For the third year in a row, KCRW has put on the best Halloween party in town: the KCRW Masquerade. The event is held at the absolutely amazing Legendary Park Plaza, former hotel turned event venue. The night was full of live performances–both onstage and off–that spanned from ballroom to ballroom, all over the space. KCRW went above and beyond and then some for this event, holding absolutely nothing back in terms of Halloween and party thrills.
The event was multi-faceted: it spanned from performance art show to concert venue to freak show to food truck destination to pop-up bar to a celebration of local showmen and women. The Masquerade was fairly emblematic of KCRW itself, as they put on a top shelf show in a cool space with cool people. The space, which was absolutely perfect for the affair and an architectural delight, hosted many different rooms for partying that varied from live bands to big house DJs to smaller, “indie” DJs. Some of the music highlights included Milagres, Mariachi El Bronx, Henry Rollins, and Jason Bentley, among a long list of star performers.
Our favorite room, which hosted Moby late in the evening, was the upper Terrace room that KCRW personality Liza Richardson started out the night DJ-ing in. The room was large, lit by black lights, with high walls that led to cathedral ceilings, perfect for video art pieces. The video installation, which were being mixed live, were the product of Undercover Entertainment. Being in the room was definitely one of the evening’s stand outs. You can see a clip of both Liza’s performance and Undercover’s work below.
Another really rad art event happening at the Masquerade was outdoors, where Aaron Axelrod was creating his Melting Rainbows piece live every few hours. Axelrod’s Rainbows is both moving painting and performance art. Working with a transparent dome, he would drip paint of various colors on it, which drip off and mix together randomly. He’d mix them by hand and with water, allowing for the paints to swirl together in crazy combinations. What he was doing on the dome was also being projected on a screen above the outdoor bar, which–even if you couldn’t see Axelrod himself–you could see his handicraft projected live. You can see a video of him performing below as well.
KCRW’s Masquerade is one of the most fun Halloween events we’ve ever attended because they go all the way, not skimping on anything. They know that if you are paying to make this your Halloween event they cannot disappoint you: they pull the highest end food trucks (The Grilled Cheese Truck! The Border Grill Truck! Lake Street Creamery!), provide extremely affordable drinks ($5 for beer, $6 for name brand mixed drinks), and have various outlets to be photographed in costume (a photobooth and a “red carpet” like photo station were popular items throughout the whole night) to ensure you are having a good time in addition to the live art and music around you. Similarly, all attendees felt the same way as well, going above and beyond in costuming and flocking together in and out of rooms. We’ve shared a few of our favorites of the night below. It also should be noted that the Masquerade is the perfect microcosm of which costumes were big this year, as we saw at least ten Black Swans, Waldos, Clockwork Orange Droogs, and Mario and Luigis. If you chose a popular costume, it was very obvious you chose a popular costume.
There are always lots of cool things to do in town for Halloween, but KCRW’s Masquerade is the place to go. Gather a group of friends, take a cab over to Park Plaza, and party until they send you home at 2AM. KCRW throws the coolest events in the city so, of course, their Masquerade is the best Halloween party in Los Angeles.
Additional photography of performers courtesy of KCRW photographers Jeremiah Garcia and Gary Leonard.