It’s unfortunate when a single event or vibe during a show taints your experience enjoying the acts that are performing the music you respect and love. Last night’s (8/9) Mayan show in Los Angeles had all the makings of an incredible happening, especially for those in the SoCal dance community, and for many it probably was.
Orange County’s Uberzone was opening for hometown boys The Crystal Method, whose latest album, Tweekend (Interscope), came out with impressive sales at Virgin Megastores the week before. New LA resident Detroit’s Static Revenger was spinning in between sets.
Uberzone’s set proved to be a bit mechanical, lacking soul, even though producer Q busted out with some live drumming. Midway through, Dennis “Static Revenger” White’s inspiring DJ set, which included his massive single “Happy People,” a painful ear searing trainwreck was heard – not because the popular mixmaster doesn’t know how to handle his needles, but more likely because of someone from the equipment crew not paying attention onstage when setting up other equipment. After the show, all Dennis could say is, “I don’t know what happened, I couldn’t hear my monitors.” Not good.
At around 11:00pm, three hours after the doors opened, a geared up, now really drunk, mostly male, testosterone driven crowd (more than one person, one being female, came up from the main floor saying, “I almost got in a fight!”), The Crystal Method hit the stage. A blazing light show emphasized the duo’s thundering original breaks mostly taken from newer tracks, including those co-produced my Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello. Scott Kirkland and Ken Jordan appeared to be in top form, however, the crowd still appeared to be looking for a fight as they cut lines to get drinks and pushed through groups of people dancing to the music. Was this a Tool show, or one of America’s favorite breakbeat acts? The Method’s set could have done with more soulful material from their debut album Vegas (1997). Maybe that would have mellowed out the crowd.
Then a trip to the bathroom proved most disturbing. A girl was observed obviously in trouble from ingesting too much of a chemical substance – she couldn’t even stand up. When the bartenders were asked to give her water at two separate bars they refused, although cases of water were stacked at their feet. Wow, compassion. When security was summoned to help, there was no one around, nor did there appear to be any medical staff. Finally the girl’s friend, not in good shape himself, managed to carry her outside, though on the street of a really sketchy part of town. We only hope she was okay. At a venue that can charge $8 for a drink, you’d think enough profit was being made to secure the safety of those in attendance and at least spare a $1 bottle of water to help ensure that one girl’s life was not threatened from dehydration or too much of a substance that couldn’t be diluted.
Unfortunately, the night did not feel like a dance music event. Instead, it was more like a big profit-grubbing rock show, which certainly couldn’t have been the intent of The Crystal Method-two of the nicest, most peaceful guys on the planet.