The lines were shorter, but somehow the crowd still packed the bar from wall to wall. The thumping beats of bops like The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” or Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” shook the room, and screams from the dance floor confirmed that everyone knew the lyrics and would happily shout along.
Some people would don plaid skirts, neon colors, and butterfly clips, though those were usually just first-years. But the best parts were always the free cover charge and the cheaper drinks, and the knowledge going in that you’d know every note of every song played that night.
This was ’90s Night at Brick Street.
I personally never went — I wasn’t a big bars person my first year at Miami, and it actually took me months to even step foot in Brick — but I walked by ’90s Night many a time while on my way to get a late-night cookie, and the place was always hopping.
I remember my first-year roommate carefully laying out her yellow plaid skirt and black top on a Tuesday evening, doing her hair in some special way to fit the decade’s theme. My current roommates also loved it — their Snapchat stories at the time proved as such.
It made sense that when we first went Uptown two weeks ago after arriving in Oxford early for band camp, my friends’ faces fell after spotting the new marquee at Brick.
It listed a somewhat-familiar, somewhat-new lineup: Karaoke Night on Mondays, Country Night on Wednesdays … and, instead of the beloved ’90s Night, “TikTok Tuesdays.”
The change from ’90s Night to TikTok Tuesday is brand new this semester; it’s so new, in fact, that Brick’s website and answering machine both still list Tuesday’s theme as ’90s Night.
Campus is getting used to the change, too — on social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and YikYak. My friends are personally horrified, and I recall one of them exclaiming loudly after first seeing the new marquee: “I hope that’s not permanent!”
Unfortunately for fans of ’90s Night, it seems to be so. TikTok Tuesday isn’t the only new change being brought to the High Street bar either; passersby Uptown may have already noticed the newly opened Sky Deck along the east side on Poplar Street, and there’s that brand-new requirement of showing your COVID vaccine card (or at least a test showing you don’t have COVID) at the door to even get inside in the first place.
All of this may seem strange to upperclassmen — mostly seniors, because they’re the ones who had a “normal” Brick for at least a full year back in 2018-2019 — but to me, at least, it seems to be Brick’s way of ushering itself into the future.
After all, we certainly think the ’90s are cool now, but that’ll change, as things always do. There were bound to be differences in Oxford when we all came back after more than a year of a lackluster nightlife, and ’90s Night just happens to be one of those casualties.
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It sucks, but we’ll get used to it.
With that being said, it’s my personal opinion that TikTok Tuesday might not be around for long. Vine was only around for four years before it got shut down, and though TikTok boomed during the pandemic, I’m already starting to see its decline. Many of my friends don’t even have the app on their phones anymore.
The music of TikTok isn’t always unique to the app — unless Brick is planning on playing songs like “Bored in the House” by Tyga and Curtis Roach, bops that were actually made on TikTok, they’ll be mostly serving up songs that are currently already hot.
Take “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” by Lil Nas X or literally any Olivia Rodrigo song, for example. Released fairly recently, these tunes by popular artists would have likely made it onto your favorite pop radio station anyway, even without the help of TikTok. These are, however, absolute bops that I wouldn’t be surprised to hear at TikTok Tuesday, simply because they’ve blown up on the app.
I, personally, can’t wait to (hopefully) scream-sing the lyrics to “Deja Vu” along with hundreds of my closest strangers on that weirdly sticky Brick floor.
So get ready for Doja Cat, The Kid LAROI and “Astronaut in the Ocean” to dominate the dance floor at Brick. After all, that seems to be what your typical Tuesday night at Oxford’s most stereotypical late-night bar will be looking like for the foreseeable future.