Feb. 13, 2011
Sutra was invaded all the way from Paris, France, as Joachim Garraud took over with keytar in hand. The resident DJ, Drew Pierce led the crowd in a prelaunch ritual for Joachim Garraud with club hits "Bounce," "Turn Me On" and "We Found Love." With the phrase, "Are you ready?" Joachim Garraud and Costa Mesa launched into space for his Space Invasion set. The LED wall and screens were taken over by crazy colored blocks and futuristic symbols. The crowd put on their alien masks on and had glow sticks in hand. Garrard had on his Iconic Space Invader t-shirt and a platinum Space Invader mask on, and if you closed your eyes, you could have sworn you were in an Atari video game.
The Frenchman started off his set with his iconic Keytar solo. He kept his set true with old-school techno and blends of electrohouse. Garraud introduced Orange County to his own genre with his song "Welcome To The Future." As he told me in Wednesday's interview, the crowd previewed his take on dubstep. Along with dubstep tracks, he threw in some Drum & Bass including the hit, "Right On Time."
Sutra's intimate space served well for the Frenchman's playground. During his set he threw out alien masks, and even personally signed a few from his turntable/command center. The crowd was bumping and grinding to the extreme bass drops, and raving electro beats. Garraud even invited a fan up onstage with him. Garraud signed his shirt and let the fan jam out on stage. I have never seen a DJ so nice to his fans. You could feel the passion and connection with the crowd with each fist pump and Space Invader mask in the air.
Strobes with blue and pink search lights kept Orange County feeling like an old school rave in an abandoned warehouse. The go-go dancers of Sutra kept the guys drooling, and the rest of the crowd pumped up. Even an old-school B-boy session broke out in the VIP section.
With club hit "We are Your Friends," he segued into the Red Hot Chili Peppers song, "Other Side." After the crowd thought it was over, Garraud played "The Space Invaders Are Back." Near the end of Garraud's set, he played a special piano/keytar solo of Coldplay's hit, "The Scientist." As he thanked the crowd, Joachim closed his set with Daft Punk's "One More Time."
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After his set, Garraud told me, "The night was perfect, and the people were fucking crazy. I cannot wait to come back soon."
Critic's Bias Joachim Garraud might not be as well known in the States, but he sure can put on a performance as a DJ and a musician.
Overheard in the Crowd Fan to Garraud - "I loved the keytar!"
Random Notebook Dump Some hipster thought he was cool, walking around with a Jack Daniel's bottle. Really dude, JD? You're cool.