Concert Review: Dada Land Compound


credit: djoybeat

By: Aidan Meehan, Mark Hernandez
Dada Land Compound
Valley View Casino Center
25 October, 2013

On October 25th, the Valley View Casino Center was home to the Dada Land Compound, where only the Rules of Dada apply. This event was one of the first Halloween-themed electronic music events in Southern California, kicking off the spooky season in high gear. DJs A-Trak, Caveat, Clockwork, Craze, Jacques Lu Cont, Michael Woods, TJR, and namesake Dada Life put on a powerful and memorable performance.

Doors opened at 9, and attendees dressed in all sorts of imaginative costumes poured into the venue, hoping to get a front row seat for the insanity that would surely follow. In addition to traditional Halloween costumes, many people wore Banana suits, in honor of Dada Life’s famous symbol. Valley View Casino Center is a wonderful venue for events such as this, offering a lot of space to dance, upper balcony seats for tired ravers, and a light set up that rivals that of some large scale festivals. At the start of the night the costumed crowd warmed up with opening sets from Caveat and Jacques Lu Cont (aka Stuart Price) who played a powerful French House set.

The arena started to turn up in intensity when Clockwork took the stage. Clockwork is widely known for his unique Electro House style, perfectly blending melody and power in his productions. He also produces Trap and Hip-Hop under the name RL Grime, and plays tracks of both aliases in his live sets. His track “BBBS” was met with yells of enthusiasm from the crowd, along with RL Grime tracks “Flood”, a mashup of Calvin Harris’ “Sweet Nothing” and Tommy Trash’s “Reload”, and the newly released “Because of You.”

After Clockworks’ set, headliners Dada Life took to the DJ Booth with a theatrical flair, donning red inflated shirts and displaying the words “Dada Life” on the front of the stage in large balloon letters. The crowd, Dada-ed out to the max with Bananas, signs, and champagne, met each drop with an energy and excitement truly unique to this show. Dada classics such as “Kick Out the Epic Motherf*cker”, “So Young So High”, and “Feed the Dada” were accompanied with confetti cannons and powerful laser build-ups. At this point in the night I took to the front area of the stage, in between the crowd and the artists to get a closer glimpse of the Swedish duo mixing. Olle and Stefan skillfully blended between tracks while maintaining control over the crowd and waving the flag of Dada. All the personnel at the front of the stage were quite friendly and helpful, providing water to those trapped at the bar who couldn’t leave to hydrate.

After the massive two hour set from the duo, DJ A-Trak took to the stage to keep the night going strong. A-Trak pulled out all the stops, opening his set with a masterful scratching build-up leading into powerful opener “Disco Nap.” The experienced vinyl DJ  showed off his world-renowned skills throughout the set, scratching and manipulating his tracks to add an interesting element to his already impressive set. Crowd favorites such as his remix of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Heads Will Roll” were altered using the turntables. A-Trak’s experience as a hip-hop DJ and turntablist, before his rise to dance music, makes his sets truly unique.

My night was closed off with the set of San Diego native TJR, whose unique style of bouncy, syncopated house kept the die-hard attendees grooving after the headliners had finished. Favorites of mine included remixes of his classic “Ode to Oi” and “What’s Up Suckaz”.

Out of all the LED Event’s that I have attended at the Valley View Casino Center, this was by far the most enjoyable. The crowd was truly into the music, singing along to every melody and getting down to every drop. Every artist gave it their all, playing hits along with never before heard bangers to show off their skill at performing and curating music. I loved the pleasant and festive environment, and will always remember to stick to the Rules of Dada.