Avicii - Vanguard - 2/7/13
Points if you can spot Tara Reid
Avicii played at the grand reopening of Vanguard in Hollywood last night. But Vanguard isn't a regular club. It's a MEGA CLUB. And Avicii isn't a regular DJ. He's a MEGA DJ. So it wasn't a regular night out. It was a MEGA NIGHT OUT. There were glowing bottles of vodka! And fist pumps! Dancing girls! Short skirts! Glowsticks!
See also: Our interview with Avicii
So many glowsticks. All thrown in celebration of the fact that we are young and sexy and out on a Thursday night dancing with each other as the boy king of mainstream EDM throws down pop-oriented house music from his perch. And also because Vanguard is now run by something called sbe Entertainment Group and because Avicii was nominated for a Grammy.
12:04am: This being a massive Hollywood dance club hedonism pit, Red Bull is being hauled out by the case and girls in negligee are carrying oversized bottles of Grey Goose to various tables. The bottles are glowing because that's what happens on Mega Nights Out.
12:16am: The room is packed. Vanguard doesn't look all that different from how it used to look except that there's some art on the walls now and risers around the perimeter of the room for VIP-types to post up on. It looks like Supperclub, basically. Lots of chicks writhing around dancing.
12:20am: Out in the crowd, however, most everyone looks slightly bored, except for a few guys doing blue steel and getting sweaty in their button ups.
12:30am: The opening DJ duo (sorry openers I don't know your name) are onstage doing a decent job of getting the crowd warmed up. "Do you like these guys? I ask a guy standing next to me. "I came for Avicii," he says. "Duh."
12:40am: Famous club-going person Tara Reid is here. Night at the Roxbury-type dude guys take crappy pictures of her with their phones as she walks by.
12:47am: FYI, when you buy a bottle of champagne here, the bottle, besides lighting up, is also brought to you by enthusiastic almost-naked women.
1:00am: Okay it's one in the morning, where's Avicii.
1:03am: Tara Reid is closing in on the DJ booth.
1:07am: "Holy shit you must be so hot!" a drop dead gorgeous chick in a tight, short black dress yells at me. She proceeds to rip off my coat and hat, adjusts my shirt to expose one shoulder and ties the bottom of it in a knot so that my midriff is exposed. She motions for me to bend over and shake around my hair. And I do. I will do whatever this beautiful women tells me to. (Is this what it's like to be a dude?)
When my hair is properly tossed beautiful girl kisses me hard on the lips and hands me a glowstick. "Now dance!" yells my clubland Fairy Godmother. I am Cinderella. I am every nerd girl ever transformed into less a clothed version of themselves in every high school movie ever made. I'm not Josie Grossie anymore!
1:12am: Tara has reached the DJ booth.
1:15am: Seriously though is Avicii coming? Does he know that we're all here, waiting for him?
1:18am: Beautiful girl and I dance.
1:20am: AVICII IS HERE! Finally for fucks sake. People cheer. Avicii smiles. It is on.
1:24am: An eager guy in a suitcoat sidles up to me. "What's your name?" I tell him my name. "Do you want a drink?" I shake my head. "Do you want some money?" Holy shit does this guy think I'm a prostitute? Is it because I look like Olivia Newton John at the end of Grease right now?
1:40am: There seems to be some sort of hose spraying champagne in the air. Mega-clubs are crazy!
This is what a mega club party looks like
1:54am: I totally dig Avicii though. It's just pure, feel good mainstream EDM pop outfitted with big beats and mad synth. It's not exactly mindless music, it's just...music that is more about dancing than thinking.
2:00am: Why is everyone smoking? Is it legal to smoke in here?
2:05am: Scanning the room, the person currently dancing the hardest...is Avicii. Apparently he ended up in the hospital last year because he was drinking too much, but he looks pretty fresh right now with his backwards baseball cap and baby face. He sings along to every song. Like, really passionately.
2:10am: A security guard plucks a cigarette from a girl's mouth. Apparently it is not actually legal to smoke in here.
2:13am: It's clear why people love this stuff though. This is pure top 40 club joy. It's Saturday night in the Sahara tent at Coachella and you're peaking on e music. It's the clarion call of the youth movement. It's everything! It's nothing! It's 2am in Hollywood on a school night!
2:15am: Avicii drops signature sample "Baba O'Reilly." "Don't cry. It's only teenage wasteland" we all sing. And something about that feels very true.
2:22am: And then he plays his hit "Fade Into Darkness."
2:30am: This is a crazy party so there is fake smoke and confetti! Glowsticks are flying! Thousands of cocktail napkins are thrown in the air! A Vanguard employee throws garbage bags full of glowsticks out into the crowd. What a scene! What a mess! Are these glowsticks recyclable?
3:03am: The crowd cheers loudest when Avicii drops Swedish House Mafia's "Don't You Worry Child." This song is pure big room EDM magic. I dance with a cute guy that is way too young for me, and we both sing along at the top of our lungs.
3:16am: Seriously though man, just play "Le7els" so we can get going. Don't people have to work in the morning?
3:20am: I go to the bathroom and of course that's when he plays "Le7els."
3:35am: Back out on the dance floor, the crowd is thinning out. Avicii plays one more song and then the lights come up and I realize that's it's 3:30 in the morning and I am in Hollywood standing in a pile of garbage surrounded by people making out with each other. Home. Now. Go.
Random notebook dump: But Avicii can smoke in here.
Overheard in the crowd: "We're going to an afterparty...at the ROOSEVELT!"
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.