Diplo went above and beyond at the official afterparty following Wednesday night’s 2019 Billboard Music Awards, kicking off his post-awards set early Thursday (May 2) around 1:15 a.m. and not wrapping up until 3:30 in the morning.
“It’s way past my curfew,” the professional night owl joked toward the end of his set.
No one at the Encore Beach Club was complaining, with the superstar DJ/producer serving up an hours-long set of eclectic hits spanning the last four decades, taking clubgoers on a journey ranging from A-Ha’s 1984 smash “Take On Me” all the way to Diplo’s own modern-day bops (Ellie Goulding x Diplo’s “Close to Me” with Swae Lee, Major Lazer’s “Bubble Butt”).
And Diplo really pulled out all the stops when he enlisted Halsey to perform four of her biggest songs, perched atop the DJ booth balancing in Louboutin stillettoes and a white satin slip dress.
“Straight after two — not just one, two — performances tonight at the Billboard Music Awards, one of the coolest girls in the entire world, she’s cool enough to rock with us, let’s make some noise for Halsey right now!” Diplo said to introduce the two-time BBMA performer — once with BTS for “Boy With Luv” and once on her own for her Billboard Hot 100 hit “Without Me.”
She sang “Without Me” again during her four-song set, along with the Benny Blanco and Khalid collab “Eastside,” “Bad at Love” and her massive Hot 100-topping smash “Closer” with The Chainsmokers. While “Closer” might have been a bit overplayed in its prime, Halsey promised the screaming crowd: “I’m gonna make you guys like this fucking song again, how about that?”
Halsey specifically asked Diplo to play just the instrumentals for her songs with no backing tracks, delivering an impeccable performance that was tough to distinguish from her fine-tuned radio vocals. “Go big or go motherfucking home,” Halsey hollered after boasting of her live vocals. See some of the performance for yourself below:
The singer/songwriter wasn’t Diplo’s only famous friend in the building. Tori Kelly, Lil Jon, Bazzi, CNCO’s Christopher Vélez, Lovelytheband, Ross Lynch, Chantel Jeffries and more also made their way in and out of the VIP booth behind the DJ stand. Diplo even played a few of their songs as a token of appreciation, including DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What” and Bazzi’s “Mine,” which Bazzi couldn’t help but bob his head along to. Vélez especially appreciated the Latin set near the end of Diplo’s performance, which included Rosalía and J Balvin’s “Con Altura,” DJ Snake’s all-star team-up “Taki Taki” and Daddy Yankee’s reggaeton classic “Gasolina.”
Some more interesting song choices of the night included Metro Station’s “Shake It” (Diplo even posted “Shout Out Trace” on his Instagram Story as a nod to Miley’s half-bro Trace Cyrus), Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend,” AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” and, a highlight of the night, an epic remix of the Game of Thrones theme song, perfectly timed for final-season mania.
One thing was certain at the post-BBMA bash: No one was having more fun on a weeknight than the afterparty crowd. “You’re at Encore Beach Club on a Wednesday night, which means you probably don’t have a job,” Diplo joked early in the night. “Make some noise if you don’t have a job!”
After the afterparty, Diplo surprise-released a four-track EP called Higher Ground, featuring collaborations with Tove Lo, Kah-Lo and more.