Rusko @ Avalon: PURE PANDEMONIUM
I feel it is my duty to document the utter insanity that went down last night in Hollywood, so help me dubstep.
Holy fucking Croydon.
Last night I went to Avalon for the first time, a gigantic club with legendary status and legions of loyal followers. My broke ass prefers smaller, dirtier, weirder places but a sweet new friend had hooked up the guest list action last minute and I was stoked. I paid a psychotic amount for parking and threw myself to the mayhem, aka the line.
Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of beautiful young people (and some ugly ones) were crushed against the side of the building either direction, a seething mass of humanity with an energy level that could have powered all the neon on the Sunset Strip. When presented with a ridiculous queue like this, there are two choices: go to the end and wait with everyone else, or say fuck that and worm your way to the front. As I was on the guestlist there was no way in hell I was waiting, but even just getting to the list entrance was an insane, hour-long endeavor. Pretty girls were trying to push their way to the front and getting elbows to the boobies by the crowd who was not having it. The bouncer kept screaming at people to step back, dumb guys were trying to pick fights, and it was crotch to butt the whole way. No one was moving.
The computers were down at the side entrance and they were only letting in people with $20 hard cash, even though the cover was not supposed to increase in price until 11PM. At that point, what are you going to do? Turn around and go home? Needless to say those who had bought will-call tickets prior to the show and were now being turned away were slightly miffed. Finally I get to the front and tell them I am supposed to get walked in by So-And-So, because I am VIP and special and all that shit. Apparently I said the right name.
“You better not be FUCKIN’ with me, little girl…” the bouncer says, giving me the stink eye.
“No!” I insisted, with a laugh. I do not make it a habit to fuck with people twice my height and three times my size.
So I get walked in by a new friend and make my way through the crush of people in the smoking area and into the bar and second stage area. House music. I press on into the main room.
Holy shit! WHAT a venue! Is this the most amazing club I have ever been to? Quite possibly. The Avalon building has as much soul and character as the crowd did not. Stunning architectural beauty, a temple to the party gods, the home of a billion screams of delight, a palace dedicated to wild nights. I would love to rent this place out with a couple hundred of my closest friends and party until noon.
But last night it was more like 2500 of my closest friends. As I arrived 12th Planet was up on the balcony slamming beats out of his fingers onto the dance floor, oh wait sorry I meant THE MOSH PIT. The bottom floor of Avalon was taken over by a swirling human tornado of sweaty boys, 10% dancing, 60% pushing and 30% venting sexual frustration (The reason you’re not getting laid? YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE. Just a guess).
12th Planet drops “Explicit” by Emalkay and I think oh shit: motherfuckas about to get BEAT! The blood is going to bounce! But shortly thereafter he stops the tunes and takes the mic, telling the near-riot on the floor to chill the fuck out and that hey, maybe the ladies want to dance too. A female-pitched scream fills the venue because yes, we do want to dance and no, we do not want to get punched in the face while we do. The dance floor then fills with people who HAVE gotten laid in the last year and the melee is taken down a notch.
Props to 12th Planet. As the music continues on, you can tell there are still some guys who want to mosh, who are pushing other boys and trying to start fights. But in the middle of these idiot brutes are other men, using their eye contact and energy to calm the aggression on the dance floor instead of incite it. One tall boy with palms down is making wide sweeps where moshing starts to erupt, while another guy makes a slit-throat gesture to his friend who is trying to start shit with strangers. To them, and to all you boys in the world who make an effort to calm the hot-headed, pushing, shit-talking boys who never matured mentally past the age of sixteen: thank you. I really hope you got laid last night.
Rusko comes on to the main stage with a shock, wearing green glowstick glasses and causing the entire energy of the Avalon to capsize towards his side of the room. People are leaping off platforms, running, screaming, pushing. LA is now Rusko’s hometown and this dubstep rock star obviously adores his status as a new local king. A dynamic performer with massive tracks to back it up, Rusko created a state of pure fucking pandemonium in that venue for his entire set. Someone was waving around a sign that says “RUSKO IS DUBSTEP,” a phrase which will not doubt elicit a few choice thoughts out of the self-appointed genre police out there.
I die hearing new tracks out of producers like Rusko; I want them, I want them, I want them! I have to have them! I wish my super-dubstep-freak friends up and down the West Coast could have been there last night to experience this next wave of hype-bass party music. Rusko played all the favorites as well, bangers that meshed perfectly with the bedlam on the dance floor, picking people up and throwing them down. Crunchy, twisted bass like the brainwaves of a mental patient descends on a thousand heads, and a thousand bodies jump up while two thousand hands spank the air like the ass of a naughty school girl. It is mayhem plus bedlam times infinity. Pure pandemonium.
I am standing by a ledge and when Rusko comes on we all jump up on it and dance in the spare space for about ten minutes before security pulls us down. A jaw-dropping blond wearing no underwear (indeed we all saw China) beside me is flinging her hair to the sky and screaming: “Roo-sko! Roo-sko! I love you Roo-sko!!!!”
“It’s RU-sko,” her consort says into her ear.
“Oh. Ru-sko!!! Ru-sko!!! I love you Ru-sko!!!!”
Ah, Hollywood. Wow so this is what A LOT of people do on a typical Friday night out: wait in line for hours to spend a day’s worth of earnings for parking and tickets and alcohol. There were a lot of assholes in the crowd (weird, in Hollywood? Assholes? No…); I can’t remember the last time I had been shoved so much. Not bumped in normal crowd movement, but shoved, on purpose, out of aggression with a dirty look dripping off the pusher’s face like a leaky diaper. My MO is always to smile, which disarms the pusher who is used to (and wanting) a fuck-you gaze right back. My ninja weapon is kindness, and I will slice off your face with it.
I will say: the show was absolutely worth it AND the beers were cheap: $5. It was awesome running into a few friends who like me had crawled out of the underground, all with holy-shit-can-you-believe-this-crowd looks on their faces. Dubstep has come a long way, baby and the next time Rusko plays in LA it just might be in a stadium. People were salivating with bubbles at the sides of their mouths, writhing in ecstasy and probably on ecstasy, throwing clothes into the air, jumping off booths, leaping onto stage, and it was beautiful. Many in the Avalon were just out for a Friday night and had never heard dubstep or Rusko before; indeed I talked to several people pressed against me in line who were there for Timo Maas and didn’t even know who the other DJs on the lineup were. I bet they got their heads blown off last night- I know I did.
And for anyone out there STILL whining about dubstep being boring or too slow, all I can say is open your fucking ears and get out to a show like this; it was definitely one of the wildest crowds I have ever been in, lit on fire by a sound whose power is absolutely undeniable.
WOW has dubstep mutated and grown, like a nuclear child created on a passion-filled evening lit not by candle but the glow of the apocalypse. Where this wild-eyed creature will roam next is anybody’s guess, but one thing is certain: like all the crazy freaks in this world, it has a home in LA.
SORRY READERS, NO PHOTOS FROM ME AS I AM CAMERALESS THESE DAYS. MY PHOTOS SUCK ANYWAY.
Check out on Whoopthis’ photos on Flickr here for an idea of last night’s mayhem. This is the crowd during 12th Planet’s set:
Sweet video of Rusko’s version of California Love, etc. by Glenjamn2
Read my review of Rusko at the Roxy in February 2009 here.
Read my review of Rusko at Lot 613 in April 2009 here.