Getting Lost in Los Angeles with Damian Lazarus and Crosstown Rebels [Event Review]
To a background of hieroglyphs, pillars, and palm trees, Crosstown Rebels took over Los Angeles’s Egyptian Theater for their yearly gathering of West Coast revelers. Timed expertly with the arrival of Burning Man, Get Lost LA was everything we hoped for: strange décor, strange attendees, and even stranger song selections.
As typical of Crosstown Rebels’ parties, the lineup was nothing to sleep on. Berlin-favorite Acid Pauli made an early appearance, as did Crosstown artists Subb-an and Francesca Lombardo. DJ Three was on hand to showcase his deft techno and house selections, crafting one of the most technically impressive sets of the party.
The night took a turn for the mystical as the sun set and Life & Times founder DJ Tennis stepped up. Tennis’s set boasted a fanciful flair as he toyed with magical soundscapes such as Lusine’s remix to Max Cooper’s worldly track “Woven Ancestry.” It had the sort of spell-binding energy which requires one to sit in one place to appreciate.
As an hour passed, one found themselves lost in an entrancing state of curiosity as to where the DJ would lead them next. As it went, that happened to be Caribou’s summer stunner, “Can’t Do Without You.” Ending on such a light and cheerful note, I couldn’t help but wonder where Damian Lazarus would take it next.
Draped in a purple-golden cape and his signature black-brimmed sorcerer’s hat, Lazarus moved intently behind the stage in the minutes leading up to his set. Throngs of people gathered around the Crosstown Rebel, drawn in by his uncanny aura: a mix of lighthearted approachability and whimsical mystique.
When the bewitching hour finally arrived, Damian de-cloaked himself to his signature getup: a thin, pale, sleeveless garb – his dress of choice for anywhere from the Playa to a packed Los Angeles theater. Lazarus began his set by doing the opposite of what you might expect: bringing everything back down to just the drums – resetting the energy if you will. With this conscious technique, it was as if Damian was preparing us for a new journey altogether.
Lazarus thus proceeded to construct an elaborate story as he does so well, hopping from one mysterious track to the next. A heavy remix to his own “Lovers’ Eyes” was the first crowd shaker, bringing in a dark and driving techno bassline to his enchantingly ethnic single. The set culminated with one of the biggest tracks of the moment, Fur Coat’s “U-Turn.” Crafted by the Venezuelan duo to engulf a crowd at the peak hour of the night, the latest Crosstown single did just that. More than just Lazarus’s set, it was as if the narrative of the entire day climaxed in that moment. The curious tendrils reached out through the speakers and consumed the crowd in deep, dark techno.
Whether it’s from an art cart in the desert, a treehouse at a festival, or an Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, a performance from Damian Lazarus and his merry band of Crosstown Rebels never ceases to amaze the senses.
Photo Credit: Guillermo Montero