This past week, Los Angeles Daft Punk fans were treated to an intimate listening party of the new album “Random Access Memories,” hosted by Bootleg Gallery, Fold Silverlake , Sony Music and LAMP (Los Angeles Music Project). Guests were issued exclusive gifts at the door which included promotional items from KCRW Radio, along with 2D Daft Punk Masks thanks to Sony Music & Columbia Records.
This story began for me several weeks ago. Having heard of album listening parties taking place in other cities around the world like London and Oslo, I had been searching for an opportunity to experience the album for the first time with fresh ears here in Los Angeles. Now the time had finally come.
The evening began with music curated by LAMP in the DJ booth upstairs, along with resident Josh Brooks (PZB) and special guest, Romy Ancona. Guests slowly began to populate the dancefloor, each waiting in anticipation for the midnight hour when the album would be played in its entirety on vinyl.
To celebrate the occasion, the wall facing the dance floor projected footage from Daft Punk’s 2003 animated musical, “Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem,” along with an LED marquee with various messages for the evening’s guests. It took some time before the crowd began to move to the music, the impetus being a remix of “The Prime Time of Your Life.” Then came the announcement it was time to play the album.
Within the first few seconds of the album’s opening song, “Give Life Back to Music,” the audience let out an excited cheer. As the album moved across its various moods and styles, the crowd kept the spirit going on the dance floor with spontaneous break dancing, various forms of interpretative dance, and a genuinely good community vibe. Songs also sparked conversations amongst fans regarding their past work from “One More Time” to “The New Wave.” I knew I had come to the right place.
The highlight of the evening would have to be “Lose Yourself to Dance.” Ten seconds into the song with that signature Nile Rodgers guitar riff backed by a bass line, the crowd united on the dance floor in a way that will stay with me for some time to come. This is definitely a song best first experienced on a dance floor.
I left the event that night knowing I had found what I was seeking: To experience the album in a unique environment with a great sound system, and to share the experience with a group of fellow Daft Punk lovers from all walks of life. Overall, I feel privileged to have attended what will likely be one of the few times the album will be played in its entirety to a dance floor of fans.