It’d been a while since I’d been to LA. My last trip was (I think) about a year and a half ago so needless to say, I was pretty excited. The idea started off as a whim but turned into the real deal soon enough.
Tickets were bought, plans were made, and BAM! we were on the road, on our journey to support our beautiful AZ dj on the lineup: Blossom.
Downtown LA reminds me a bit of being in downtown Kuala Lumpur (my country Malaysia’s capital). The streets are dirty, busy and are full of interesting characters. A variety of smells waft around, mingled between food, weed, and I’m not quite sure what else. Our hotel was located just two blocks away from the venue of the event, so we opted to walk instead.
The weather was beautiful, not too hot, not too cold, (just enough for a light jacket?! bonus points to you if you got my joke) and I was already feeling warm and buzzy from pregaming in our hotel earlier. Sadly though, it wore off quickly from walking around and lining up.
Exchange LA was in downtown LA. I’d never been there before and was quite taken aback by the amount of people lining up. Thankfully, it moved quickly so we got into the venue fast.
I took everything in with eager eyes. The club, which used to be a former LA stock exchange building, had dull gray cement walls, and boasted two floors of electronic music.
The downstairs part of the building seemed quite industrial, while the top part felt more like a club. It kinda reminded me a bit of Omnia, only maybe on a less extravagant scale.
The large, circular dance floor was very close to the dj decks, which was on a raised stage. A railing separated the crowd and the stage. The VIP section was the on the third upper level, surrounding the whole dance area. Right outside the dance hall was a bar area.
The visuals were on point. On both the left and right of me were screens with (I was in the middle of the dance floor) ‘THIS IS NIGHT BASS’ in black and white bold letters. The letters would wiggle back-and-forth, from side-to-side and up-and-down. Meanwhile, in the front, behind the dj decks and slightly raised above the djs, was a large screen with visuals galore. Every now and then, the artists’ name would flash above the screen and the familiar symbol for Night Bass as well.
It was very exciting and surreal to see Blossom perform out-of-state, especially for one of my favorite brands and sounds, Night Bass. The UK garage sound— full of dirty, grimy, scratchy sounds and textures that make me scrunch my face—is one that I love to get down to on the dance floor. Clad in a black jumpsuit and trademark pink hair, she looked excited and in her element on the decks. Blossom always brings a vibrant energy with each show I see her perform at, and it’s simply endearing to watch. Kendoll, with her short blonde hair, and black mesh long-sleeved shirt, matched well musically with Blossom’s vibe.
To be honest, I didn’t count on there being so many people—though I suppose I should have known really, because the event was sold out. My friend Olga, brave soul that she is, managed to navigate through the crowd and get us pretty close to the djs. Eventually we were by the railing right by them, where then, of course, I couldn’t resist the urge to snap some photos.
Wading through a thick crowd is honestly no joke. Especially on a crowded dance floor. I loved observing people though: a lot of people had on Night Bass merch, most weren’t even dressed very clubby at all, but were semi-casual. There was a lot of black clothing, for sure (a staple in the industry). I felt a little bit overdressed in a black lace bodysuit and bodycon skirt, but oh well.
One thing I loved was that everyone seemed like they were lost in the music, just vibing out, whether alone or with friends. No one really tried to grab or hit on Olga and I. It was very refreshing to see everyone so focused on the music.
It was pretty surreal being so close to the djs. I’m normally right at the back for most events/festivals where I can comfortably attempt to shuffle around. Being right in the front, right next to the rail, no less! was a new experience. Sadly however, being in front has its drawbacks. Some girls next to me seemed to be overly lit and kept obnoxiously dancing into me. I’m all for freedom of self-expression, of course, but she literally kept jabbing her arm into my side when she took out her phone to take videos or when she danced. It was decidedly unpleasant, to be honest. I slowly tried to move away ever-so-slightly.
Jack Beats and Sinden were LIT AF. They made a good pair on the decks. I’d seen Sinden in Vegas last year at the Collective Zoo Block Party and he was spectacular. I personally felt all the B2Bs of the night were curated with much care, and the quality of the music reflected that.
Next was Anna Lunoe played back-to-back with Redlight and they started off w AC Slater and Redlight’s song: Ultra Hype, livin’ up to it’s name with its bassy, boppy beat. The crowd definitely were lovin’ the music, you could tell by looking around at all the excited faces. Anna Lunoe was very cheerful, in her dark hair and light blue collared shirt, she exuded a camaraderie with the crowd that was so refreshing. There were some people near the decks on stage, clutching their drinks in hand and swaying to the music. One of them, an Asian girl with a short black bob and oversized white sweater, seemed to be enjoying herself hugely as she danced enthusiastically on stage. I figured the people behind the djs were probably the significant others or close friends of the djs.
AC Slater was up next, with Chris Lorenzo. And of course, they had to play the top hit Anti-Up song ‘Pizza,’ which the crowd ultimately lost their minds to. AC Slater seemed to have a pretty good rapport with Chris Lorenzo—in between songs, they’d sip their drinks and whisper to one another, pointing occasionally to the crowd.
Something I loved about the night was that no dj talked too much on the mic or felt like they were trying to overshadow the other. B2Bs can be often be tricky, but the whole night sequence of music was arranged very well. The crowd was enthusiastic and everyone seemed in high spirits.
At some point of the night, my best friend, Kyle and I wandered off downstairs to check it out. To be honest, I preferred it downstairs, mainly because it wasn’t so crowded. There was ample space to move, and the lights were bluish and dim. The dj with his decks was LITERALLY right in front of the dance floor, so that was cool too. I got to catch some of Sammy Legs’ and Petey Clicks’ set. Petey Clicks especially played some crowd favorites, you could tell from the way the crowd kinda squealed and got down hard to the music. Downstairs also had a bar and comfortable white seats to rest on. Some attendees, tired and needing a break, sat down and bopped their heads to the music.
I decided to get some merch for my boyfriend and for some of my friends. Thankfully, the merch pricing was fairly reasonable. Sadly though, by the time I got there, a lot of the merch like the jackets had already sold out.
I ventured upstairs to go find Olga in the crowd and we danced in the front, enjoying ourselves in the music. We left before the show ended, partially due to our fatigue as well. Our other two friends had already left a little bit earlier.
What a night! It was so cool to be able to celebrate the fifth year anniversary of one of my favorite brands, Night Bass. And it was even cooler to see a big AZ squad in full-send mode to support our Blossom. LA is always such an experience. Until then, I’ll file this one away in my memories. Till we meet again, LA.
Unless stated, all photos were taken by the author.
Singer at Drip Drop Records. Writer/Editor for Rave Hard Radio.
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