After surviving a horrifying LYFT experience (I mean who wears a GPS on their wrist while driving?! Swerve much?), we end up in a dark parking lot in the middle of Ladera Heights, California. We walk down the lot to find a check-in table and a line of intrigued and excited guests waiting to get wrist banded and hauled into a Mercedes Benz Sprinter Van which would take us to our final destination. Confused and anxious, we rolled through the Baldwin Hills wondering as to where we were going and what exactly it was that we’d be getting into tonight. After a few more hills and turns we finally get to the event grounds.
At the corner of La Brea and Stocker stood what looked like to be an old sleazy Bates looking motel, as if this whole experience wasn’t sketch from the get! I mean being dropped off in a dark parking lot, getting into a vehicle not knowing where you were going and ending up in front of what could be your ticket into a starring role of a horror film – if Miguel was going for that “let’s get our guests anxiety way up there before they have the time of their lives tonight” then it totally worked! Going through security and making our way into the venue felt like we fell into a rabbit hole and ended up in a adult movie directed by Tim Burton. The dark, gritty motel was filled with surprises of the visual and aural variety in each room and even featured a glory hole that served some delicious tacos.
We started off the experience in a mirrored infinity room where we were greeted by a heavy handed bartender serving up Cold Cock Whiskey, Tito’s Vodka and Body Armour sports drinks that served as chasers. After a few sips, we take our drinks over next door to another room transformed into a dark grotto. It was missing Hugh Hefner and his Playmates, but it did have Mick aka Mick Boogie killing it on the decks. Mick also served as the event’s music curator for the weekend. He provided the soundtrack to each room which gave each exhibit a certain nuance. We then proceeded to the next room where we got our “Sound of Music” on and posed on a few grassy hills for the ‘gram. As we explored the rest of the rooms, we dropped in on a replica of a Koreatown karaoke joint, a prism room, peeped in on a webcam show and literally laid on some titties.
There was so much more to be explored but before we could do anything, we had to chill on the drinks and load up on some tacos from the glory hole. As we were waiting, the man of the weekend Miguel, casually walks around greeting guests and chatting it up with a few people. Not going to lie it was pretty dope to see this Grammy Award winning artist just leisurely walking around his event with no security, basking in the glory of his work. After almost one hour of struggle in that taco line we finally reached the front and was served the best four tacos and chips a tipsy guest could have ever asked for. I totally lied about chilling on the drinks, they had mini fridges stocked with shooter-sized bottles of the whiskey and vodka in a room up for grabs and, of course, had to load some into our pockets. So if you can imagine, the first bite of the tacos were heaven.
As the night went on, Miguel made his way into one of the themed rooms and began to jam out with his band for an impromptu performance. A small crowd gathered in front of the door and watched him do his thing through the window and doorway. Needless to say, of course he did he killed it. If you haven’t seen this guy live yet, you should place that as a priority.
As the squad reconvened to hit the bar one last time for hangover-fighting water and juice before calling it a night, in walks Bad Gal RiRi herself. Rihanna was in the building! She took two shots back to back and made her way out and into the grotto next door where she worked it on the dance floor to her new single, “Work,” spun by Mick. Later that night, her and Miguel teamed up to put a spin on the Temptations classic, “My Girl.”
Well, as you read, we had a pretty interesting night at the Wildheart Motel Experience. Miguel created nothing short of an amazing and visually appealing experience for some Angelenos that weekend. His artistry just went beyond musical talents and really showcased him as a true artist with this tremendous spectacle and work.
Photos by: Devin Joplin and Jose Negrete