If you are throwing a Grammy party the same night as Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy gala, how do you compete? If you are Nielsen, the global measurement and information organization that measures record sales with SoundScan, you go all out.
Held at SBE's Hyde in Los Angeles on Saturday (Feb. 7), the company's soiree was reminiscent of the music industry's heydays of the '70s and '80s. In the center of the food room, where everyone gathered almost as soon as the party began at 8 p.m., was a Nielsen ice sculpture that lorded over an entire table of open crab legs, lobster ceviche, shrimp cocktail, mussels and oysters. This was big time. And that wasn't all of it. There was also a meat carving table with filet mignon, maple glazed bourbon ham and some pastas.
As one party-goer saw another Italian-themed table with cheeses, salami, olives and additional pasta, she said, "Wait, there's even more food?"
The night's headliners Bastille spoke with Billboard in their trailer where they were getting ready for their 20-minute set. Told of all they were missing inside, Will Farquarson quipped, "Did not know that was going on in there, when we were sound checking there was no food in sight."
Coupled with open bar, with featured cocktails like the Entertainment Elixir, and photo booths everywhere, it made for a very lively party, even if star power was lacking other than actor Jared Harris, Garbage's Duke Erikson and Cage The Elephant.
The night's other musical act, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, added to the robust feel of the evening with a fun-filled set of Dixieland and ragtime horn-fueled jazz.
Bastille were in the trailer for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band's set, but frontman Dan Smith said the jazz ensemble got a ringing endorsement from the Bastille camp. "Our crew is obsessed with them," Smith told Billboard.
Bastille's alternative hooks seemed tamer in comparison, but still went over great with the industry heavy crowd, which included Mike Spinella, Lars Murray and Jeff Zuchowski of Pandora, Glassnote Records' Marc Nicolas, Q Prime's Marc Reiter and Warren Christensen and TJ Martell CEO Laura Heatherly.
And when Bastille closed their set a new moments after 10 p.m. with "Pompeii" the sea of suits and gowns held up their phones to capture the moment in unison.