For the 4th year in a row, KCRW took over the legendary Park Plaza and brought some of our favorite musical friends for an evening that is always beyond words (which is why I post so many pictures!).
One of the last conversations I had, sitting on a bale of hay outside by the food trucks at 2am, was with a woman who said the event is rough for someone with a short attention span because there is so much going on.
KCRW DJs always gather early to check out each other’s costumes and a few impersonated their rock heroes this year: Eric J Lawrence as Brian Eno, Chris Muckley as Ziggy Stardust era David Bowie, Aaron Byrd as Elvis, and Valida as Stevie Nicks.
Meanwhile, a true rock icon was roaming the halls. John Lydon (Sex Pistols/ Public Image Ltd) not only spun a DJ set but could be seen carrying a Corona and enjoying the event when he wasn’t on stage. He surprised me with his picks. “Groove is in the Heart”? ABBA? Never would have guessed that, but it was a huge hit with the crowd.
Next door, M83 was wowing the crowd. Even with a Friday the 13th Jason mask on, women were lined up right in front of the DJ booth gushing over the French artist, who now calls LA home. He made his own rock tribute, wearing an Iron Maiden shirt. Earlier garage rocker Hanni Khatib tore through a set of songs in the Bronze Room with a little help from members of another LA band, Crystal Antlers.
Upstairs, Raul Campos was back as his moniker “Senor Discos” and he lit it up the Terrace Room with an unstoppable house set following a live performance from Mexican Institute of Sound, 80’s classics from Chuck P and opener Marion Hodges. Vampire Travis Holcombe took it home in the late night hours.
The Grand Ballroom was bumping early on, with an eclectic set from Liza Richardson setting the stage for KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley and special guest Z-Trip, who pretty much blew my mind over and over with his mashups. Adele into DJ Kool’s “Let Me Clear My Throat”? You betcha. And the crowd went crazy.
I’ve never seen Anne Litt dance like I did last night and she has some unofficial back up dancers as well that couldn’t resist jumping up on stage when she played Robyn’s “Konichiwa Bitches”. (Guilty as charged)
The minute you walked into the event you were greeted by stilt walkers from Lucent Dossier and horns blaring from wandering roots collective, the Dustbowl Revival. The fun was nonstop.
There were incredibly creative costumes as always –a LOT of Boy Scouts (Moonrise Kingdom was clearly a big inspiration), NASA/space-themed outfits, zombies…and a few “binders full of women”.
It was a great night and a huge thanks to all of you who came and made it special!
See fabulous photos from Gary Leonard and Jeremiah Garcia below and check out KCRW’s Facebook page to see pics from the Costume Contest.