From the moment you stepped inside the Legendary Park Plaza Hotel this past Saturday, October 25, the assemblage of rooms and spaces, from the courtyard with every food truck you’d ever need (that beignet truck, though) to the dimly lit Bronze Room on the first floor, to the Grand Ballroom upstairs, was a thumping, possessed organism. Every nook and cranny was simultaneously galvanized by a diverse lineup of artists–both DJs and bands played throughout the night– as well an impressive showing of costume clad guests. Part haunted mansion, part hotel house party, KCRW’s sixth annual Costume Ball and Dance Part, was easily the best Halloween party this music geek has ever been to.
People get DECKED OUT for this thing. Within five minutes of entering opulent lobby I saw a man-sized baby, 1986 David Bowie from Labyrinth, Ali G, and a pair of seahorses. I went as Bojack Horseman, which only required that I buy a horse mask given that I already dress like Bill Cosby. Because all in attendance took their costumes so seriously, you felt especially immersed in the alternate universe that the environment spawned.
And then there was the music, which included an impressive blend of artists, from reggae performer Hollie Cook to mellow-out champion producer Bonobo and many more. Sounds of warped electronics emanated from the upstairs Terrace Room at the same time as instrumental-driven party music flowed from the first floor. If you stood in the center of the grand staircase in the lobby, soaking in all the frequencies, the idea that the hotel was actively anthropomorphizing before you didn’t seem all that farfetched.
Among my favorite performers was Tokimonsta, an excellent, bizarro DJ-producer who is on the Los Angeles’ Brainfeeder roster, played new cuts from her great Desiderium LP to a receptive crowd of sensually grooving ghosts and masked couples. There was a healthy amount of PDA but it was okay because seeing the monopoly guy make out with predator was worth it.
The headlining slot by Chaz Bundick’s new solo project Les Sins got the whole room monster moshing (think the low-key moshing from American Horror Story: Freak Show when Bette and Dot sang Fiona Apple’s “Criminal.” There is a very viscous quality about Bundick’s live set and a markedly ghoulish glow (like FlyLo accidentally took Ketamine before a performance), all of which made him the perfect headliner for the evening, which at that point, was the early morning.
The night concluded at 2 a.m. after people had sweat off a lot of their makeup or lost parts of their outfits (RIP horse mask), but the costume casualties were well worth it. If you are ever on the fence about what to do for Halloween, heading to KCRW’s Halloween soiree is a no brainer, especially if you dress up as frontal-lob-lusting zombie.
All photography by Timothy Norris, Lindsey Best, and Brenda Janairo