Over the weekend dutch DJ sensation Chuckie came to the downtown Santa Ana Arts District to get on the decks. San Diego-based promotions company LED Presents teamed up with the Yost on Saturday to bring Orange County a bombastic, bass-in-your-face party full of rage and excitement that channeled their SD venues and parties. In typical Yost fashion lately, the line was wrapped around the corner outside as electronic dance music fans and club goers swarmed the venue as their Saturday night watering hole of choice for the evening.
Johnny Kix and Deone may have missed the memo about their role as the opening DJs, that's all we can figure given how many hard-hitting songs they were playing to get the crowd's heart rate up with rhythms going way over the usual 126 bpm (beats per minute) as early as 11pm. They took the giant Yost Theater stage which shined their names over the LED wall and played Calvin Harris' “We Found Love” and Kenkraft 400's “Zombie Nation” spliced in with lame Gotye remixes to warm up the crowd. No one seemed to care about the opening DJ code however, as they screamed and jumped up and down when these bangers and classics exploded from the Yost's massive sound system.
The upstairs VIP and side tables were packed and the large dance floor was invaded by hundreds of EDM fans ready to rage and shuffle without a cause. Lasers, confetti and fog filled the room as the Yost brought all their tricks to keep party goers entertained and excited about the show. The music intensified as Chuckie, born Clyde Sergio Narai, took the stage and rocked the house with his dirty Dutch sound. He did an amazing job of controlling the crowd and seething rage as he opened with an epic Justice vs. “1,2,3,4” mash-up.
Though he played “Epic” and “Zombie Nation” like the opening DJs had, Chuckie unleashed his own remixes, edits and mash-ups that allowed him to put his stamp on them. Chuckie did an awesome job of splicing his own unique seamlessly-blended style as he played Bingo Players' “Rattle,” Swedish House Mafia's “Antidote” and even a Jay Z “N**gas in Paris” vs. Benny Benassi's “Satisfaction” mash-ups. The melodies, familiar lyrics and anthems had everyone partying hard and even popping bottles of Dom Perignon (a first we've seen in Santa Ana, that sh*t cray!). Most people just wanted to party though, and could care little about the genius gracing us on the 1s and 2s.
As Denis Koyu's “Tung” and Calvin Harris' “Feel So Close” (yes again) wove themselves in with Dada Life's “Kick Out The Epic Motherf*cker” we couldn't help but be about the music. For the most part we think those party people on the dance floor front center were too as they responded to Chuckie's set with enthusiasm and excitement like you would expect at a music festival or Vegas style pool party. Armed with glow-sticks in hand everyone jumped up and down, screamed and sang along to all the banging EDM bangers well into Sunday morning.
Personal Bias: I've probably seen Chuckie about 10 times this year so I was not expecting to be blown away. To my surprise though, he really brought out all the stops and took me on a musical journey that channeled everything from my teenage angst moments playing Nirvana's “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to my dubstep love affair with Skrillex's remix of “Cinema.”
The Crowd: A great mix of clubbers, party goers, EDM fans, even OC industry people.
Overheard in the crowd: “DJ Chuckie could rock the shit out of a cardboard box if he wanted to.”
Random Notebook Dump: We loved the energy this evening as people were popping bottles left and right and downing shots of Patron like it was water.