporting patrons were still nursing their drinks by the bar, a noticeable distance from the dancefloor and the DJ booth-problematic since, theoretically, you're paying to get in to Torrent to see the DJ. Swoon didn't put on much of a show, never addressing the audience or even making eye contact. His remix-heavy stylings (Ellie Goulding, Rihanna, Pharrell) were harder to cut a rug to than those played at the clubs we frequent, but we chalked up the empty floor to the complacent Towson rank and file rather than Swoon's spinning. Even after we switched from Blue Hawaiians to Lemon Drops (part of a $3-5 weekly drink special), we felt Torrent couldn't offer anything we hadn't already seen that night, and we left thinking our $15 might have been spent better elsewhere. Maybe we'll go back when we can afford the "Tigers on Fire" package (a bottle of Fireball and 10 cans of energy drink), which might succeed in driving some clubgoers to the dancefloor-or maybe not.

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