Unveiled in 1927, Los Angeles’ historic Avalon nightclub has hosted the Beatles’ American debut, the Jackson Five’s television debut, and in 1996, the last show by the Ramones. In 2014, the saga continues, as a total overhaul — comprising a new state of the art sound system, 11 LED screens, new bathrooms and new VIP area — cements the venue at the epicenter of LA’s EDM scene, bringing “superclub” production values to the medium-sized 1,200 capacity venue.
Owner John Lyons, who acquired the venue in 2002 with his partner Steve Adelman (who is no longer associated with the club), has a history as storied as the venue itself. After managing clubs for Studio 54’s Steve Rubell, along with his brother Patrick, he partnered with actor Dan Aykroyd and Isaac Tigrett to launch the first House of Blues in Cambridge, Mass., in 1992. He has overseen the light, audio and visual design of many Las Vegas superclubs including XS, Tao, Haze, Jet, Surrender, Encore Beach Club, Eclipse and most recently Light at Mandalay Bay.
While the Avalon has served as incubator for many LA electronica artists (including Grammy-winner Skrillex) whose careers have exploded with dance music’s mainstream crossover, Lyons says the latest upgrades came about mainly because of major advances in sound technology. With his speaker design company John Lyons Systems, a division of EAW, has developed behemoth 44-inch subwoofers that will result in a remarkable aural experience for both club goers and DJ’s at the new Avalon. “Like art,” says Lyons, “you can talk about it all you want . . . but you have to experience it to understand.”
The club hosted its grand reveal this week, climaxing with a five hour set by DJ Erick Morillo on Saturday.