Over the weekend, dance music legend Benny Benassi brought his iconic energy-rich style of electro and techno house to LA’s newest nightclub, Academy LA; formerly Create Nightclub.
It’s been nearly a month since Create closed its doors for its renovation—part of a joint Insomniac-Exchange LA ownership—and a promising new nightclub emerged. The birth of Academy brought with it subtle changes to both the interior and exterior, including an extra bar and new logo. Perhaps the most impactful upgrades made to the venue are the installation of a series of LED panels and state-of-the-art speakers that run overhead from stage to dance floor and on the periphery. This stunning stage design is arguably one the best to grace Los Angeles’ nightclub scene.
Benny Benassi Satisfies a Full House
Benny Benassi’s legend status was evident in the massive crowd he pulled for Friday night’s show. Fans of all ages and backgrounds, packed shoulder-to-shoulder to witness Benassi drop his infectiously groovy collection of hits. Benny did a fantastic job of amping up the energy with his flawless mixing of an incredible track selection.
Then came the most anticipated moment of the night. A gritty pulsating synth seeps into the speakers, and a recognizable female bot voice utters “push,” repeating it over and over. A sea of phones instantly jolt up—including my own—to capture this iconic number. Benny kept em guessing and dropped a bouncy mashup of “Satisfaction,” The Offspring‘s “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy),” and Valentino Khan‘s “Pump.” Benny brought everyone back down to earth and into a feel-induced trance with his smash hit “Cinema.” Voices rang across the room, singing the lyrics, “You are a cinema / I could watch you forever / action, thriller / I could watch you forever.“ He then proceeded to swiftly turn the show on its head with a transition into Skrillex’s filthy remix of “Cinema”—making for the rowdiest moment of the night.
Benny Benassi took his set to unparalleled artistic heights and made sure to keep us on our toes for the entirety of his two hour set. Coupled with Academy’s visually striking production and sound, Benassi put on an archetypal show of what the club scene should aspire to be.