Thursday night of last week saw the return of Lucent Dossier to its home town for a night of music and play at the El Rey Theatre called Ravenous Rouge. The reverently restored venue was a perfect backdrop for the unique brand of theatrical whimsy that has made Lucent Dossier beloved all over the world.
I attended the event solo, entering very close to the moment the doors opened to the public. Unlike my forays into Lucent Dossier’s world in the past, I was an observer rather than a participant. I selected an unmolested little corner of the bar to sip on my wine and witness what unfolded before me with a sense of awe.
The first thing I noticed was the crowd. It defied any labeling. Generally in LA nightlife, it is easy to categorize the people attending. That was not the case with Ravenous Rouge. There was a little of everything. Further, the faces of people streaming in the doors were childlike – glowing with a radiant joy and friendliness. If you’ve lived in Los Angeles long enough, you know that we accessorize with attitude, particularly in Hollywood. The absence of that was quite a feat. But it demonstrates the power of the culture Lucent Dossier has established. They offer something all of us deeply need – a place to just be without all the complications we unnecessarily add to our lives.
Music is an important part of the Lucent Dossier experience. When there wasn’t a DJ spinning a mystical tapestry of sound, musical acts melted on and off the stage with no announcement. Only the brilliant DJs knew when the transitions would take place. Things appeared, dazzled and then melted into sweet memory. At the same time, about the floor, there were little stations of activity. One was a massage area. Another was a foot bath. Nearest me was an impish little sprite doing something I couldn’t quite explain but was completely enchanting to watch. I think we all fell in love with her and couldn’t get enough of her infectiously effervescent personality.
Speaking of those brilliant DJs (El Papa Chango and Obscure), I didn’t hear a single note of music I was remotely familiar with all night and yet I felt like I was at home. The sounds were universal yet eclectic. People moved as if unable to help themselves. For me, it was a soundtrack to the human revelry I was watching unfold so I managed to stay still. But I understood the urge to interpret the beats and instrumental hooks. It came from that same pure place that had plastered the child-like glee on everyone’s face.
I wasn’t able to stay for the entire evening. I heard that the end of the night held a magical moment of pure love for those remaining. Those of us who weren’t there missed out in a big way.
Honestly, writing about Lucent Dossier is almost futile. They defy words, labels or categorizing. They are an experience. A feeling. A deep sense of joy wrapped in a hug full of unconditional love.
Next time you see that they are performing – Go! You will be happy you did.