Dillon Francis at the Observatory, April 16, 2012
The Observatory, Santa Ana
April 14, 2012
LA-based producer Dillon Francis visited the Observatory last Saturday, playing to a crowd largely made up of white trash and Asian ravers. The doors, originally scheduled to open at 7, opened an hour and a half late. By the time audience members were allowed in, a drunk and stoned line had already formed.
Inside was not much better.
The opening act, NY producer Clockwork, started slowly, with remixes that horribly missed their mark. Despite stupid-popular samples from Childish Gambino, Lana Del Rey, Tyga and Daft Punk, the dance floor was full of giant white tees and wife beaters for most of the first part of the night. The crowd was visibly lost, dancing off beat; they were more akin to a standing wave than any sort of thing with rhythm.
After the first two hours of the set, the music began to improve. As more girls filtered onto the dance floor and more ravers and kandy kids found their way into the venue, Clockwork pulled out all the stops, busting out his catchiest tracks and finally getting into the music. By the time Dillon came on stage at midnight, the crowd was ready to dance the night away.
Dillon came on stage with an uproar and hit the antsy crowd with their first consistently danceable music of the night. In addition, he brought a level of energy and involvement unseen from his opening act. Though he had a penchant to cut the music to say something to the crowd, this was always welcome. Memorably, Dillon cut the sound after a girl ran across the stage, mooning the crowd in process, to tell everyone that he loved her and wanted her at every single one of his shows.
An hour into the set, people were already attempting to crowd surf, rubbing their bodies all over the place, pretending to be go go dancers and giving light shows. The atmosphere was what you would expect from an Asian EDM dance club, not at all what you imagine a night at the Observatory to be.
Weak as the beginning may have been, Dillon showed off his deejaying skills Saturday, delivering a hearing destroying set that won't soon be forgotten.
Critic's Bias: I had to deselect all the Dillon Francis tracks in iTunes so my other play counts could catch up.
Overheard in the Crowd: "I feel out of place just wearing glasses."
Random Notebook Dump: After using the restroom: "Someone touched me while I was peeing. They asked me if I had any coke."