Purple Disco Machine’s block party at The Shrine is a neon dream with Chromeo, Duck Sauce

German DJ and producer Purple Disco Machine (Tino Piontek) was a sensation outdoors at The Shrine for a block party dubbed One Night In LA on Sunday, with special guests Chromeo, Duck Sauce and Kiinjo supporting. The historic building opened in 1926, and a show inside is always special, but something about the temple at night as a backdrop with exhilarating dance music made for an especially majestic setting, with purple thoughtfully accented on the surrounding palm trees and beams attached to the beautiful stained glass. Musically, Purple Disco Machine’s set was a club goer’s dream, sort of a jukebox DJ-style with non-stop house and disco blended with iconic tunes from the 70s, 80s, 90s and others from the current era. Purple Disco Machine had nods to Donna Summer, Lipps Inc, Elton John, Michael Jackson, C+C Music Factory, Daft Punk, Diplo, Lizzo, The Weeknd and seemingly everything in between, with a number of PDM songs that sample or interpolate songs by these hitmakers.

Duck Sauce (Armand van Helden and A-trak) were a blast from start to finish, blasting the crowd with their hip-hop-meets funky house track “Charlie Chazz & Rappin Ralph” followed by their debut single “aNYway”, with fans dancing and singing on the blacktop. The two embraced behind the decks in their golden jackets and later the duo had their duck beaks on for the bass-heavy “Big Bad Wolf”. Their set combined flavors from the 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond, including a remix of Lorde’s “Magnets” mixed into Dizzee Rascal’s “Bonkers”. A remix of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll” (which seems like an LA staple at this point) was next and they concluded with the jam that made Duck Sauce a well-known name in the dance world: “Barbra Streisand”.

Chromeo had an amazing, mirrored setup —one of the best to date and the production with lighting, audio and visuals was totally on point for the electro-funk duo. A spooky, trap version of “Oh Ee Oh” from The Wizard of Oz opened and closed the show with Dave 1 and P-Thugg jumping right into “Fancy Footwork”, clapping it out together. “Juice” got the fans going and on “Somethingood”, the funky tune found both guys front of the stage playing their guitars. They blended a danceable “Must’ve Been” with P-Thugg’s morphed mic tube vocals effortlessly into the catchy “Momma’s Boy”. The guys mentioned they hadn’t yet announced the new album but wanted to try some new material, the first being “Words With You” (and it turns out just yesterday they announced sixth album Adult Contemporary for release on February 16).

P-Thugg continued on his special distorted mic and asked the fans, “Can I hear you scream?” and then said “I can’t hear the California love”. After the applause got to an approved level, the guys gave a shout to all of the acts performing on the bill and continued with early banger “Night By Night”, keeping the dance moves active from the audience. They brought the funk back with “Over Your Shoulder” with some standout guitars and amazing synth, and encouraged fans to climb atop other fans’ shoulders. “Old 45s”, “Bonafied Lovin'” and “Jealous (I Ain’t With It)” kept the energy high near the end of the set and all sounded as timeless as ever. The strobes and production were especially slick on “Jealous”. “100%” brought the 80s synth vibes back and Chromeo shared another new tune (out yesterday) called “Personal Effects”, with P-Thugg at the front of the stage for a hot bass moment.

Purple Disco Machine kicked off with a pink neon logo on the backdrop, with Piontek smiling throughout the evening, launching with synthwave tune “In The Dark”, his collaboration with UK act Sophie and the Giants. He followed it up with his remix of “Valerie” by Steve Winwood, easily one of the best male vocals from the 1980s, with confetti exploding onto revelers and a bunch of “hoo hoos” heard from the crowd. It signaled an energetic and varied collection of songs was in store, with an equally hyped audience to match. “Devil in Me” featuring Joe Killington & Duane Harden (which samples Judy Clay and William Bell’s late 1968 soul song “Private Number”). Purple Disco Machine nailed it on tapping into an era and then shifting completely, and he did so right away with Diplo and SIDEPIECE’s nu-disco-meets-house smash “On My Mind”, with one dancer making a dramatic entrance and three others who followed. Piontek also paid homage to original material, often opting for the original rather than the new remake, like in the case of Chicago’s “Street Player” where much of the original was reworked (rather than choosing 1995’s “The Bomb” by The Bucketheads).

There was so much neon, so much disco, and the color matched the crowd vibes perfectly, with many dressed up for the occasion with glitz, purple, disco accessories, hats and necklaces. Eddie Johns’ 1979 disco song “More Spell On You” made an impression, the original song sampled for Daft Punk’s “One More Time” and then the international dance hit made a huge impact, followed seamlessly by an epic, elevated “Billie Jean”. PDM continued with his own “Dopamine” which features Eyelar. There may have been a slight moment of piece of “Turn The Beat Around”, but whatever was masterminded in the moment turned into C+C Music Factory’s 1990 monster hit “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)”, which features an iconic vocal from Martha Wash. The dancers were back for “Body Funk”, a sort of megamix which samples Sylvester’s “Do You Wanna Funk”, Hot Streak’s 80s tune “Body Work” (also sampled in Missy Elliott’s “Lose Control)” and an interpolation of 50s song “Sound Off” (The Duckworth Chant).

A remixed “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John was really solid and then a moment of Daft Punk’s production for “Around The World” may have been heard, followed by a remix of “About Damn Time” by Lizzo. It was the 70s to the 90s to 2020s in a flash. The Weeknd’s funk-disco “Sacrifice” took another modern slot followed perfectly by Lipps Inc.’s massive 1980 track “Funkytown”. It was back to the 90s for Technotronic’s ubiquitous “Pump Up The Jam” and soon after disco royalty Donna Summer got her due with the dancers back for a big moment of “I’m In Love”. Purple Disco Machine reminded everyone that he has his own incredibly satisfying tunes like 2023’s “Substitution” with Kungs featuring Julian Perretta. John Paul Young’s late 70s track “Love Is In The Air” got a moment of chill and Purple Disco Machine’s own “Hypnotized” took the spotlight, another delightful track that features Sophie and the Giants.

Words by Michael Menachem
Images by Eric Han