TAO (Together As One) New Year's Rave in LANew Year's Eve | Rex | January 25, 2010 at 13:24
Together as One – LA – Los Angeles CA
8 out of 10
For New Years Eve 2009/10 I decided that it was time to go big… real real big. The past few
years I haven’t done anything that special or memorable for New Years and every year I want to. So when my friend Annie suggested we go to TAO (Together As One), I was really excited. It had pretty much everything I was looking for: a solid lineup for music (for a rave setting at least) and a lot of people. It certainly wasn’t just sitting at a friend’s house. I bought VIP tickets presale so they were slightly cheaper – $125 instead of $150. The base price started at $50.
TAO takes place at LA’s Exhibition Park, the same place as Electric Daisy Carnival. But they utilized a completely separate area for TAO so it was almost like being at a totally new venue. The Coliseum was closed, but the memorial basketball stadium was open instead – much smaller and indoors so it provided for a very different experience.
While I had a really good time at the rave, it was fraught with issues. First I want to talk about what I really liked. The Lineup was completely solid, offering a lot of variable DJs with world class talent. The main stage was outside in a huge tent (the biggest Ive ever seen for a concert) rather than inside, which I thought was weird since the inside had a much cooler atmosphere. But as the night went on it made sense: the tent could fit a lot more people and stayed cool. By 11:30 pm the inside was so hot I seriously thought I was going to pass out.
But back to the music. David Guetta was probably the best performance I saw which really surprised me cause I had a very little hope for his set and didn’t think he was going to be very good. Instead he blew me away. We stayed for almost his entire 2-hour set and he just kept us dancing, and dancing hard the whole time. I would highly recommend catching Guetta if you ever get the chance.
Digweed also put on a very good set and I watched some of Kaskade, which was a little slow for my taste, but was still a good performance. I missed Dubfire but some of my friends said his set was amazing. Markus Shultz was a little too trancey for me and at times just sounded like noise instead of music. DJ Reza, who I’ve never heard of, was tearing up the decks, playing a lot of really cool mixes of some classic songs.
the music I would have to give this event a straight A.
But as I said earlier this place was fraught with problems… The V.I.P. was complete bullshit, not at all like Electric Daisy Carnival which was totally worth it with your own area overlooking the main stage, 2 easy access bars, couches, and quick access from the main stage to the back areas of the grounds.
But at TAO, the “VIP” area was behind the stage, so when you were hanging out, you couldn’t see or really even hear anything – so who would want to hang out there? The only way in or out was pretty much a double file line crammed between 2 fences. Half the time you were stuck, unable to move while security took their time checking wristbands. I get VIP pretty much just for the free water and a cool place to escape the mobs, but the bar line was such a nightmare that we had to wait 30 min just to get some complementary bottles of water. I would rather just pay for the damn things. Needless to say I felt totally ripped off as we only went to the VIP area like 2 times.
The layout was very confusing and there was no booklets with maps or lineups anywhere. In fact, there was no lineup posted anywhere period. Half the time I didn’t even know who was on stage and neither did the people around me. We couldn’t even figure out how to get downstairs in the indoor stadium; we wandered around everywhere. My conclusion is that they must have had a separate entrance from the outside of the stadium.
One of my biggest problems was it felt more like a big New Years Party than a Rave. There were almost too many people everywhere, especially close to midnight. We were packed in like sardines. I couldn’t move, getting pushed in one direction or another, barely able to breathe, smashed in with 100′s of other people. While this can be expected at a rave in certain places, it was happening almost everywhere we went. This led to a very impersonal feel to the crowd.
Everyone is normally very friendly and outgoing at a Rave; half the experience of being there is all the cool people you meet. At this everyone just seemed to be with their group and uninterested in mingling. That’s not to say we didn’t meet some cool people, but I think a lot of people were as overwhelmed with the numbers as I was. Everyone was on the move to somewhere, and except for the times when we were hanging out in the bleachers , there were always trains of people sliding past me and bumping me around. The whole night I couldn’t dance for more than 5 minutes without a 10 person train crashing through the crowd, forcing me to step back. Nobody seemed to be there to stop and dance for an hour then move on; people just had to be everywhere, like how it is at a party.
In the end I had a blast and loved being there. I wanted people and I got people! I was torn between feeling unsatisfied at the rave part and how hard it was to relax and dance and let things go, and thinking that this was one of the most awesome New Year’s parties I’ve ever been too. I highly recommend going and checking it out. It was defiantly a fun time and a far cry from hanging out on your buddy’s sofa. Just don’t make this your only rave of the year.
My final verdict on TAO: it’s really huge New Year’s party with a rave theme. From that point of view it was completely awesome and I highly recommend it. But if you’re looking to go an actual rave, I think you will be disappointed in most everything except the music.