“Sorry, the guest list is closed.”
Those dreaded words. No one wants to hear that after waiting in line to show up for a show. Still, that’s what I get for rolling up to Sound Nightclub at 12am for Moby and Pete Tong…on a Friday. Still, waiting in line is a critical part of the nightclub experience and not talking about it would be selling Sound short. There’s worse company to keep in Hollywood than the young, beautiful patrons stepping out of Uber taxis. “Yeah, like we’re on the guest list. My friend is, like, Pete Tong’s assistant or something.” Apparently, when the club is full, being hot and a friend of the DJ isn’t enough to get you through the door.
Being press is, though.
Once inside, it’s easy to see why the club was hesitant about letting anyone else in. The place is packed. Moby is already on the decks, lording over the dance pit. There’s barely room for dancing there, which I guess is to be expected. Sound isn’t a particularly large nightclub. It’s downright tiny compared to the complexes of Avalon and Exchange LA. Even Create is a bigger space. The Lure patio is probably the closest comparison in both capacity and music. Unlike Lure, however, the actual sound at Sound is excellent.
For that I was grateful because Moby wasn’t really taking it easy up there. His set was filled with hard house and acid. There’s one thing that I can always rely on Moby’s DJ sets to do, and that’s make you feel like raving. We might’ve been in a trendy hollywood nightclub with $8 beers, and table service, and dancers, and what have you, but the music could’ve just as easily fit in at some meth- and ecstasy-fueled warehouse party. Which, to be honest, is probably the highest praise I can muster.
Even Moby himself seemed to get into it. Crowds for EDM shows look to the DJ for cues on what/how they should feel (Should I clap now? Is this a breakdown? Am I too excited? etc.) and having a guy up there that is a) actually doing something b) really into it helps with people getting immersed. Sound is small enough where that kind of thing has an impact.
After being blasted by cryo (very cool) and having no fewer than two drinks spilled on me (less cool), Moby closed up his set. Then an intereseting thing happened. There was an exodus of the people who were there to just see Moby, so the floor opened up a bit. Also, almost instantly the crowd got a little bit older. It’s not like it went from teenie-boppers to grandmas, but the typical nightclub vibe lightened up when Pete Tong came on.
“Not a bad clean up crew, eh?” No, random dude with an accent, he most definitely is not.
Because they book really good talent, stay open late, and have good acoustics, Sound is a great place to find people who actually like the music. Pete Tong transitioned from the high energy of Moby to a delicious house tempo. The fist pumping turned into hip bumping. This, I think, is when Sound is at its best. Lively, but not packed to the gills. The people are still gorgeous, the music is still good, and it’s nice not to be jostled every half second by someone desperately needing to cut through the crowd.
This won’t likely be my last night at Sound. It certainly won’t be my last time seeing Moby. A word to the wise? They might be open until the wee hours, but if you want to get in, it helps to show up early.
For more info: