Calling all bros: Louisahhh!!! at MIA

Photo by Eric Traoré

Progressive house and trance puts the bread and butter on the table for Vancouver’s thriving electronic scene. It’s common to see sold-out shows at the PNE and Rogers Arena by artists who have, on multiple occasions, played in the city as well as outside of it.

Understandably, promoters want to put artists on the bill they know will sell tickets, so it’s nice when big companies such as Blueprint secure artists and plan events that are outside the usual fare. There’s more than one way to have a rave.

Last Thursday night, MIA, formerly Shine, put on a Bromance-themed night with headliner Louisahhh!!! and openers Myd and Sam Tiba. One major hiccup was the last-minute cancellation of said openers due to visa troubles from the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. Due to a technical glitch, approved visas, including those for Myd and Sam Tiba, were unable to be released to travellers. And then there was one.

Louisahhh!!!, AKA Louisa Pilot, is part and parcel with the Bromance story, starting with the Parisian label’s first release, Bromance #1, back in 2011; “Let The Beat Control Your Body” (madness when experienced live by Brodinski), along with Danny Daze’s “Your Everything”, brought early exposure for Pilot. Like her vocal collaborations, Pilot’s original productions reflect the dark and melancholic mandate that distinguishes Bromance Records as a label. And it goes without saying: they are complete club-bangers too.

Having recently released the Friction EP with creative partner Maelstrom, Pilot added to her tough and tender collection of cuts with her vocals taking a prominent place in the nature of her songs. Almost like the deadpan chic of Miss Kittin in delivery, Pilot’s on her way to developing a techno sound that’s all her own.

A local producer by the name of Juan Ton was on before Pilot. Jason Wong is part of a collective of DJs known as Electric Input that puts on various shows that support positive vibes in the electronic community. As someone whose work includes “Karaoke” with Sleepy Tom, Juan Ton was a good bet.

Take a spiffy club with awesome LED installations that sail and shoot up and down in all directions. Put a tried and true artist who has played sets and festivals all over, from Los Angeles to Mexico, in the mix. A sure set-up, yet something was missing. People. Let’s say people unconnected to the promoters. MIA boasts an inclusive atmosphere, and that spills over to the basement dimensions of the space. In a small place like that, the feeling of desertion can be extreme. At midnight, it felt closer to the end of the night than the beginning. Pilot’s vibes were strong and true, dark dance building up to ecstatic sensations. The setting offered intimacy on an unbelievable scale. Only in a city like Vancouver can one see this hard gem play basically a private party for under 20 bucks. Jackpot.