Halloween at the HARD Haunted Mansion brought out the big guns for L.A.'s all-age night walkers and candy ravers. The sold-out event was held at the historic Shrine Auditorium, a landmark event venue and home to many of Hollywood's Emmy and Grammy award shows. But last night the HARD dance promoters threw down one of the best Halloween parties in L.A. this year, a piercing electro-charged DJ dance party with sets from Justice, Basement Jaxx, Soulwax, Buraka Som Sistema, Steve Aoki, Major Lazer, and more. Even the smog was neon.
Tens of thousands of costumed hardcore kids offering glowstick massages to collective neon retinas were all waiting for the surprise 1:15 a.m. special guest, which turned out to be an epic set from Belgium's Soulwax. Even Apl.de.Ap of the Black Eyed Peas made the secret backstage appearance, dressed in costume, as himself.
"I FEEL BAD FOR THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW WHAT'S UP!!!" screamed one happy neon sunflower in a spandex onesie.
The probability for a quick turn for the worse was high, and an easy route. Walking the crowd and against the indoor walls, the sight of collapsed ragdolls (not in costume that way) was as common as lips pursed around pacifiers. Here's the rub -- there were too many psychedelics and feel-good narcotics to go around despite the heavy security, not enough water, and too many kids to report, "This is my first rave!" If more booze or pot, there would probably not have so many piling up and quietly convulsing, but hey, perhaps it's how we learn.
Despite the fallen ones, the energy was high. Really high.
The crowd reading and chanting the words on the screen at the HARD stage outside was probably the closest we've been to the Third Reich, with Justice glowing a giant oversized crucifix over the DJ booth. From the back it was all you could see.
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The "why can't we be friend-ly" glowstick party closed the gates just after 4 a.m., letting loose the masses of children to the night.