KCRW Masquerade Ball

The Legendary Park Plaza


Last night, several thousand people turned out for KCRW's annual Masquerade Ball, held once again in the Westlake art deco monolith, the Legendary Park Plaza.

While a Quite Adult affair, it was not stuffy, and the costumes worn by the crowd were first rate. Jesus and a woman dressed like an extra from LIttle House on the Prairie made out heavily in one corner of the room, while a man dressed as a squirrel kept asking everyone on the dance floor to hold his nuts.

Music included Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Har Mar Superstar, The Lions, and Glasser, whose performance sounded a lot like a convincing Bjork impression. DJs included TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek and the KCRW DJ crew in full effect.

While the bands and DJs were posted up throughout the building, the real action was in the second floor ballroom, where the lineup here featured KCRW's Mario Cotto, Glasser, Jason Bentley (dressed as a B-boy), and Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation. It was difficult to gain entrance past 11pm.

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The music in the main hall tended toward house, with the crowd going particularly wild for Disclosure's “When a Fire Starts to Burn”. Accompanying visuals featured psychedelic color wheels and vintage footage of topless dancing ladies. Later, two live burlesque style Harlow Gold dancers writhed around in sparkly outfits with fans made of peacock feathers. It was sexy, but classy. And, you know, saucy.

Rob Garza and Jason Bentley; Credit: Jeremiah Garcia

Rob Garza and Jason Bentley; Credit: Jeremiah Garcia

While the dance floor was well-populated all evening, the real entertainment was the people watching: a mermaid bought loads of shots at the bar, Beauty and the Beast were seen doing some unrated grinding, a whoopie cushion chatted with Jimi Hendrix and there was also a man who looked exactly like Jim Henson with a Kermit puppet on his shoulder.

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There were loads of cowboys, a few lame-o Native American costumes and one guy dressed up as Clint Eastwood from A Fistful of Dollars who for sure won the sexiest costume of the night award, mostly because that guy was really handsome.

Lucent Dossier performs on the staircase; Credit: Jeremiah Garcia

Lucent Dossier performs on the staircase; Credit: Jeremiah Garcia

The venue's grand staircase proved an apt vantage point for people watching, and by the end of the evening crowds had congregated here to take in the scene and check each other out.

The venue itself is a gorgeous old place (built in 1925) in which it was easy to feel sort of Gatsby elegant, despite (or maybe because of) the ground being littered with feathers, empty drink cups and discarded masks.

The spectacular-looking crew from Lucent Dossier added more visual flavor to the night, and put on a cool aerial performance in the courtyard. When we finally reached the back parking lot around 1am, the bar had shut down for the night and the food trucks had run out of tacos, which meant it was time to go home.

Personal Bias: Seriously though that Clint Eastwood guy was really cute.

Overheard in the Crowd: “It's so great seeing our pledge drive dollars at work.”

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