Tiesto sets the tone for Electric Daisy Carnival at Playhouse Hollywood

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To the rest of the world, Wednesday night was just a chance to catch a breath before the end of the work week. But for vigilant Tiësto fans with tight clothes and loose cash, the title of his song “Work Hard, Play Hard” was never so apropos.

The evening/early morning set by the world-conquering DJ doled out a night of hump day revelry at the Electric Daisy Carnival’s L.A. pre-party at Playhouse Hollywood. That’s right, all the midnight debauchery minus the sweaty car ride to Vegas. The undulating crush of bodies bordered on scary, but rapturous hoots and hollers of clubgoers offered reassurance that concertgoers wouldn’t be mercilessly sucked under the current of this massive dance party.

Announced only Tuesday, the packed show was touted as an “intimate” event with the world’s No. 1 DJ, with a limited stack of 300 tickets available starting at $100 via presale. Those who missed the presale were looking at a $175 price tag. Inside, a collage of jet-set partiers climbed to the top of VIP booths, surveying the crowd while others perfected camera poses on the stage with the headlining DJ as they pushed to be next to him and an arsenal of glowing laptops and mixers.

This was the second Playhouse appearance for Tiësto -- named on the list of Billboard’s top 25 biggest grossing acts of 2010. His first showing at the club was more than a year ago during a video shoot with Nelly Furtado for the song “Who Wants to Be Alone?” From the looks of things at the Playhouse, the answer is most obviously nobody. Especially not the handful of celebrities in attendance, a random spectrum ranging from Nicky and Paris Hilton to hairy porn legend Ron Jeremy.


In the midst of all the testosterone fist pumping, the flashing strobes and neon jungle mayhem roaring inside the club, much of the night’s high impact moments seemed to unfold in slow motion. In a topless, caged-in platform above the bar, limber go-go dancers in white lingerie showcased tan skin and sensual acrobatics and hand stands. Showers of fog and confetti blanketed the crowd at random intervals in Tiësto’s set, to the point where the only thing visible were flickering glow sticks and maybe the person directly in front of you.

Tiësto, a.k.a Holland-born music mogul Tijs Michiel Verwest, presided over the scene with his glowing brand name emblazoned behind him on a giant pixel screen. He seemed to enjoy toying with his audience -- riding the bass, slipping in tense rhythmic Amen breaks and terse synth melodies. If things quieted down, it was brief, as they would soon throttle again with sonic explosions.

Running through a chopped and remixed version of his discography offered a mix of material ranging from 2001’s “In Search of Sunrise” right up to his latest collection of remixes, “Club Life Volume One-Las Vegas.” And while we were a good 300 miles from the desert carnival of flesh and beats taking place this weekend, the pre-party definitely offered a slice of the highlights and a promise of the wild weekend to come in Sin City.


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-- Nate Jackson