9th Annual Holiday Groove
December 5, 2012
On Wednesday night, we headed to Hollywood for the 9th Annual Holiday Groove Toy Drive at Playhouse hosted by Groove Radio, Chemistry LA and We Simply Rule. Swedish Egil, the European DJ who made a name for himself as a radio personality on KROQ, has built an incredible institution with Groove Radio for 20 years now and is often called the “Godfather” of dance music. Some of the biggest names in EDM have joined Egil on not only Groove Radio, but at his massive year end party Holiday Groove which benefits the “Spark of Love” charity for kids.
Over 40 DJs such as Trent Cantrelle, Shogun, DJ Dan, Christopher Lawrence, The Crystal Method, Tommy Lee & DJ Aero and Paul Ahi played at Playhouse on Wednesday while live on Groove Radio for a fabulous evening that celebrated electronic dance music and it's Los Angeles pioneers. Decorated in Christmas cheer complete with a Santa Clause, Playhouse has been a successful staple in EDM with their Monday Night Social, Dirty Sexy House Fridays and events like Holiday Groove year after year. Imagine speed dating your favorite DJs as each played a short 30 minute set of everything from house, trance, electro and dubstep.
Stand out performances came from Egil's co-host on Power 106FM's POWERTOOLS weekly mix-show, Richard Vission. Vission played everything from techno, electro and house which made everyone get down on the dance floor at the peak 11:30 p.m. time slot. He brought out surprise guest Luciana Caporaso who's captivating voice sang (or more like rapped) “Primitive.” Guests were shuffling across the dance floor as they pounded shots at the conveniently located bar at the foot of the stage. The packed nightclub filled with glow stick armed EDM enthusiast getting to see their favorite DJs for a mere $15 unwrapped toy donation seemed to have everyone in celebrating merry spirits.
Everyone was interacting, sharing a drink, chatting up in the VIP and fist pumping the night away. Confetti filled the room as the San Francisco duo Gabriel & Dresden took the stage with a slew of progressive songs carefully spliced together like Eric Prydz's “Allien” with 80s classics like The Human League's “Don't You Want Me.” Their short 30-minute set gave us a preview of what a dynamic duo who's been in the business for over a decade is capable of when it comes to controlling the crowd and setting you off into a musical journey. By the time they played Sandro Silva & Quintino's “Epic,” we were dancing so hard we didn't want them to end.
Yet amidst all the dirty dancing, shot taking madness we couldn't help to remember we where there for a good cause. Not only to support Groove Radio and their sponsors, but also to bring toys to the needy children of LA who have nothing. “When you stop to think of the kids who don't have toys on Christmas it's a shame and it feels good to do this for a good cause,” shares Marc Sean Blackham or one half of the EC Twins. “Plus it's fun to see your DJ friends for a night too.” The duo played up till last call mixing hits like Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl's “In My Mind” with songs most people can sing along to like Oasis' “Wonderwall.” Though there was a lot of commercial stuff played the night was more about celebrating what Egil has done with Groove Radio for the past 20 years and the impact he has had on dance music in Southern California.
Critical Bias: I get that tech house is usually best for openers or after hour DJ sets, but I was very sad to have missed Trent Cantrelle because he was on at an early 9pm.
Crowd: There were a lot of older veteran house music fans and industry people. Not your typical club rats, it was a very mature crowd.
Overheard in the Crowd: “That unplur bartender tried to overcharge me!”
Random Notebook Dump: We got a kick out of the random Barack Obama look alike going around shaking hands in a suit and tie.