Alison Wonderland @ Shrine Expo Hall [4/1/2022]
Surrounded by sweaty, scantily clad Asian girls and horny millennials smacking lips on the dancefloor, I stood in awe of the musical talent that is Alison Wonderland. Lewis Carroll’s children’s novel, Alice in Wonderland inspired whimsical enchantment, yet Australian EDM star Alison Wonderland twists the iconic story into her own—her’s is a tale of fantastical wonderment and primal musical instinct. The DJ, music producer, and singer packed the dancefloor of the Shrine Auditorium with rabid Pop-EDM enthusiasts, along with openers Manila Killa and Quiet Bison.
With her haunting vocals and stirring bassy beats, it’s no surprise that Wonderland has received awards for being the “Highest Female DJ Billing Ever at Coachella” and earned a #1 spot of Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic albums multiple times. A constant and consistent presence in the international electronic music scene, Wonderland shapes the EDM world with her music. Her show on April 1 cemented her, in my eyes, as a powerhouse in the EDM world.
Having little experience in the electronic music genre, I was unsure what I might be getting myself into with my first EDM concert being one of the most highly regarded electronic artists in the music industry. I certainly had perceptions coming into the show about Wonderland’s stage presence from social media, and many videos online showed Wonderland behind the DJ stand intensely concentrated. I was pleasantly surprised to see how much she interacted with the audience and made her performance dynamic by dancing across the stage or on top of her DJ stand. It was a breath of fresh air to see an accomplished artist in a genre where there isn’t always necessarily audience interaction, giving her audience so much attention. Wonderland moved and shifted her set with the flow of the audience reaction.
It takes a certain type of DJ and performer to be adaptable to the needs and wants of the audience in the moment, and Wonderland’s mastery of the electronic dance genre gave peaks and valleys of energy throughout her set. While the beat drops and lead ups were exciting, the lulls in energy were refreshing and allowed me to appreciate the high intensity moments even more. However, I did find the set to be predictable in many ways. There were not enough drastic shifts in energy to keep the audience on their toes, and in many moments the beats felt repetitive and recycled from sounds we had already heard.
Wonderland’s show was phenomenal for a first-time EDM concert-goer, and the electricity and camaraderie she brought to the stage and exuded to the audience was infectious. It was an incomparable sight to see a master entertainer completely own her craft and bring a holy experience to the aptly named Shrine Auditorium. Alison Wonderland, we worship you!