June 24, 2012
This past Saturday, the Yost Theater in downtown Santa Ana hosted DJ Norman Doray, a fiery French selector who hit the decks for an evening of pulsating dance music as part of the venue's Show Saturdays. Though they've had several promoters come and go, the all-electronic music theme of the night has stayed the same, pleasing Orange County EDM aficionados weekly.
Huntington Beach resident, DJ Peter G warmed up the crowd until a little past midnight with his aggressively progressive electro house sound. He played everything from Top 40 remixes, EDM bangers, and even classics like Darude to get the crowd on their feet and on the dance floor. The upstairs balcony was completely closed for remodeling, but a hail of lasers still shined through from above like at any other massive dance music event.
The club itself was a lot emptier than usual. We're not sure if this was due to the lack of promoters on this evening or maybe because Doray has yet to catch on with mainstream, OC EDM fans. Regardless, the lack of party people in the crowds and in the VIP made the vibe more stale and boring than we are used to at shows like this. Show Saturdays used to be just that, a night filled with performers and show-like aspects to further entertain the audience and we couldn't help but notice this was lacking. The shufflers and ragers however were ready for some banging music from Doray as he came full force and strong from the beginning of his set.
We do however enjoy being at an event filled with individuals that actually know the songs and lyrics rather than in an overcrowded club filled with those that only know the mainstream radio hits. That part was refreshing as Doray played Deniz Koyu's “Bong” just about everyone on the dance floor knew the song and danced their asses off to the hard beats. Doray managed to carefully and seamlessly-blend remixes of Gotye and Coldplay with electro mash-ups like Avicii vs. Nicky Romero's “Nicktim” giving it his own unique style.
As P Diddy's voice smoothly resonated over the speakers with the Dirty South mash-up of Diddy Dirty Money vs. Daft Punk “Coming Home + Aerodynamic,” even I took off my five-inch stilettos and shuffled across the dance floor, challenging unsuspecting clubgoers around me to a dance off. A blanket of fog filled the room and the audience screamed with excitement as they cooled off from the crazy dance party going on in the front of the house. Giving us a preview to his new single with Eddie Thoneick, “Celsius”– out on Steve Angello's Size Records soon– Doray proved he has the same big room progressive house sound that dominates most dance clubs in the States right now.
Critical Bias: Maybe I'm becoming spoiled with all the talent that rolls through LA and OC, but I really love to hear original tracks, remixes and mash-ups from artists as opposed to the same Top 40 recycled EDM tracks every DJ plays. I'm tired of hearing Alesso's “Calling” and Calvin Harris' “Let's Go” if the DJ doesn't make it their own.
The Crowd: EDM fans, ragers, ravers, party people, club goers and everything in between.
Overheard in the Crowd: “I'm having such a fucking good time! There's plenty of room for me to dominate this dance floor.”