With a name whose cornerstone is synonymous with throwing good parties, it’s no surprise that VICE’s promoted launch event for Air malt beverage inspired crowds of young revelers well before the doors even opened. The free event held at Downtown Los Angeles’ 333 Live on June 28 featured performances by Poolside and Sebastien Tellier. Patrons’ interest seemed split between anticipation of French singer/songwriter/lunatic Tellier’s legendary performance and, as one patron put it, “I only came to drink as much of these shitty free boozes as possible before puking on the dance floor and getting thrown out.”
All photos by Pamela Lin
The new malt beverage, AIR, gets the red carpet treatment with multiple open bars, professional photo booth, and pimped out glowing sippy straws. The 4% alcohol AIR is available to attendees in citrus or berry flavors and comes in Red Bull-sized cans.
333 Live, the relatively new venue located in the heart of Los Angeles, boasts a single large, auditorium-style stage with several massive speaker stacks front and center, as well as a speaker-less upstairs balcony. The sound directed solely from the stage sufficiently fills the room, but what is really interesting is all of the equipment occupying the stage. Multiple guitars, an elaborate drum set, a large podium for various DJ equipment and an array for keyboards. While Poolside plays their chipper brand of nu-disco, along with some dirty electro and techno breaks peppered in for flavor, there is minimal room for them to navigate around the stage.
Capturing the attention of the entire room, Sebastien Tellier takes the stage to zealous cheers. The long-haired, grungy Frenchman has the look of a mountain man messiah with a demeanor to match. The crowd eats it up, and rightfully so. His performance is a captivating one-man show in a league of its own. As Tellier moves fluidly from one instrument to the next, his sound evolves and the audience, if not for the free boozes, evolves with him. All of his songs are in French, which means all of the people listening have no idea what is going on, but no one seems to mind. The type of high energy Tellier exudes transcends language barriers and gets people moving. When he stops to toss roses into the audience, a stampede of wooing women ensues. It’s novelties like this, when paired with over a decade in the music industry, which make Tellier one of France’s most popular music producers. Gliding effortlessly through his set of ambient, electronic, synth-driven ballads, before you know it, Tellier’s set is done. There were no exhibitionist or LSD induced theatrics like in previous documented shows, though the audience is satisfied with the hour+ of solid live music.
As a line of taxi cabs awaits patrons outside, people venture off into the night knowing that, at an event loaded with free entertainment, Sebastien Tellier bought the rights to their hearts.