January 31, 2014
Better than: Bananarama
The last time Dada Life played at Avalon, they caused a riot. Literally. The Swedish electro house duo's 2010 set the Hollywood venue was shut down by police in riot gear after a squirrely crowd trying to get into the over capacity club threw rocks, bottles and garbage at the LAPD.
On Friday night, there was once again a lot of shit flying through the air at Avalon – but it was feathers, inflatable bananas and sprays of champagne. It was in the spirit of celebration as Dada Life returned to play the fifth anniversary party of Control, the club's Friday night progressive EDM event.
There was a lot to celebrate. Control has, after all, lasted half a decade, which is like eight hundred years in the flash in the pan world of L.A. clubland. Control has hosted more than 250 events in the last five years, and has helped shepherd the rise of now megastar DJs including Dillon Francis and Skrillex, who used to play the side stage at Control for fifty bucks a night.
Dada Life was a good choice for the party, as they are the poster boys for modern EDM at its loudest, most aggressive, most visceral and fun. The DJs – Olle Corneer and Stefan Engblom – maintain an absurdist humor as manifest by their ridiculous press photos and signature symbology: lewd bananas and bottles of champagne. A ton of people in the crowd dressed up as bananas, and the fruit itself adorned the DJ booth.
The set began at midnight. From the first beat, the highly animated DJs had the crowd going batshit as they blasted ears with their steamroller bass. It's not intellectual music, and it's not designed to be. These are sounds that hit you in the gut and take you out of your head. It's primal thrill ride music, and it's most fun to hear these huge sounds with other people, a chance to momentarily feel a greater sense of the human connection.
That's why, we suspect, this music will last. A lot of people speculate the EDM bubble will burst, but Friday night, the two thousand people raging on the dance floor suggested that it remains relevant and is not going away anytime soon.
The visual show projected on the massive LED panel behind the DJs featured mostly clever animations and messages including “YOU WERE BORN TO RAGE.” Corneer echoed these sentiments near the end of the set while standing on top of the DJ booth, spraying the audience with Veuve Clicquot and hoisting an inflatable banana the size of a Fiat into the crowd. (Someone popped it.) There was smoke, there were lasers, there was confetti, and there were garbage bags full of pillows that were thrown into the crowd and torn open during a massive pillow fight. It all epitomized one of Dada Life's biggest hits, “Happy Violence,” which they worked into the set along with their other big jams “Rolling Stones T-Shirt” and “Kick Out the Epic Motherf*cker.” None of it was subtle.
An advantage of Avalon is that, although they stop serving booze at 2 am, they stay open until the early hours of the morning. After Dada Life wrapped their set around two, Control co-founder Chris White – performing under his DJ name Whiiite – took over the decks and dropped a trap/bass set that was complimented by imagery from his own comic book series. The crowd on the dance floor had barely thinned, and people were still arriving at 3 am.
Random notebook dump: “These poor naked cocktail waitresses.”
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