Dance clubs inside theme parks pretty much saw their heyday in the '80's, but thanks to the movie TRON- Legacy (which was just crowned as “most pirated” film on the net right now) poppin' in the park is not only back, it's anything but retro.
ElecTRONica -which zoomed into Disney's California Adventure when the film came out and was just extended through Labor Day- transforms a big chunk of Disneyland Anaheim's sister park on weekends after dark with crazy lazers, DJs, TRON-themed dancers and (light-up) booze.
This past Sunday, we caught LA's own Adam Auburn on the decks for the video game-inspired club experience and it was hard not get sucked in. Of course, this ain't no Electric Daisy Carnival, it is Disney after all, so it's all good clean fun one might expect, more of a sanitized rave-like scene with kids and parents mixing in with the glow-stick waving teens. Still, they've done something right in re-creating a futuristic, outdoor nightclub experience that really gets people pumping and even jumping. The crowd was a sea of movement with dance circles forming all around, showcasing some serious tight moves…. even a few decent Captain EO moonwalks.
There was a theatrical element that was a bit cheesy (an actor playing white haired Legacy villain Castor talks over the beats sporadically asking patrons if they “like my club?”) but those downing the drinks seemed to dig the interactive spectacle of it all. There was no denying the exhuberant mixes of Auburn or the extra-sensory environment which also includes a stage show by a light wielder named “LazerMan” and pop-locking dance troupes.
Auburn (best known for promoting Balance at the King King in LA and who is about to unveil a new club, co-promoted with Homemade Events, at Vanguard called Departure), spun Daft Punk, Laidback Luke, Afrojack, Chuckie, Sidney Samson, Wolfgang Gartner, Diplo, Deadmau5, Kaskade, Axwell, and Steve Angello to name a few Sunday. He told us he comes up with his own setlists and while he doesn't have to clear them, they have to be “Disney appropriate: no curses, no gratuitous talk about sex, drugs, or alcohol.”
“We're given a pretty loose concept of the music format – TRON-esque futuristic house plus a bit of popular vocals sprinkled in. From there, it's up to each DJ to interpret the vibe,” he told us. “Don't let the location at Disney fool you, ElecTRONica is no joke. We get thousands of people from all age groups and backgrounds every week, and these folks get down. I get an equal high off parents and their children dancing and smiling together as I do a sea of 1000 ravers throwing their hands in the air. As far as I'm concerned, now that SoCal festivals are 18 plus only, this is the only place that younger teenagers have to go to hear the music they love.”
UPDATE: Here's some video we shot at ElecTRONica Sunday night.
TRON- Legacy (for those who haven't downloaded it) comes out on DVD and BluRay in April.
ElecTRONica runs through Labor Day.
Departure debuts March 25 with three headliners sharing the stage “for the 1st time ever in LA”: Mr.V, Chuck Loe and Fred Everything.
Balance LA offers Auburn's favorite DJ of all time, JASK, the next night on March 26.
Follow Auburn on Twitter for info, on above clubs at @adamauburn.
Follow Lina Lecaro on Twitter @L_in_A.