An Urban Utopia At Gari Safari
I was invited to attend and cover Gari Safari by my friend Chloe this past Sunday. Set amidst the gorgeous Los Angeles skyline, on the rooftop of The Standard Hotel, Gari Safari set the bar for what a Sunday pool party should aim to be. Bragging a stellar lineup of artists: Sebastian Posso, Overjoy, Mont Blvck, Matt Ossentjuk, surprise guest artist from Desert Hearts Porkchop, Jesse Perez, Anabel England, and Human Life, Gari Safari definitely hosted a magnificent welcome back party from their recent endeavors in San Diego and Denver. The event ran from 1-7:30 PM, and was only accessible with a pre-purchased ticket.
I arrived to The Standard around 3 in the afternoon. After meandering around downstairs, enjoying the AC, I finally ventured into the single elevator that shuttled guests up and down to the roof. For those who haven’t been, the rooftop of The Standard is relatively large, featuring a full bar, dance floor, seating area, a beer garden, ping pong table, and an elevated-upstairs area with a pool and three awesome red water beds. Upon arrival, I immediately noticed the safari themed decoration garnishing the umbrellas that cast much welcomed shade on the rooftop. The temperature was actually very pleasant. The music was bumping, and Mont Blvck was performing an amazing live act, singing in a silky yet haunting voice to the background of a groovy baseline. Check out a clip that my friend Chloe took.
This was only at 3PM guys. Matt Ossentjuk came on afterwards and kept things bouncing on the dance floor. Alcohol was flowing (albeit they were standard club/Hollywood prices), smiles floating, and music grinding. There was no better way to spend that Sunday afternoon. Chloe introduced me to to Matthew Wasley of Human Life, who had issued me the press pass for this event. Awesome fellow, very personable and down to earth. As the sun trekked across the sky, I ran into old friends and made new ones along the way. Approximately around 4:15 PM, the special guest from Desert Hearts, Porkchop took to the decks. In standard Desert Hearts crew fashion, his delightfully energetic and bumping vibrations attracted even more dancers to the floor. Those jungle infused techno/tech house beats latched onto the bodies of everyone dancing and instilled an inclination to twist their hips and shake their booties. After his hour long set ended, Jesse Perez stepped up and maintained the energy on the floor with a continuation of lively and engaging tracks catered to his unique signature Miami style. The crowd unmistakably enjoyed when he dropped “What You Say About My Momma”, dancing along in a matching upbeat fashion. He masterfully controlled the rhythm of the crowd, and brought his audience into a realm of blissful dissonance as the sun began it’s slow descent in the Southern Californian sky. Anabel England dominated her live performance, crooning out to the audience with her sultry and seductive voice. Matthew came on as Human Life at around 6:30 PM. He started on a different note, kicking things off a little more slowly, and building up to a gradual, musical denouement. As a first time listener, I’d best describe it as a synesthetic experience meshing ubiquitous sounds into the other senses within a dimension of abstract resonance.
Here’s a clip of Human Life dropping an interpretation of “Personal Jesus”.
Yeah, one for the books for sure. Remember, all of this culminated into an epic collaboration at the end. Anabel jumped back on the mic and sang once more. Unquestionably one of the highlights of my experience at Gari Safari.
In summation, Gari Safari was all that I hoped it would be and more. The warm vibes of everyone, on top of their willingness and eagerness to come out fully decked in safari gear and animal prints (one person even came in a huge bear jacket) made this event so much more pleasurable to attend. The dancing never ended until the music finally stopped. Even then, shouts of “encore” bursted out. Smiles permeated the rooftop of the Standard that day, carrying over into the new week (for me at the very least). I look forward to the next rendition of Gari Safari and urge all my readers: the next time you hear about such a rumble in the jungle approaching, grab your safari scopes and dancing shoes, and come join in on the party!
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