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Raw Goodage

REVIEW: The Yost Theater – Santa Ana

With a serious lack of well-managed EDM clubs in Orange County, most partygoers have been forced to make the slightly inconvenient trek to Los Angeles to be spoiled in some of the best nightlight in the country. Thankfully, The Yost Theater may be our saving grace. After attending many events like Feed Me, Electrik Playhouse with Cold Blank (which we were promoting), and finally SHOW Saturdays (21+ “Perfecto” type show), we have been given an informative glance into the future of our beloved music community. While only a few weeks old, the remodeled Yost Theater has proven to be a crowd favorite. This will be the first event review guest post from our good friend and concert expert Andrew. Read the details after the jump!

For years Orange County residents have undertaken the arduous trek to Hollywood in pursuit of a good night out. The thriving electronic movement in Los Angeles draws people in from more than a fifty-mile radius because clubs like Avalon, Playhouse, Supperclub, and The Music Box offer an experience not available anywhere else. The Yost Theater is here to bring that magic to Orange County.

Unfortunately, the first thing you need to know about the Yost Theater is that the two or three lines to enter all converge into one at the security check, so just ignore the signs and hop into the shortest one. Or better yet, just walk up to the crowd at the front and skip the line like everyone else.

While I’m obviously not impressed by their organization of the entry process at any of these events, it would be a mistake to say the guys at Yost Theater don’t know what they are doing. After all, they’ve been open for a week and they are my favorite venue in OC. I visited the Yost on 8/9 for Feed Me, 8/18 for Cold Blank, 8/20 for a viewing of the EDC Experience, and recently SHOW Saturdays and was very impressed with the décor and atmosphere of the venue. Ostensibly designed as a “miniature Avalon” to service the 18+ EDM crowd in Orange County, the Yost is tapping a market gushing with demand and short on supply. Several OC clubs have tried to enter this space before with little success because they were greedily driven by alcohol sales and failed to pick up Insomniac’s mantra of selling an experience. We need more venues following in the path of Insomniac. The Yost’s only real competitors in Orange County can’t handle big DJs; Sutra, while constantly booking amazing talent, has much smaller capacity and is of no benefit to the 18-21 crowds, and club 8eighty8 could never handle the crowd for a DJ like Feed Me. On the other side of the spectrum, the Yost’s plan to capture the surge in EDM market demand and their big-name-talent friendly terraced-pit layout could combine to form quite the recipe for success. The Yost revealed their grandeur intentions by having Feed Me, Mustard Pimp, and Thrice all play in their first week of business.

Converted from an old art-deco theater, the Yost sports a high ceiling and giant curtains covering the walls. I heard several people compare the inside to Avalon, but I must say there were some functional differences. The layout of the club is a long, sunken dance floor the width of the stage, flanked on both sides by slightly elevated table areas, and a bar at the back. Like Avalon, they have an upstairs balcony with seating, as well as state of the art sound and lighting. The dance floor is large enough that the venue shouldn’t feel crowded even at capacity, and the terraced table areas and bar at the back make for great standing room for patrons who just want to watch the talent. During Feed Me’s performance, the dance floor was jumping around like a dubstep crowd should, while the couches along the sides accommodated those of us who were just looking to sit back and enjoy the show, socializing in a laid back bar-like setting. Another great bonus feature was the huge outdoor sitting area with tables, chairs, and food service-conveniences that I feel all clubs should provide its patrons. On Saturday the EDC Experience viewing had food and a full bar, as well as the director from the film who came to provide Q & A opportunities.

Overall, Yost has quite a capacity for success; they should have the market demand to sell out several times per week, and the venue is both functional and beautiful. The only real problem is their line management (though there are signs of improvement), so get there before 9:45 or after 11:15 (the headliners have been coming on at 12:30). By hiring more security and organizing the entrance process as well as the bar, the Yost will continue to be a fun, easy, and popular place that I will frequent. Otherwise, by ignoring the comfort of their patrons and taking advantage of the fact that these 18-year-old kids have nowhere else to party, they will likely soon become just another bar that has DJs. Yost, you’re the future of the OC and our Friday nights are in your hands.

Check out some links from our partners below:
The Yost Theater
Dirty Hype
Electrik Playhouse

Andrew August 31, 2011 Music

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Festival enthusiast. Costume elitest.

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