KCRW Halloween Masquerade at Park Plaza, LA

Went last night to KCRW’s Halloween Masquerade and got to hear some good party music. It was my first time at Park Plaza, which was a nice venue for a party. A bunch of decent sized rooms made it a perfect spot to put multiple DJs and bands on at the same time and help spread out the costumed revelers.

We wandered a bit after arriving inside but settled in the upstairs Grand Ballroom which lived up to its name with opulent chandeliers and decor befitting a true ballroom. After a DJ set that skewed heavy on the 80s (Pretty in Pink and Weird Science were representative), the three piece Mexican Institute of Sound took the stage.

Their lead singer had a funny shirt (Give Cumbia a Chance) and was full of energy. A combo of live drum and guitar mixed in with samples and electronic beats, they were lively and loud.

Next we made our way downstairs to catch M83’s DJ set. Having put out one of the more critically acclaimed albums of the year, we figured we should check him out. The sets were running a little behind and when I saw that John Lydon was starting his set in the adjacent room, we hightailed it over there. So no M83 for us.

Lydon, or Johnny Rotten as he’s better known as, led punk pioneers the Sex Pistols and later post-punk band PiL. He’s in town doing a show of PiL material this week, so KCRW gave him a guest DJ spot. Even though it was just him playing some songs, he’s an important figure in modern popular music so I was psyched to see him. He played some of his PiL songs and even sang a few bits which was cool. He threw in some reggae and closed the set with ABBA’s Fernando, which seemed appropriate somehow. A cool experience for me.

We then made our way upstairs to the venue’s biggest room to see Z-Trip. We hit a bit of a line but made it inside. He’s well known as a great party DJ and he didn’t disappoint. He weaves a variety of new and old hits together and had everyone shaking their costumed asses. I felt old when he asked the crowd if they liked “old school hip hop” and then jumped into early 90s Tribe, but that didn’t stop me from dancing to it.

All in all, a good event with some good music and great Halloween costumes.



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