A steady, pulsating heartbeat pounds like a drum without any background, breaking all kinds of nightclub mores about stopping the music. The lights sink and all eyes hold focus on the giant screen above Studio 54’s stage. Guided by an ethereal trance melody, a video illustrating a dreamy flight through clouds begins the surreal journey through DJ Loczi’s Electric Dream. The instantly recognizable guitar riff of the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” triggers a confetti explosion, enticing an already enthralled crowd to join the DJ who is behind this dream.
Zachary Loczi, the San Diego-based DJ, debuted his new weekly party, Electric Dream, on New Year’s Eve in the venerable MGM nightclub. Offering a “multitude of stimulations,” Loczi says, the Friday-night production is a colorful trip with hypnotizing visual and auditory aspects, teetering between the realms of fantasy and reality. Loczi’s goal in creating Electric Dream was to create a unique mash-up of a rock show, a Vegas production and a Sin City nightclub. Incorporating elements from performances that have inspired his life—Pink Floyd, Page and Plant’s No Quarter tour, Radiohead, and Cirque du Soleil’s O—the show blurs the lines of reality with live performers, mesmerizing light shows and custom video elements. At any moment there could be an aerialist performing just feet above guests’ heads, an acrobat climbing the wall, a choreographed dance routine or a video transporting the club through different cities.
Planted at the focal point of the club, Loczi is the show’s conductor. Set up before a custom LED wall that churns out visual explosions of energy, the 32-year-old DJ orchestrates and hypes up the crowd with his enthusiastic singing and dancing, accompanied by the occasional fist-pump. “It’s about being passionate and losing yourself in the music and doing what feels right,” he says. “If I’m not into it, how can I connect to anybody else?” Setting itself apart from other Vegas nightclub spectacles such as Perfecto at Rain or Electric Dream predecessor, DJ Skribble’s Freak Show, Loczi’s party spotlights live musicians jamming to crowd favorites throughout the night. The all-star lineup includes synth player David Alexander (credited for work with Justin Timberlake and Prince), Tonight Show guitarist Joy Basu, and drummer/vocalist Christopher Wight, who has toured with Linkin Park.
With a little help from his musician friends, Loczi produces and customizes his music for each show. On a weekly basis, the team hits the recording studio to rebuild, revamp and remix new pieces of music to fit today’s taste for electro-hip-hop and house-driven dance floors. “At Studio 54 you’re paying homage and honoring the past, but you’re also recognizing that we’re not living in it,” he says. “There’s something amazing about having nothing, and building a piece of music from scratch then playing it for people and watching them emotionally respond to it, because it’s for them, and to see them accept it is really neat.” In just its sixth week, Electric Dream is leaving clubgoers satisfied and on sensory overload. For the past six months Loczi and the crew spent 18-20-hour days writing, planning and producing every each detail of the show, and they continue to do so. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, he is constantly developing new ideas to make each week unique. He takes experiences that have touched his own life and molds them into a new experience for his audience.
At the end of the day—meaning 4 a.m.—Loczi’s dream is to stimulate and give both visitors and locals an experience that will move them. “I want them to walk out feeling inspired. I want them to see someone that is living their passion and because of it is truly embracing the fact that they’re alive,” he says. “Hopefully that transfers to them—seeing someone do what they totally love.”