Photos by NJinLA
When your shithead President is threatening the livelihood of immigrants and refugees, you put up a fight, which, if you're a certain breed of (party) person, means turning up for a good cause. That's exactly what LA-based label WEDIDIT, Mixed Management, and RL Grime's charity Because of U did last night, uniting for a benefit concert in Hollywood's Fonda Theater with all door proceeds going to the ACLU—a non-profit leading a resistance campaign against Trump's political agenda, including overturning the Muslim travel ban in court.
The sold-out show on March 16th, announced on Instagram, brought out an all-star lineup with performances from RL Grime and Baauer, Shlohmo, DJDS, Groundislava, D33J and Nick Melons, along with Michael Washington.
As a former EDM thot now in my late-20s, I decided to relive my glory days for a night. Pulling up to The Fonda, I tried to calm my anxiety as I walked past a line of EDM teens, who formed an amoeba of dad hats, WEDIDIT tees, and Nike Huaraches that wrapped around the parking lot. The last time I had been to this lot was two years ago for another, slightly different act of protest: seeing a rare one-off performance of the Chief Keef hologram banned from Chicago and Hammond, Indiana.
Inside the theatre, the ACLU had a table set up in the foyer, with chipper attendants handing out stickers, informational pamphlets, and mini US Constitutions, which I took a stack of to make rain on the dancefloor and #EducateTheYouth. The merch booth in the corner was also donating its proceeds to the ACLU. Nestled among the selection of WEDIDIT swag was a special longsleeve tee with an awareness ribbon on the front, and an apt George Eliot quote on the back: "What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?"
I stepped into the auditorium as Lil Uzi Vert's "XO TOUR Llif3" reverberated through the black and white checkered dancefloor. Michael Washington opened the show, making his DJ debut from a chandeliered balcony above the stage. I was the only person dancing while every other EDM teen began to barricade themselves at the front of the stage to secure their spot for the headliners, RL Grime and Baauer, four hours early—true dedication to the brand.
The velvet curtains came up on the mainstage with D33J and Nick Melons emerging from the haze, playing a mix of ethereal soundscapes and rap bangers from Playboi Carti to 21 Savage, the neon WEDIDIT tombstone shining in front of them in all its glory. As the room began to fill, I felt the hormonal thirst of a thousand yung EDM thots about to erupt like a volcano. I instinctively ran away, taking refuge in the pub connected to the theatre, where I ate a whole truffle burger to give me the energy to deal, while also charging up my phone to share the live experience on Insta story—an activity I'll never be too old to do.
When I returned, Samo Sound Boy and Jerome LOL were performing together as the duo DJDS, rattling the walls of the theater with their emotional strain of techno and house. Next up was Shlohmo, who came out with the unreleased version of Jeremih's "Planez" that features a verse from Chance the Rapper. Cocaine rap tracks followed bedroom slaps, and marijuana clouds billowed through the air. Finally, headliners RL Grime and Baauer took the stage, playing their EDM trap classics I'd forgotten all about, reigniting a flame I'd left festivals ago as I moshed and milly rocked. I can confirm Baauer's remix of "Roll Up" still goes off in the club.
From top to bottom of the house, everyone was lit off the energies. The neon lights were on steroids, and to prevent a seizure I turned my head into the crowd—and ALLOFASUDDEN caught view of a couple a few feet away from me who were fully exercising their civil liberties by fucking doggystyle, girl with her hands latched onto the speakers, dress pulled up, ass bent over, fully copulating with her dude for a good 15 minutes through Migos and Future.
If that's not an American right worth fighting for, I don't know what is.
Jazper Abellera is a reformed EDM thot. Follow him on Twitter.