Since 2012, Jamie Jones has championed one of the best parties for house music in the world. Paradise was launched in Ibiza at the beginning of the last decade, and nearly ten years later it is still going strong.
Paradise’s home base had always been on the island at the revered nightclub DC10, but in 2020 Jamie was planning on transitioning to a new location. Amnesia, another club that frequently received top praise, was to be the new headquarters for the weekly summer party. Due to the pandemic however, those plans have been put on hold, and instead, Jamie has brought the party stateside for a few stops at major cities (Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas).
Los Angeles was the first stop on the schedule, and as someone who had plans to swipe their Ibiza v-card in 2020, this was not something I could miss. This was going to be a little taste of what I had missed out on last year.
The selected location was Pershing Square, right smack in the middle of DTLA. While Paradise could go on for a whole day or more at DC10, due to sound ordinances in the city, the party was scheduled for 3:00pm to 11:00pm. Regardless, Jamie Jones had enlisted a strong lineup that included Yulia Niko, Detlef, Art Department, Hot Since 82, and as always, himself at the helm. Paradise was also equipped with some of the best sound there is to offer, a system by L’acoustics.
The evening was set for a generally seamless flow of music. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, both Yulia Niko and Art Department were scrapped from the lineup and replaced by Sohmi, Serge Devant, and AMÉMÉ. While Sohmi and Detlef did a great job of cultivating a groovy vibe in the early evening, things started to get a little choppy, beginning with Serge b2b AMÉMÉ.
As a general layman when it comes to equipment, it was hard to tell exactly what was happening, but the volume had dropped drastically during this time. As time went on the crowd began to thicken, and it became a bit more difficult to find a groove as the volume never returned its original loudness. Given the quality of the L’acoustics system, which is considered some of the best in the world, I was expecting a bit more here. That became even more frustrating once Hot Since 82 came on. I found myself able to have full conversations with my neighbors, without having to talk loudly at all.
Whatever the original issue was with the volume, it had completely vanished when Jamie Jones took the stage. Was it being throttled to save some decibels for the headliner? Perhaps. The sound system began to hit harder and harder with each consecutive banger that Jamie mixed in. The party now came into full focus, and I assumed a spot close to the stacks and away from the shoulder-to-shoulder pack towards the middle.
Jamie Jones once mentioned in an interview that he would flip through 4000 clips of music per week when digging for records to play. For someone who would headline weekly parties at a one of the top dance music hotspots in the world, playing a unique set is paramount. There were perhaps two or three tracks that I could recognize myself throughout the near three hour set. After taking a year-plus off of proper parties, it reminded me of why I enjoyed these types of selectors so much. Discovering previously unheard music and hearing it on a top-of-the-line sound system is one of the best feelings, and Jamie reached into the vault to channel that feeling for almost his entire set.
While the minutes had felt like hours before, they were now flying by like seconds. After a climactic finish, the crowd stuck around and beckoned Jamie to continue, but all he could do was thank them and gesture to the surrounding buildings, insinuating that the ordinances wouldn’t allow it. The party would go on to continue over at Sound Nightclub, where Jamie played a back-to-back set with Hot Since 82.
When all was said and done, it was the party was a success. If I had planned the evening like most of the other attendees and showed up a bit tardy, I would never had known of the sound hiccup. And perhaps there was something else at play there that was beyond my pay grade.
If you have the chance to check out one of the remaining couple Paradise parties in the U.S., do it. Tickets to the five-night Vegas run are here, and tickets to the New York City show at the Brooklyn Mirage can be found here.