GRAMMY week always delivers some of the year’s best parties in Los Angeles, and 2017 was no different. In previous years, I’ve been able to see some pretty dope shows during the award-show week since moving to LA. Friday night will go down in the books as rising musician Anderson Paak delivered a killer free show in West Hollywood where Tower Records used to be, and then Afrojack turned up the heat at Create Nightclub further east.
Nominated for a few awards including Best New Artist (which he’d lose to Chance the Rapper), the southern California native Anderson Paak would play a nearly hour-long set in the tiny pop-up space hosted by Mastercard and Gibson guitars. It featured an open bar, a really immersive experience that included an on-site recording studio where you could lay a track down and they’d put it on an actual vinyl record.
I got there earlier in the day to check out the event, which also featured the record-delivery program VinylMePlease. They had a ton of records out for sale for $10 each, with sales going to the MusiCares program. I dropped $100 and picked up stuff like the NxWorries album – the Anderson Paak collaboration with Knxwledge – as well as the new A Tribe Called Quest record, a Gary Clark Jr. live record, Nirvana’s Nevermind, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magik, as well as a few other gems.
The show was free to attend with priority access being given to Mastercard’s Masterpass members – a new free digital wallet service they are offering. The open bar was easy to get drinks from and the place wasn’t overly crowded – perhaps people just didn’t realize what the hell was going down.
Anderson Paak and his band would take the stage a little after 10 PM. He’d kick things off with his mega-popular smash “Come Down” – which has been featured in Madden 17, NBA on TNT, as well as a slew of other high-profile spaces. The crowd was packed with seemingly die-hard fans of the rising rapper, whose second album Malibu catapulted him into new heights in 2016. Paak’s success was one of the best things to happen in music last year as the record was brilliant from top to bottom.
Paak would play a wide range of songs, including his KAYTRANADA collab “Glowed Up,” the NxWorries swag jam “Suede,” “Am I Wrong” as well as crowd favorite “Luh You.” Fans were able to stick around and drink a little longer after witnessing the high-profile set. I didn’t do that, instead grabbing an Uber deeper into Hollywood for a set from Dutch producer Afrojack.
The electro / progressive house DJ had the crowd in a frenzy almost immediately. The pit area was packed, but there was some room to breathe and dance in the upstairs area. I saw a hilarious sign in the crowd that said AFROJACK MAKES MY KITTY BOUNCE. The show came off like most Afrojack shows do — with people becoming sweaty messes. I managed to stick it out until after 2 AM — by then my energy was dunzo after two killer shows in two separate venues.
GRAMMY week never disappoints — if you’re in L.A. and you don’t partake in any of the things going on around town every year, you’re missing out.