Afrojack - Playhouse Nightclub - 6/26/12
Shannon Nehls / OC Weekly Afrojack
Afrojack, R3hab & Quintino
Monday nights are usually quiet for most clubs, bars, music venues and even most people. Yet for over a decade-and-a-half, Monday Social routinely manages to create an atmosphere filled with talent and electronic dance music aficionados in Los Angeles. Celebrating part two of their 16-year anniversary, it comes to no surprise that they would have one of the most stacked weeknight lineups we have seen in a while. The night's headliner was none other than Dutch producer Afrojack, who wrangled his pals R3hab and Quntino last night as part of his aptly titled "Jacked" North American Tour at Playhouse Nightclub Hollywood hot spot.
Pre-sales, starting at a whopping $100, were beyond sold out and tickets were actually being sold at the door for $150. With these astounding prices and lines that reached capacity by 11 p.m., we couldn't help but be reminded of what Pasquale, Insomniacs CEO, had said at the EDM Biz conference about super star DJs taking over the show. It has caused clubs like Playhouse to come a long way from the "non-exclusivity" aura which once prevailed during Monday Socials at a time when house music was nowhere near as in demand.
When Afrojack, born Nick Van De Wall, came on stage around 12:30 a.m., club goers were ready for their show as they stood up on the VIP tables, mobbed the stage behind him and filled the dance floor armed with foam glow sticks. He brought hard party beats playing his signature Dutch sound, carefully spliced original remixes of songs like Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" (because there's no way were sick of that song yet) and new original tracks we wish someone could ID for us. When we asked around most people where more concerned with Paris Hilton's fist pump in the VIP booth or chugging vodka straight from the bottle than know the name of the song.
Shannon Nehls / OC Weekly The raging crowd at Playhouse
Van De Wall smoked, drank and partied on stage for the entire two hours as the top-of-the-line sound system resonated that high-pitch electro sirens we have all come to love. His hype man, MC Zawdi, made sure he was partying with him yelling into the mic to go wild. Indulging in champagne showers as he played his "No Beef" hit with Steve Aoki (he actually chugged it before pouring it into the crowd unlike Mr. Aoki who usually spits it out). By 1:30 a.m. the vibe was crystallized when Afrojack screamed into the microphone "these motherfuckers want to party!"
As confetti and fog filled the room and Afrojack's signature fist pump and smile shined through, we were reminded of what a fun and talented producer this 25-year-old DJ really is regardless of all the flack he gets for dating Heiress Paris Hilton. He played everything from "Bangduck" and Diddy-Dirty Money's "Coming Home" to new hits like "Can't Stop Me," Will.i.am's "This is Love" and closed out his set with "Take Over Control" (for a second time) while going down to the crowded dance floor to take pictures with fans.
Around 2:30 a.m., just as you thought the part was about to die down, DJ R3hab took the stage with enough force and vigor to almost steal the show. He opened with "Sending My Love" the Hard Rock Sofa remix which did just that and rocked the still packed house. It was as if the energy was lifted and everyone got their rage re-ignited once more with his pulsating electro beats. He hit the crowd hard with songs like "Open Your Heart" by Axwell and Dirty South carefully mixed in with harder tracks like Knife Party's "Rage Valley" which had the whole crowd jumping up and down. He proved the popularity of dubstep as he also played Zedd's "Spectrum" and Skrillex's "Breaking a Sweat" which both made the crowd go wild. We actually started breaking a sweat as we joined in on the crazy dance party that went well after 3 a.m.
Shannon Nehls / OC Weekly R3hab
Critics Bias: Maybe I've seen Afrojack too many times and though I'm a fan and love his old tracks and some of his new stuff I thought R3hab stole the show with his hard hitting set and energy on stage.
The Crowd: Mostly typical Hollywood club rats, men with lots of money buying bottle service, industry folks and some out of towners.
Random Notebook Dump: It was a wild night! We even got Grey Goose spilled all over us more than once as people tried jumping over the VIP balcony to take a picture with Paris Hilton.