Charli XCX, Allie X and Dorian Electra Throw An Epic Party At The Billy Ball Ticket Sales From The Concert Donated To Pay For Cancer Treatment For Billy Clayton
LOS ANGELES, CA- Music communities are strong. LGBTQ friendly music communities are fiercely strong.
Billy Clayton is a U.K. based recording artist who is battling an aggressive cancer. His family had set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to pay for immunotherapy treatment in Germany which caught the eye of fellow British singer/songwriter Charli XCX. Moved by Billy’s music and the need for treatment, Charlie, Allie X and Dorian Electra not only spread the word about the campaign on social media, but also took the time and effort to throw a one-off concert to help with the cause with all proceeds from ticket sales going directly to Billy medical bills.
The Go Fund Me campaign is almost half way there to achieving its goal, so if you’d like to donate a few dollars for Billy’s medical needs, CLICK HERE to do so.
With an IMMENSE lineup of 20 LGBTQ and LFBTQ friendly performers, it was a whirlwind evening of non-stop music. Using their collective networks and relationships, Charli XCX, Allie X and Dorian Electra put together an amazing line-up of fantastic talent that kept the audience on its toes and bouncing to the energy of the beats. For the most part, each artist performed short 10 minute sets, with 15 minute sets allocated for Allie X and Dorian Electra and a 25 minute set for Charli XCX. Though set times were limited, each artist gave the audience 100+ percent, making lasting impressions and surely garnering them a few more followers on social media.
DJ Baby Uniq was one of a handful of artists who pulled double duty for the evening. The L.A. native did her thing on the ones and twos prior to the live performance, and she was the first one to take the mic to perform.
DJ Baby Uniq’s set the mood for the rest of the show, performing spicy number that had the crowd dancing to her music like they were dancing to her DJing.
Next up was the “Persian Barbie”, Disco Shrine. Jessica Delijani is Disco Shrine she entertained the crowd with her rhythmic electro-pop jams, singing and dancing wildly along with her dancers.
As a special treat, she performed live her new track “Everyday” and also had the featured artist on the track, Omenihu, join her onstage for the performance to spit his rhymes.
A real meaningful moment at The Billy Ball was the performance by the pop-duo Powers. Powers are the couple Mike Del Rio and Crista Ru. In 2017, Crista was diagnosed with thyroid and lymph node cancer in her neck. The couple delayed work on their next album, Alpha, and stepped away from music to ensure that Crista was taking care of herself to get better.
With the appropriate care, and lots of love from the fans, Crista has been able to recover from the diagnosis, and stepped back into the studio this year to work on the album. Based on my research (the internet), their performance at The Billy Ball was their first since Crista’s diagnosis, proving that with the right kind of care, even cancer can be held at bay, and also proving that this couple definitely have some real power within them.
The most downtempo part of the evening came courtesy of Dylan Brady. His mellowed out performance was accompanied by a wash of atmospheric sonics. This was my first time seeing/hearing him perform, and I was instantly intrigued by the backing tracks that he was singing along to. I told myself that this guy must be a producer, and it turns out that he is, and signed to Mad Decent no less.
I felt like his live performance could have benefited from a little more “contact” with the audience. Dylan was pretty much self-contained on stage, and seemed more focus on his music than on the crowd. Perhaps gazing into the audience with his mascara painted eyes could have given his performance a little bump of intensity, but even so, letting the music speak for itself certainly did the trick for me.
The tempo of the night picked up when Gabriel Brown p/k/a Bronze Avery took the stage. This talented vocalist got the crowd grooving to his dulcet tenor tones.
I was particularly impressed with his cover of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”. With his soulful inflections and minimalist drum and bass accompaniment, he really let his vocals shine with the performance.
In an evening filled with spectacles, the first performance that really had me sitting on the edge of my seat was the performance by Mood Killer. I’ll have to admit that the artist’s name is a bit misleading. If anything Mood Killer ratcheted up the mood at the Globe Theatre, turning it … as Spinal Tap would say … “up to 11”.
Truth be told, I was a bit intimidated by the performance. Even though I was seated far away, taking photos from up in the balcony, there was something about the mismatched eyes (he was wearing a colored contact) and his lean lanky frame that cast a bit of a dark cloud about me, but knowing that Mood Killer is an artist by trade, perhaps that was all by design, literally.
The mood shifted straight to sexy when Zolita stepped on stage. Her wikipedia page says that “she identifies herself as a witch”, and I’ll have to admit that she cast a spell on me.
After doing a bit more of research to learn about Zolita, I discovered that she’s been “Fighting Like A Girl” since 2015, writing and singing songs that empower women and everybody in the LGBTQ+ community, crafting and developing the idea every woman having the “Cult Of Girls” for support in these politically charged time. Clearly, her “cult of girls” were in attendance as I easily noticed her fans singing along to her infectious pop songs.
The theatrics kicked up a notch when Jarina De Marco performed next. This Mad Decent artist certainly made an impression on me, even prior to singing a single note. With her two dancers showering the crowd with sparkly confetti prior to Jarina taking the stage, I had a sense that I was about to be impressed.
When the beat dropped, and the performance started, I felt like I was back at the Mojave tent at Coachella in 2008 catching MIA. Wow. This was definitely an eye opening performance for me. Jarina’s multicultural, frenetic beats and strong vocal delivery had me wishing that I didn’t have all of my camera gear strapped to my body. I definitely would have started raving at the drop of a hat.
Part of the reason why the entertainment was soooo good at The Billy Ball was because a lot of the performers were noted songwriters themselves. Phoebe Ryan has written for everyone from Britney Spears to Wyclef Jean, and has been featured on songs she’s co-written by The Knocks and The Chainsmokers. She’s written infectious hooks for others, and now she been writing infectious hooks for herself, having dropped EPs inn 2015 and 2017.
When she stepped to the stage, she came armed with a camera, playfully taping the cheering crowd, before asking an audience member to record her performance. This playful nature fit perfectly with her playful music. Watching Phoebe perform, it was hard not to smile with every smile she made and every note she sang.
Another artist who has a flare for theatrics is Saturn Rising, and his flare was definitely on point at The Billy Ball.
The last time I saw Saturn Rising was earlier this year at L.A.Pride, and although he performed this time around with background dancers, his performance was just and fierce and fiery as I remembered it was.
Although performances at The Billy Ball were short, Saturn Rising was still able to connect with the crowd, getting audience members to reach out for his touch by the set’s end.
A recent Los Angeles transplant, and up and coming recording artist on the scene, Carlie Hanson took the stage by storm and dropped a couple bangers on an audience that were probably seeing her perform live for the first time.
We caught wing of this rising star a couple of weeks ago, and we can’t get enough of her or her music. She’s young and talented, full of humor and life, and she can put on one hell of a show, even if it’s only two songs long. She recently dropped her latest single (at the time) “Toxins”, and she treated the audience with a performance of that song. Even more recent, she dropped her banger of a track, “Numb”. This one’s work ethic and output seems to be non-stop, so keep your eyes on this one. We sure will.
Besides the “headliners” of the evening, an artist who received one hell of a reception was Elizabeth Abrams. better known as LIZ. Another Mad Decent artist, LIZ’s pop sonics have been heard around the world ever since 2015 when her collaboration with the producer Sophie, appropriately titled “When I Rule The World”, was used in a Samsung Commerical. LIZ also has the distinction of being Mad Decent’s first pop artist and first woman signed to the label.
LIZ’s performance was a joyful one. When she wasn’t mean mugging to the heavy bass drops in the music, she was laughing and smiling on stage, and that energy was infectious.
Personally, I was super digging her live performance. The drive of her music had me reminiscing on some So So Def Bass All Stars vibe with a 90’s R&B kick. Having released her latest single “Last Call” in November, I’m hoping she keeps dropping more music in the same vein cause I can’t get enough.
My favorite vocalist at The Billy Ball was VINCINT. Wow. This dude has range.
While I don’t watch very much television, I understand that VINCINT had a particularly memorable outing on the vocal competition “The Four”, especially with his cover of Radiohead’s “Creep”. But it wasn’t until The Billy Ball that I actually heard him sing. Wow. The performance his song “Mine” was a showstopper.
The way that he effortlessly switches into his falsetto from his full chest voice was… to put it bluntly.. beautiful. His performance utilized back up dancers, but to be honest, I think that if anybody was paying attention, the back up dancers weren’t noticed at all. All eyes were transfixed on VINCINT, his mellifluous voice and the passion he emoted.
Another much heralded singer/songwriter to take the stage at The Billy Ball was Jesse Saint John. Although admitting that he was under the weather, he expressed the importance of this gathering and that he was going to be giving it his all.
I could tell that his performance had a bit less energy than the last time I saw him perform at LA! Pride, but you could tell that he was still giving it 100%. Like his L.A.! Pride performance, he enlisted the help of a fellow vocalist. I missed the name of the singer who joined Jesse on stage, but he was able to bring some vitality to the stage to give Jesse a little energy boost for the second song in his set.
The singer/songwriter theme continued when Leland stepped up to the mic.
Brett Leland McLaughlin’s songwriting repertoire is impressive. Over the past four years, he’s co-written songs with artist’s like Allie X, Daya, Troye Sivan, Selena Gomez, Charlie XCX and Carrie Underwood as well as composing 11 original songs for the score of Netflix’s original film Sierra Burgess Is A Loser which was released in 2018. In addition to the tracks he was co-wrote and was featured on in Sierra Burgess, he released three singles of his own this year: “Middle Of A Heartbreak”, “Run Away With Me” and “Run Into You”.
Based on his music, it’s easy to understand why pop stars like to collaborate with Leland. He’s obviously got a knack for writing catchy hooks and bridges. Hopefully, he’s kept enough in his notebook to keep on dropping for his solo recording projects.
Taking a break from his co-hosting duties for the evening, Chester Lockhart brought his natural charisma to the stage for a quick song.
Based on the research (i.e. google searches) that I had done prior to the event, I anticipated that his performance would be downtempo and moody, but to my surprise it was upbeat and full of sass. In fact, his performance perhaps had the most booty shaking of the night.
The award for the most turnt performance of the evening goes to the other co-host of the evening, Dorian Electra.
In the midst of prepping for her own video release party for her song “Man To Man” in the weeks to come, Dorian went all out at The Billy Ball, jam-packing her 15 minutes set-time with an electric performance, hitting each choreographed dance step with her dancers and belting her pop melodies with a tempered fierceness.
The climax of her performance was when she fearlessly leapt into the welcoming arms of the packed audience, crowd surfing away from, then back to the stage. I help my breath assuming that at some point there’d be a weak spot in the crowd and her feet would touch the ground (it’s L.A … and concert etiquette isn’t what Angelenos are best known for), but that didn’t happen, emphasizing the “safe” nature that this LGBTQ friendly event espoused.
Allie X is something special. She captivated us as L.A. Pride, and we’ve been hooked on her ever since.
Her performance at The Billy Ball was pop-perfection. From the flamboyant costumes, to the exaggerated hair and make up, to the anthemic performances of her catchy melodies “Girl of The Year” and “Cassanova”, Allie X didn’t waste a single second of her 20 minute set. And her fans ate it all up, with one fan even giving her an artistic portrait after her first song.
To give her performance even a bit more flare, the popular drag queen Biblegirl joined Allie X up on stage to dance during a couple songs. But Allie X doesn’t really need any extra flare to make her performance stand above the rest. The way she expresses the emotions in her music, and the music itself, is enough to have you dancing to her rhythms. Like I said earlier, pure pop perfection.
The penultimate performer for the evening was Grace Martine Tandon p/k/a Daya. This 20 year old performer has been compared favorably to both Lorde and Katy Perry, and has a social media following the evidence the notion that she’s well on her way to achieving that kind of status.
I’ve always been intrigued with Daya because her stage name. It’s a subtle nod to her east Indian heritage as “daya” is the hindi word for “grace” which she has previously indicated was an homage to her Indian grandfather.
There was nothing subtle about her performance, however, as she pulled out the “big guns” to rock The Billy Ball. Sporting a short-cut coif, and sheer white ensemble, she performed two of her smash hits, title track from the debut album “Sit Still, Look Pretty” (a track that cracked Billboard’s Hot 100) and the Grammy Award wining Chainsmoker’s produced “Don’t Let Me Down”. A short performance, yes; but a memorable one nonetheless.
Closing out the event’s list of performers was the inimitable Charli XCX.
Los Angeles loves Charlie XCX. The LGBTQ community absolutely adores Charli XCX. After all, her advocacy for sexuality equality is well known, she’s fearless in her messaging and her music expressing her point of views.
Accorded the longest set-time, and rightfully so, of the evening, Charli made sure that no one left venue without breaking out in a little sweat dancing to the bangers. Lively performances “Vroom Vroom”, “Focus”, “1999”, and “I Got It” all preceded the grand finale of “Girls Night Out” which had all of the evening’s performers, and a handful of stage crashers, join her on stage to close out the evening in a raucous fashion.
I found it particularly amazing that Dorian Electra, Allie X and Charli XCX were able to put on such a seamless concert event. With 20 artist performances stacked in four hours, I assumed that the schedule would go later than planned, and found myself checking my watch every no and again to see how many minutes past 1:30 the performances would go. But that never happened, and every slated artist performed during their allotted time.
But on the other hand, for an event in support of someone one who wasn’t able to make it out to Los Angeles to join in on the fun, this was clearly a celebration of life, and the life that could be helped, sans ego. I’m sure that if Billy were there, he would have love every minute of this party in downtown Los Angeles held in his honor.
Again, the Go Fund Me campaign is almost half way there to achieving its goal, so if you’d like to donate a few dollars for Billy’s medical needs, CLICK HERE to do so.