Nero, Deadmau5, Kylie Minogue, and Timbaland
A crew of electronic artists and pop stars performed last night as part of a Grammy afterparty that was also a benefit for the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles Orthopedic Center. (Tickets started at $250.) But the cost didn't deter a well-heeled crowd from showing up to check a lineup primarily revolving around Deadmau5, who lost the Best Dance/Electronic Album Grammy to Skrillex earlier in the evening and and was sporting the same t-shirt and embroidered hat (“Your Hit Bums Me Out”) he wore on the award ceremony's red carpet.
11:15pm: Arrive to find that I have already missed Crookers (dammit). Nero is currently onstage making major noise. The British duo kinda sorta won a Grammy tonight, as Skrillex got an award for his remix of their song “Promises.”
11:25pm: Become distracted by the huge buffet spread in HoB's dining area. (Just me or does this venue kind of look like a Chili's?) I eat an ice cream sundae because I am here and they are free.
11:50pm: From inside, a female voice that definitely doesn't belong to either of the guys in Nero comes floating into the buffet area. (Electronic show + buffet spread is a weird and excellent combination). “Oh that's Kylie!” exclaims a British friend as all the British people in the vicinity go dashing out. I dash along.
12:00pm: Kylie looks fantastic as she writhes around stage pressing her body up to Deadma5' massive LED panel setup singing “Can't Get You Outta My Head.” Deadmau5 is up there too, but he's not dancing like that.
12:10pm: After two songs Kylie exits the stage and leaves Deadmau5 to do his Deadmau5 thing. He's not wearing his mau5 head at the moment, but that quickly changes.
12:20pm: So far the set has a decidedly metal rock edge as Deadmau5 drops his “Professional Griefers” and samples Rage's “Do What They Told Ya.”
12:35pm: Analyzing the crowd from above, I see: A guy who's roughly 65, who is also the person who is dancing the most. There are lots of pretty women wearing cocktail dresses and Mau5 ears. The VIP section is populated with people who are dressed like they came directly from the Grammys. It's not really the typical Deadmau5 demographic, and I can't really get a read on who all of these people are, so let's just say they're folks that like to contribute to charity and appreciate well-composed mainstream house music.
12:45pm: Per usual, Deadmau5' visual production is sophisticated and engaging, what with all the LED panels and Nintendo references.
12:50am: The place smells vaguely of weed. There is also an open bar and the aforementioned buffet. People definitely threw down a lot of cash for these tickets, but there are benefits if you like unlimited whiskey and ice cream. (Who me?)
1:00am: On the dance floor, the crowd is relatively thin and no one is dancing very hard. Maybe everyone is just exhausted from a long week of Grammy-related activities. Industry people chat about the events they've been attending all week and the general consensus is that Rick Springfield is the breakout star of Dave Grohl's Sound City doc.
1:15am: I make friends with another British person who tries explaining Kylie Minogue's level of fame in the UK in a way that I will understand. It basically boils down to, “In England, Kylie Minogue is like Jennifer Lopez.”
1:20am: Deadmau5 rounds out the set with “Closer” from his recent >Album Title Goes Here< and then his breakout hit “The Veldt” which finally gets people dancing like they mean it.
1:26am: The curtains close; Deadmau5 is done for the night.
1:35am: Then DJ duo Demetrius comes out and are immediately joined onstage by several chicks in full-on rave gear carrying hula hoops that light up.
1:40am: The DJs are joined onstage by Timbaland, who reveals that one of the guys in Demetrius is his son. Then he plays “SexyBack” which is great but doesn't pack the same punch as it did when Justin Timberlake (presumably) played it down the street at the Palladium a few hours ago.
1:46am: The crowd is thinning out. “It's a little late for L.A., huh?” Timbaland muses before encouraging everyone left on the floor to congregate at the front of the stage. “It's a nice little intimate crowd. I like that.” Then he does “Promiscuous Girl” which isn't the same without Nelly Furtado, but still sounds cool. The dancing raver girls are definitely into it.
1:55am: Back outside, the Sunset Strip on Grammy night is a barrage of black Escalades and groups of impeccably-dressed people clustered outside of the Mondrian. “Hey where's the Body Shop?” a dude walking down the street asks me, and I point him towards the strip club.
2:10am: There is an ambulance and fire truck at the Chateau Marmont and a horde of paparazzi outside as limousines maneuver down Sunset and into the night. I drive past the Body Shop and realize that I pointed the dude in the wrong direction. Sorry guy.
Random Notebook Dump: Using Shazam at concerts only ever works at electronic shows.
Overheard in the Crowd: “Rick Springfield is a sweetheart.”