We Made Love at Lucent L’amour
“I’ve never been to anything like this before in my life!!!”
That was just one of the many positive exclamations I heard from partygoers who were blown away by The Do Lab‘s signature event, the art and music festival and celebration of love known as Lucent L’amour.
In fact none of us had ever been to anything like that before, because the night stands singularly in my mind, not just another rave or huge concert or big-name show but a true epic event. Every step you took you could tell the massive amount of time, effort, and most importantly- love put into the massive production by so many people. And love begets love – we created a massive amount of warm fuzzy feelings on Saturday night. We made love. Did you feel it?
Jaded Angelenos who have their choice of ten headliners and five raves every single weekend had their mouths dropped open like a bunch of tourists to another planet. A crazy carnival atmosphere whirled around the giant venue, colorful and pulsing and created by the wild crowd itself, dressed in every kind of tomfoolery you can think of: LED-lined zoot suits, green spandex overalls, pants made out of feathers and long tails created from cans. You don’t go to a Do Lab event to see a show; you go to be part of the party experience.
Despite my best efforts, it was nearing midnight when I finally made it into the Shrine Expo Center past the tight security who were confiscating everything from open packs of cigarettes to glow sticks, the former of which pissed people off and the latter of which made people cheer. Hoola hoops were also on the naughty list- gotta watch out for those troublemaking hoola hoopers.
Walking into the venue I could tell immediately that this was a special show. In the entry (which the crowd would only pass once), a 3-D collage of old speakers and grass decorated the hallway; when people put effort and time into such a tiny detail like that, you know the big deal is just around the corner.
And it was. The main room of the venue was huge, ringed with a balcony and upstairs art gallery. Half of the upstairs was VIP, but the other half opened onto a long, double-roomed art gallery with piece after piece that made me stop and stare and say “Wow look at THIS!” to my friends.
The art JUMPED out at you. Nearby was a live mural painting that I wish I had a before & after photo of, a banister base lined with round eggs and wormy moss, and then the tall ledge where you could look out over the maddening crowd. It was awesome. I talked to many people who sadly never went upstairs; reminds me of parties where people never find the main stage. Explore your parties, people! Explore your world! Don’t see a security guard and turn away, assuming you are not welcome; instead go ask him what treasures he is protecting.
Downstairs was the tear-drop tree netted up to the ceiling, bright green and red and brown, the DJ tree from the Sea of Dreams New Year’s party in San Francisco. Lording over the party it gave a beautifully detailed effect, with every leaf hooked onto a net single-handedly. Nooky seats wrapped around the bass of the tree, and purple tentacle-roots crawled up from the ground.
Holding down the energy in the middle of the main room was the ornate tree temple, saturated in positive energy from many happy parties. I have danced in this temple before, and oh we danced Saturday night.
Hot red and bright pink paper teardrop lanterns hung from the ceiling of the huge room, whose classical symmetry set off the zany and unbalanced existence of the crowd. Love was definitely in the air; people were making out on the balcony, groping in dark corners and humping each other on the dance floor.
All around the outside pathway to this main room was art, art, everywhere! Brilliant black-light Pisces carpet pieces with flower adornments, a robot with holiday lights for hair, pink neon strings and furry red flowers hanging from the ceiling and a gang of psychedelic sealife! Amazing creatures! LED-lighted leafy seahorses and a rambling purple octopus caught the eyes of every passerby, and the sweet two-toned fur bases lured in many-a-raver as well.
An ice cream cart giving out free popsicles weaving in and out of the whirling, blazing crowd. Friends’ faces would appear out of the mob, “HEY SHILO!” and we would hug and say cheers and then lose each other in the ocean of party again. The biggest player at the show this weekend was no doubt the crowd itself, jumping and laughing and yelling and swirling and dancing about. Arriving late as I had, the crowd seemed as if they had been lit on fire, boiling nicely from the heat of the creative energy and throbbing bass thrashing about the room.
And then I went outside!
Wow! Huge plumes of fire burst into the air, turning into flaming balls along the way up and pushing the crowd back with a burst of warmth on our faces. The weather was LA-perfect- which is really perfect- and outside the confines of the venue’s walls the carnival atmosphere really took over, like the crazy ride you climbed on just started to lift up into the air. A giant metal spider with a glowing pink belly made a fine companion for the gussied-up stilt walkers- oh I’m sorry, stilt DANCERS because these amazing tricksters were rocking out like their feet were on the ground!
Lining the back of the outside grounds were a few arts and crafts merchants and a giant magnet board of poetry letters by the pink Port-O-Potties, which despite their polite appearances were just as bad as the green. Everywhere you turned, a new crazy part of the party popped out at you. It was nuts! All down one wall painters did their thing, creating over two dozen pieces of art that were to be auctioned off to buy art supplies for school kids. The Hug Deli set up shop next to a tiny green three-wheeler selling chai tea, and the aroma of hot fried samosas pulled in passerby right and left.
A welder worked on her sculptures with bright blazing precision, and a decorative offering of plants, flowers and orange rinds created a colorful wheel of gratitude. Next to this was a wooden robot room from outerspace which was next to the Ant Farm, a cushy chill-space of red velvet pillows and love-seat swings. The centerpiece of the nuzzle-lounge was a large spin-the-bottle rope ‘em cowgirl ride that became oddly popular whenever a pantless chick mounted the saddle; the lucky boy or girl it pointed toward would jump up and give the rider a kiss.
For even more heat, set up in the middle of the outside area was a jumbled wooden stage made up of pallets, boards, ladders and fire, which raged across the top beam and spurted up into the sky at irregular intervals. Fire twirlers kept us entertained and bulbous orange lanterns lined the festivities, all the way down to a circular wooded crawl space that was decorated with fresh roses of all colors and blue and white ceramic glass baubles. THIS was a party to discover.
Two doors between the inside and outside kept the party’s energy swirling and not jammed up; one went in and one went out. Coming in from outside you were behind the main stage, right at the front of the room. The flow was party-perfect.
OH YEAH AND THE MUSIC. Sadly I missed Ana Sia, one of my very favorites, AND the Yard Dogs Road Show which I heard was amazing- that some guy ate a chair. When I arrived N.A.S.A. was on the main stage inside but I was so knocked over by the incredible nature of the party, I just ran around for a while. Soon I realized that the beats outside were Beats Antique! and proceeded to get my dance on with random group of friends #22 of the night to the romping circus music. At some point in this madness, three beautiful white-clad women wearing glamorous gas masks took to the stage to perform, a creepy and creative respite from the usual go-go ass cheeks.
Bassnectar was obviously the main musical draw for many in the crowd and when he took the stage his dance floor sucked people from every other part of the party, including Lazer Sword‘s performance outside which was a shame, because they were blappin’ it straight! I circled in and out to catch some of both stages as did many of my other bass slut friends.
Bassnectar did what Bassnectar does best- SLAMMED it right up to the stars and the thankful crowd lifted their hands palms up in praise, voices lifted and eyes closed. I talked to so many people who had crawled out of the club for the very first time and were blown away by the serious play, moving sideways from being a spectator to being a participant and throwing themselves into the rolling ruckus. My friends KNOW how to party.
The outside stage closed after Lazer Sword at 2AM which had some people whining but the slowly exhaling energy of the previously wild, churning place had a poetic elegance to it that served the raucous populace well. Inside was a different story- Stanton Warriors took to the stage and threw skyscraper breaks on the crowd; huge cities of blocky, chunky music, like bouncing bricks of
concrete. We tried to catch them as we jumped and danced. The crowd thinned a bit after Rave God Bassnectar finished but a very respectable number of us closed the dance floor down proper, dancing to the fastest tempos yet of the night.
In the blink of an eye it was 4AM. I tripped out into the night amongst of mass of cluttered humans, hot and happy from the hours of revelry. “Text me the address!” was the mating cry and my friends and I ended the evening in North Hollywood in the most perfect, post-funk way possible: on the rooftop smoking a bowl, watching the sun rise to shine again on another beautiful day in LA to play.
Mad love to The Do Lab! I was so very impressed with their efforts and am so proud have been part of the promotions team of such an incredible experience for so many people. Well fucking done. And big thanks to my friend Julia who carried my camera around all night and took all these great pictures!
Next up for The Do Lab: Pantyraid sexes up King King in Hollywood on March 4 and THEN we camp in Orange Country and catch Lightening in a Bottle, going down May 28-31. Stay tuned here for details.