Zedd - Dim Mak Sunday - 11-27-11
Dim Mak Sundays
Better than... bottle service.
Last summer, Zedd hit L.A. to warm up the crowd when Deadmau5's Meowingtons Hax tour hit the Palladium for a few sold-out nights. He returned to the city last night as a headliner for his own mini tour, supporting the single "Stars Come Out," which came out on Steve Aoki's Dim Mak imprint last week.
The 22-year-old German producer is one of the top electronic dance music artists to watch right now. Earlier this year, his remix of the theme video game classic The Legend of Zelda became a dance floor sensation. The same can be said for tracks like "Dovregubben" and "Shave It," the latter released through Skrillex's label, OWSLA. It's likely that "Stars Come Out," a progressive house-leaning tune with vocals from singer Heather Bright, will do the same thing.
Considering that this was the launch of several Southern California dates, Zedd's gig last night at Dim Mak Sundays at Drai's was an understated event. The producer's relationship to Dim Mak made this party an obvious choice for a gig, but it still seemed like a strange venue for the young, increasingly popular figure on the EDM scene.
Drai's is a posh, indoor/outdoor hipster venue on top of the W Hotel. There's a lot of space, but most of that is used for table service. There are cabanas where party-goers can watch TV poolside. The indoor portion of the venue is filled with ample booths frequently filled with large parties sharing bottles of alcohol. The club caters to an upscale crowd: girls in skintight minidresses and huge wedge sandals, guys who throw on a blazer or button-down shirt with jeans. Sometimes it was hard to tell if people were there for Zedd or for the bottle service.
This was a sharp contrast to when Zedd opened for Deadmau5. At the Palladium show, the producer played very early, but still drew a good-sized crowd. His audience then was young -- many far too young to get into a 21+ venue -- neon-clad and ready for the dance floor. At Drai's there is hardly a dance floor. It's just a small space that stands between the club entrance and the primo booths.
The man behind Dim Mak, Steve Aoki, made a brief appearance at the club. Surrounded by a large entourage, he dropped a dubstep remix that he said he had just finished. After spinning just one song, he introduced Zedd. The crowd screamed. Cameras waved in the air. It was clear that there were Zedd fans in the house.
Like many other current dance music performers, Zedd plays with a laptop, mixing his own tracks with remixes and bits and pieces of other songs. He dropped "Shave It" early in the set and the audience roared. His remix of Swedish House Mafia's hit, "Save the World," was another crowdpleaser. The best response, though, was for "Stars Come Out." Heather Bright joined Zedd on stage for this song. Dressed in Hello Kitty gear, she shimmied and flailed above the booth seats.
Ultimately, Zedd is a party-rocker. He plays the hits, whether they are his own or others. The Justice vs. Simian anthem, "We Are Your Friends," made an appearance, as did Major Lazer's ubiquitous club track "Pon de Floor."
Zedd's Legend of Zelda remix didn't have the same impact that it did when he opened for Deadmau5 -- and, pretty much every other time I've heard it. Usually, this song prompts really loud screams and a sea of people testing out their best video game-styled dance moves.
When the producer dropped it at Drai's quite late in his set, however, it looked like a good chunk of the crowd was growing tired and preparing to leave. People danced, but it wasn't the kind of gushing I've seen with younger crowds. He mixed in bits of Daft Punk's epic party jam "One More Time" after that, but even that didn't elicit much of a response. He closed with a remix of this year's runaway hit, Skrillex's single "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites," shortly after 2 a.m.
Zedd plays again on Tuesday night at Dim Mak Studios. His next show should make for a better crowd, as it's 18+ and the cover charge is relatively low ($10 if you're under 21, $5 if you're old enough to drink). Heather Bright is also set to appear on Tuesday.
The crowd: Hollywood, but not famous Hollywood.
Personal bias: I'm not big on upscale Hollywood clubs, and tend to prefer seeing the new school EDM artists at 18+ venues.
Random Notebook Dump: The look of the go go dancers are best described as Black Swan prom.
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