KCRW’s Masquerade: A Halloween Costume Ball & Dance Party, October 31, 2009

This past Halloween, thousands of Angelenos gathered at the beautiful Legendary Park Plaza near MacArthur Park for KCRW’s Masquerade: A Halloween Costume Ball & Dance Party.  With one look at the massive two-story venue (several large wings and two outdoor areas for lounging and dining at some of LA’s premier food trucks), the set list (DJ Shadow, Sea Wolf, Little Dragon, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, various KCRW DJs) and the full costume participation of the guests, we knew this was going to be a stellar night. 


This was one of the bar areas and DJ rooms.  I believe this is where all the KCRW DJ’s spun, including Jason Bentley, Liza Richardson, Garth Trinidad, Raul Campos and many more.  We unfortunately time-traveled though this room for most of the night.



Nothing says LA like dancing in a large open patio with a hippie, Robin Hood looking MF, Zorro, a Filipino guy and a cross-dressing Bozo.  Good times!


With the large influx of food trucks hitting our streets, it only made sense to invite a few of LA’s favorites.  There was Border Grill, Coolhaus the Ice Cream truck, Sprinkles cupcakes, a Grilled Cheese truck and Kogi BBQ, who showed up later.


The venue was seriously huge and there weren’t problems going in and out of the different rooms. The only line that seemed to be forming deep was at the 2-mph Samy’s Camera booth, which you would think, would know how to run a smooth picture shooting/printing operation a little more smoothly.


Upstairs is the main stage and it is HUGE.  There were Middle-Eastern tents set up along the side for the extra-sedated guests.


The first band to come on was Los Angeles’ very own indie folk/rock band Sea Wolf, who were dressed up as Dia de Los Muertos skeletons.  They rocked.


Next up was Sweden-based band Little Dragon.  The singer, Yukimi Nagano, is previously known for her work with ultra-talented electronic/jazz musicians, Koop and is also dating Jose Gonzalez, formerly of Zero 7.  Her band, all wearing their signature ’dragon’ masks put on a real nice set.  From hard-hitting electronic to smooth, slow jams that make you dance with your eyes shut like a crazy person, Yukimi Nagano knows how to put on a show.   I’d die to see her perform with Koop.


Had I known that DJ Shadow would make us shake bones for an hour straight, I would’ve paid someone else to go and do the shooting.  He was THAT good.  The last few times I’ve seen him was with his stint with Cut Chemist and I now know that he can put on a great solo show.  Seriously, it was fun.


And the final act last night was none other than Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, who have been getting a lot of attention in the band scene.  My friend refers to them as a younger version of Gogol Bordello for his folky, circus-like music that never failed in getting the crowd to go wild.  Unfortunately, my wife was getting sick and we had to call it a night.

This was truly a great evening.  Met a ton of people with creative costumes and happy attitudes.  And got a nice headache in the morning.  More photos below.

» KCRW’s RadioActive Dance Party, Park Plaza Hotel, April 11, 2009