Dada Life finally invaded the historic Shrine Auditorium in downtown LA after tickets had been sold out for well over a month. There was certainly a buzz that surrounded the area and loud thumping that shook the nearby city streets. The police force was out and about, keeping tabs on the ridiculousness about to ensue in the one of the most crime-ridden parts of town.
The security line was filled with anxious teenagers, well-seasoned ravers, cool-headed night lifers, and dudes in banana suits. Not a couple banana suits, not even a bunch (pun intended)... we are talking a sea of yellow. “What the F?” the security guards must have been thinking as they tried to pat down the foam and inflatable banana costumes. Seriously. If you had tried to meet up with friends and told them to look out for you in the banana suit, you probably would have remained lost and alone. Luckily, I was in jeans and a t-shirt, making it easy for me to... you know, walk.
I made it inside to see Pierce Fulton, an up and coming DJ who recently released the super catchy house anthem “Wanna Be” with Maor Levi. Pierce played the club mix, which really got the crowd amped up. His set also included a surprisingly large amount of Anjunabeats tracks, including the brand new Above & Beyond single, “Walter White.” Pierce reminded me of a young (ironically) Porter Robinson, mixing electro-house bangers with melodic trance. A perfect opening act and someone to keep an eye out for if he ever comes to your neck of the woods.
At 11pm, Deniz Koyu took over. And I mean: TOOK. OVER. He opened with a mashup of his infamous “Bong” with The Naked and Famous’ “Young Blood.” He kept the energy up throughout his entire set, throwing in his new tracks like “Rage” with those from monster EDM producers like Hardwell, W&W, and the late Swedish House Mafia. My absolute favorite part of his set was the last 10 minutes. He brought everyone to the calm for the Dada-storm, surprising the crowd with Daft Punk’s new single, “Get Lucky,” off their new album. He masterfully mashed it with a Jordy Dazz rework, giving it a nice electro punch. Then, he transitioned into my favorite Deniz Koyu production: his collab with Dirty South, “Halo.” Deniz left everyone screaming and wanting more... a void only Dada Life could fill.
On came Dada Life with a audio-visual intro that matched the absurdity of Dada-ism itself. Olle and Stefan, the men behind the Dada, were quick to remind everyone: “There are no rules but the rules of Dada” and that we came pretty, but we must “leave ugly.” And with those words, the Dada was unleashed. Although they only played for an hour and half, they managed to work in almost all of their unmistakable hits from the past two years, including: “Rolling Stones T-Shirt,” “Kick Out the Epic Motherfucker,” and their remix of “The Big Bad Wolf.” It was an awesome surprise, however, to hear “Happy Violence” and “Cookies with a Smile,” both slightly older but instantly recognizable. All of these are soon to be instant Dada-classics, reminding me of the good ol’ days when Dada Life used to open with “Damascus.” Ah... that song... Anyway, Dada Life did a fantastic job keeping the energy high, tossing bananas from the stage into the crowd of bananas. And at one point, bringing a banana from the crowd onstage. If that isn’t Dada, what is? They also played the best new tracks out there, straight from their May 2013 mix. The two that hit the hardest were: “Buzzcut” by Bingo Players and Tiesto’s remix of “Get Loose.” Amazing. They closed with “Feed the Dada,” while every single person in the theatre yelled the lyrics at the top of their lungs, not wanting the night to end and not wanting to leave any gas in their tanks. No encore. Dada Land was officially closed.
It was an incredible performance – and I use the word “performance” intentionally. Olle and Stefan would throw their arms in the air, jump around like mad men, and put their hands on their head as if to say, “I can’t believe this crowd!” And yet, this was a typical night for the two of them – they had a performance in San Francisco the night before and they are continuing their tour as we speak. In fact, they had an equally anticipated after-party to attend immediately after they ended their set at the Shrine. But for those in attendance, the night was one of a kind. Everyone left with a smile... and if you didn’t, they handed out cardboard cut outs of smiles as souvenirs.
~EKS - @Elliotkschwartz