On Sunday, February 16th 2014, LED and Goldenvoice presented Finger Linkin' at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles, California. The lineup consisted by set order: No Hesitation, Ummet Ozcan, Pegboard Nerds, TJR, Showtek, and Chuckie. To cover all my bases, I am going to use these categories: Logistics, Venue, Music, Money, and Overall Experience.
Logistics: The Shrine is located right next to the USC campus. Parking and security in that area are tight. Public parking spaces were scarce. Entering the venue took a few minutes. Audience members were being searched from head to toe, literally. Everyone had to remove their shoes before being pat down, causing a delay in entering the venue. I arrived at 9, didn't get through security until 9:37 for a venue with only 5000 capacity for the night. Leaving the venue was relatively easy, nothing out of the ordinary.
Venue: The Shrine Expo Hall area was very well kept to say the least. The venue has lavish glass and decor displayed prominently all along the interior. The carpet had an extravagant red and gold pattern. There were two water fountains! Only one worked, but free water at a venue already wins my heart over. This should be the standard, not the exception. The mens bathroom was adequate for the amount of people, and well kept. Bar lines were only a couple minutes at the most. Drinks ranged for example $4 for a can of beer to $14 for a 24 oz. premium selection. Pizza and boba trucks were available in the outside smoking area! Space was available to dance in the back area and the upstairs areas. It was also easy to get up through the crowd to the front if that's your thing.
Music: The lineup was strong. Pegboard Nerds came on just after I got on the dance floor. The Denmark based duo consists of Alexander Odden and Michael Parsberg. Their Facebook information page has their genre of music listed as Crazy Shit! That's pretty accurate. Below is a video of the Krewella ft. Pegboard Nerds “Alive” Remix which they happened to play, along with a set of ‘Nerds material that was very satisfying. They are my favorite drum n bass type group, and they delivered.
TJ Rozdilsky, better known as TJR, followed with his own set. There were more people shuffling and showing their footwork during TJR than any other act. Having all those people create dance circles definitely made the experience more fun for the moment. Then, Showtek came on. Wouter and Sjoerd Janssen are a brother duo based from the Netherlands. Did you know, Showtek co produced Tiësto‘s “Maximal Crazy! Alright, I'm not going to beat around the bush anymore, their set was insane. Every awesome Showtek mixed track I am familiar with. The crowd was turned up during the entire set! Having Chuckie play after just seemed like a bonus. DJ Chuckie is notorious for having a “Dirty Dutch” sound. His set consisted of heavy party beats and mixes that included songs like the Botnek edit of “Animals,” Bugatti, his remix of Dada Life‘s “Kick out the Epic Motherfucker,” and some classic hip-hop tracks mixed through the end. This was the best co-headliner set I have seen in recent memory.
Money: Actual money spent. A good reference when attending another Shrine event to help gauge your overall budget for the night.
Ticket – $63.90 direct from Ticketmaster
Parking – $20, anywhere within reasonable walking distance
Water – Free if you didn't buy bottled!
Drinks – (1) $14 Stella Artois
Food – $6 Deep dish option pepperoni pizza
Transportation – Car. Gas split $5
Confiscated Gloves – $130 Chroma set
Going off of this, the cost could modestly be $110-250. We could include unopened gum, cigarettes if you smoke, tipping…
Overall Experience: After writing about the music, I am inclined to say the show exceeded my expectations, but that would be a lie. The amount of security was overwhelming, like it was for a festival. I witnessed glovers get their gloves taken away in mid performance. LED does have a common policy of not bringing lights in like other events, so they give out foam light boom sticks to wave around. Poi Spinners and other light dancers who looked ignored, while what looked to be “glove confiscation raids,” came out of nowhere. This seemed really confusing. Why only take some of the banned lights away? Good thing that didn't happen. If all lights weren't allowed into the event, wouldn't entrance security officials notify the attendees? The policy could be more consistent. However, there was a representative that was actively taking numbers of the people so they could get their gloves back, so it's reassuring to see an official staff address this in their best capacity for the moment.
It was also a little uncomfortable the amount of fans that looked completely haggard. It was my first impression walking into the place! I may be an astute observer, but it didn't take a rocket scientist to know the partying did not start out at the Shrine for some people. Maybe it was because it was an 18 and older event. Possibly just a lot of college students enjoying their President's Day Weekend. But in comparison to other events I have attended, the vibe would be described as anxious and unsettling than “PLUR-like.” Besides that, the night was great! No regrets, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. In comparison, I have seen shows that cost $30-40 and I've had equal or greater experiences. Because of the miscues and the overall price for everything, I if I had to rate the night on some sort of spectrum, I would give it a 7/10.