Glendale. A smallish city in Los Angeles not quite as famous for live music as Hollywood or Pomona. I don't think I'd ever been to a concert as close to where I go to school in my life. Enter Mad Decent and the Sea Turtle Conservancy.
In a coincident effort to raise funds for the Sea Turtle Conservancy and help fund Trippy Turtle's first album (coming in February 2014), Mad Decent announced a small show one day in advance, and I could already tell that it was going to be incredible.
The lineup for the show was pretty stacked - Lil Texas b2b CZ, a surprise guest, LIZ, Trippy Turtle and DJ Hoodboi to close out the night. The show took place at Complex, a place that seemed like a hole in the wall until I entered, and upon doing so I saw the small stage setup with a Funktion One sound system, and was more ready than ever for the Jersey Club beats that were soon to pound the space.
Lil Texas and CZ started out to a crowd of four, which slowly but surely began to grow as their set got more and more energetic, setting the stage for the surprise guest.
Lo and behold, the surprise guest was Djemba Djemba! The first version of the flyer for the event had listed him, but the Facebook event page did not, which made me very confused until I saw him at the show. He played a very diverse set including songs Rustie, RiFF RAFF, Bell Biv Davoe, and a host of other underground artists on the come-up. It was initially startling how few people knew who he was until someone yelled "DJEMBA DJEMBA!" really loudly during his set.
Next on the lineup was LIZ, whose R&B-infused pop stylings have more in common with Beyoncé and Mariah Carey than they do with Miley Cyrus. Her performance included backup dancers, and the energy did not let up for a moment (except when one of the monitors started feeding back really loudly). She included her new song All Them Boys as well as Day N Night (produced by Ryan Hemsworth) and U Over Them (recently remixed by CRNKN & Peking duK). Though her set was short, clocking in at 30-some minutes, it set the stage perfectly for the next performer, the father of FoFoFadi himself, Trippy Turtle.
I don't want to give away his name here, but we would love to entertain guesses as to his identity. Armed with a laptop and a Launchpad-style controller, Trippy Turtle put on one of the best shows I've ever seen in my life. I've been to few concerts in the past where I stood front and centre and yelled the words to every song, and this one trumped them all. His banging remixes of sugary 90s and early 2000s pop and R&B classics like Señorita, Poison and Deep had the crowd of 180 going absolutely nuts. The crowd followed along with chants of "Fofofadi" and "I Like Turtles," two popular samples employed by the Turtle in his productions. It was clear that this was a show where everyone in the audience was there for the music and not just the cash bar, something that is rare in the era of large, impersonal nightclubs.
Closing out the night was fellow Jersey Club proponent DJ Hoodboi, who opened with his groovy remix of Janet Jackson's "I Get Lonely" and proceeded to take the crowd on yet another journey into the new wave of Jersey Club music that's sweeping the scene. He and Trippy Turtle went back-to-back for a few songs and the remaining crowd was just eating it up. Words cannot sum up how great all the sets were at this show, and I can only hope for more shows like this in the future. With the way club music is heading, it's not too far of a reach to say that there will be.