This past weekend OWSLA took over Control Fridays at the Avalon with three big names in their arsenal of seventeen, topping the night off the right way with a surprise appearance of one more.
The first up to bring the building to its knees was one of OWSLA’s newest protégé’s, Kill Paris. Now the place wasn’t as packed as I previously thought it would be when I got there around 10:45, OWSLA being a pretty popular label headed by Skrillex and supplying many of the most popular DJs out there today. Well, that changed right-quick when Kill Paris jumped onto the stage. One word to describe this guy? If I had to choose just one, it would be “energy.” Kill Paris was all energy the moment he hit the stage and started up the music. He was ready to rumble, which obviously had an effect on the audience because early on during his set the dancefloor suddenly got smaller, and half the oxygen left the room and was replaced by smoke, lasers and vapors. Now if that doesn’t say “this guy’s pretty fuckin’ good” then I’m really not sure what does. The guy could get a major crowd going by his stage presence alone; he was having a lot of fun up there. His attitude was infectious, his set dynamic; those who have already gotten a chance to catch Kill Paris in action will know that it's not an easy task to predict what he will play next. His productions span the course of many musical genres, and he combines them well. One last thing on Kill Paris, since I don’t know him personally, I obviously can’t make any judgments on his personality, good or bad. What I can say is that he seemed pretty cool, especially to those few people who were able to get on stage and shake his hand, my friend included.
Alright, next up came the French quadruplet Birdy Nam Nam, whose members if you didn’t know already are made up of Crazy B, DJ Pone, DJ Need and Little Mike. Now I’m not sure if it was because of them or if it was just coincidence, but I can say with total confidence that I have never before in my life met so many Parisians in one sitting. I’ve also never been to Paris, so that’ll be the game changer but until then, Friday night was definitely the topper. Anyway, the main dance floor was absolutely packed at this point, and so were the surrounding balconies of The Avalon’s inner fortress. The crowd was immediately loving it, and the four of them standing in a row on stage with their name brightly displayed from behind was a pretty great sight. Their set was consistent in its beats and transitions, keeping the crowd head banging at a really good tempo the whole time. They definitely knew how to keep a popular rhythm going with minimal stoppage time between, and while also keeping the music content dynamic. Toward the end of their set they dropped the ever-popular “Goin' In,” at which point a cloud of confetti was let loose onto the crowd and people started topping shoulders. Altogether, it was an awesome first time experience seeing Birdy Nam Nam live and in action, I definitely recommend heading out to one of their shows if you get a chance.
Third up for the night was Monsta, the DJ trio Skrillex’s manager happened to play a song from one day during some down time between flights. As the story goes, Moore liked what he heard, and I think we all have plenty of examples of what happens when Skrillex likes what he hears. Before you could say ”chooon!” Monsta's debut EP came out, and with remixes by Skrillex, Nero, Alvin Risk and Dillon Francis to boot. So, to say the least, the hype was up to see these badasses up close and personal. Producers Rocky and Rufio took the stage first, with vocalist Skaar nowhere to be seen. I wondered briefly at that for a moment, but I really do mean a moment because R and R started up their stuff and suddenly it was like the building broke in two. These two went hard, I mean the kind that makes your heart feel like it’s beating at least ten times faster than it really should. For those of you who happily welcome that like myself, you'd have been in bliss. The two slammed banger after banger during their set until they came to the Alvin Risk remix of their “Messiah.” It took only the first few notes of the song to drop down onto the dance floor before cheers erupted from every possible square inch of the room. My friend and I were definitely not exempt from the cheering, but I was disappointed; I was still hoping to witness the third member of the trio in action: Skaar, the guy who’s voice Skrillex originally mistook for Aretha Franklin’s. But the song continued on without him, and just like with any loved song I sang (screamed, more like) the lyrics until I forgot what I was upset about and dropped my head to the beat. Everyone else did the same around me, and needless to say the song was a whole different ball game live.
The rest of Monsta's set did not disappoint, and just as I thought they were about to wrap it up, the one and only Skaar suddenly appeared stage right. Yup, clad in all black, the guy walked up and stopped just a few steps away from the curtain. And so, with his boys manning center stage, he took to the mic and let loose the voice we’ve been hearing so much about. About the third song in, he sang the signature "Holdin' On." All I can say from the experience is, Moore was right; the man has a voice that could put most angels to shame. I’m not talking the tinkling bell, Disney movie type of voice though; I’m talking a raw, genuine voice that seemed ready to go no matter what song, key, tempo or mood. It was a pretty amazing thing to watch him go, and with R and R jamming right along with him, it was no small sight to see. In short, the performance was great, the experience even better.
Three great acts had come and given us a hell of a show, now it was time to round up the night, right? Yeah, didn’t think so. Nick Thayer greeted us like the last and unexpected beer in the cooler, happy to be there and ready to go. And to add lime to that last beer, Rufio from Monsta came back on stage to help Thayer close the place down. The two went at it from there, ending the night rough and loud. Thayer brought the grooves, slamming down along with the bass, giving vitality to a crowd that was tired, but all-too happy to dance and listen until they were maxed out. All in all, OWSLA’s takeover was its own masterpiece, and certainly not a bad way to spend Friday night. For those of you who were in attendance at the Avalon last Friday, we hope your night was just as good, if not better. And for those of you who weren’t in attendance and are interested in any or all of the acts I talked about, I hope you’ll make a point to experience them in the very near future. Until then, carry on...