Seven Lions, Flinch and Candyland Avalon Hollywood May 17th, 2013
An abundance of young dubstep/electro aficionados and the stench of cigarette smoke dominated at Avalon in Hollywood on Friday night as the Santa Barbara native Seven Lions (born Jeff Montalvo) unleashed a slew of original tracks and remixes carefully spliced with everything from dubstep, trance, electro and progressive house. Despite playing three shows in three different states in just 24 hours, Montalvo was all business and completely on point as he headbanged with a mop of long, brown throughout his entire set. The 19-and-over "CONTROL Fridays" crowd went wild for Seven Lions' Avalon debut as well as opening acts At Dawn We Rage, Candyland and Flinch. Being that it was also promoter/artist manager Ryan Jaso's birthday, everyone was in attendance including Skrillex, Peacetreaty and Whiiite and there was plenty of cake throwing shenanigans to go along with the epic beats.
Fellow Santa Barbara natives Candyland played a very special live set for the first time which included Ethan Davis jamming out on the drums and added just the right amount of banging flair to the duo's set. As if the live instruments and Josie Martin's epic afro weren't enough to get the packed house turnt up, they had giant inflatable tube men pop up and float around all over the place to show the party was really getting started! As the trap, dubstep and house beats resonated from the sick sound system you completely lost track of time and we didn't even realize it was past midnight by the time Flinch took the stage. Born Adam Glassco, Flinch killed it and gave us a shit ton of energy with his heavy bass sounds spliced with the perfect melodies. We're loving his new track with Ellie Goulding, "You Don't Know," and by the time he took the stage, the dance floor was pulsing with energy.
The lights were turned down low as lasers flashed through the crowd while fans buzzed with anticipation to Seven Lions who came on around 1:15 a.m. Jeff opened with "Tyven" off his Polarize EP just like at Ultra Music Festival when he took the OSWALA stage. Fitting that Skrillex would be hanging out backstage, Seven Lions is currently on his imprint, and rumor was he was going to get onstage for a surprise set (unfortunately it was just a rumor). From his station at the DJ booth, Seven Lions bridged the gap between trance, house and heavy bass/electro sounds playing songs like Ummet Ozcan and W&W's "The Code" and our personal favorite "You Got To Go" by Above and Beyond. What was mostly a bass-heavy, trap and dubstep show quickly turned into an eclectic journey through all sorts of sounds which didn't leave out any wobble wobbles or untz untz untz.
Though his set was pretty similar to his Ultra Music Festival performance fin Miami, we were quite delighted as we even jumped right in the crowd for a bit to bang our heads along to Seven Lions heavily inspired metal sound. By the time he played his hit "Days to Come" featuring Fiora the crowd was singing along in unison and the "ohhh ohhh's" started to come out. Who would have ever thought that trance could be given a modern twist and put together with heavy electro and dubstep bangers, but somehow Seven Lions makes it work and it's the best of both worlds. His sets truly take you on a journey that's unlike anything we've heard before and for a moment we even forgot it was well past last call and missed an opportunity to get one last drink as we were entranced and glued to his set. We even loved how he threw in the new Sander Van Doorn track "Into the Light" proving that dance music doesn't have to stick to one genre or format as long as it sounds dope it works.
Personal Bias: I like all genres of EDM and it was very cool to see a medley of all sorts of different sounds in one night, from the opening sets to Seven Lions everyone gave the crowd a little something different.
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Crowd: lots of young EDM fans, some industry people and even DJs like Skrillex, but where was Borgore during the epic cake throwing onstage?
Overheard in the Crowd: "Skrillex is going to play a surprise set, just watch." (Sorry, bro).
Random Notebook Dump: Avalon on Friday's is always crazy and feels like you are at EDC every weekend especially with the extended after hours.