Yep, it's all about after-concert shindigs for Nightranger lately. They've become a frequently more-fun alternative to sitting through an entire arena spectacle, not to mention the disco nap factor.
We were tempted to go see M.I.A. and Rye Rye at the Mayan Thursday, for example, but when we heard the official after party would be at Rock the Shocker at the Ecco on Cahuenga, the latter seemed like a better deal. We're digging the Baltimore rapper's new stuff more than that of her mentor -including the pair's collabs ” Bang” and the new one, “Sunshine”- so why wouldn't we catch her in a more intimate venue?
Dressed in the same Dayglo-fringed mini dress she wore at the Mayan show, Rye Rye was a rhythmic, rump-shaking, mad-rapping dynamo, offering not only a near-full set complete with synchronized backup dancers, but a good hour of dancing with fans and freaks on the floor before that. And it was clear she was having a blast. So were we.
Rock the Shocker is the meeting of two very different clubber minds: BoJesse Christopher (known for getting getting hotties to horde at velvet roped venues such as My House, Hyde and Angels & Kings and Bruce Perdew (of the Evil Club Empire which counts goth, '80's and industrial faves such as Perversion, Blue Mondays and Clockwork Orange as staples). The crowd was the hodge podge we expected: purple-haired, pierced punkettes, shutter shade-sporting hipster b-boys, bootie-bumpin' hip-hop video vamps, and random Hollywood clubster riff raff. The kind of mix you can't calculate, but just happens with promoters like these two at the helm.
The next night at Rhondavous -which takes the polysexual party A Club Called Rhonda (usually at El Cid) and pumps it bigger and bolder, space and guest-wise- offered members of Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem on the decks after their big Hollywood Bowl show, not surprisingly, at a very late hour.
James Murphy (dressed in the same white suit he wore at the Bowl… does anybody change stage gear anymore?) didn't even get on stage til after 2 am. Gotta give him credit too. One would think a headlining artist would want to chill out after playing a major show like the one his group did earlier, but there he and his mates were, burning up the turntables into the wee hours, inside The Sex warehouse, which felt like a crowded, colossal steamroom.
With sprinkles outside, humidity was high; pores and eardrums were surely stimulated. Not so good for flamboyant hairdo's either, though, we must note this event was the straightest Rhonda we've ever been to. The crowd was still, like Shocker, wonderfully diverse however, and despite the bottle neck to get fresh air outside and limited libations at the bar (thank goodness for the bubbly backstage), the vibes were blissfully positive.
To quote Murphy's “All My Friends”: “…if it's crowded, all the better, because we know we're gonna be up late/ but if you're worried about the weather, then you picked the wrong place to stay…”
More words and shots from the parties in this week's Nightranger column Thursday.