Close your eyes and picture it: you step onto the grassy, sun-kissed lawn of a Malibu winery. You lay down a colorful picnic blanket. You pour flamingo-pink rosé into delicate champagne flutes and sip with your pinky in the air.
None of that happened last month at the famous Rosenthal Wine Bar and Patio, which was transformed into a taco spice-fueled rave.
Tucked in a nook off the Pacific Coast Highway, the idyllic winery recently welcomed electronic music stars Zedd and Big Wild, who performed on a bespoke stage with a transparent LED panel offering a view of the ocean. Powered and brought to life by First Tube Media, the event was the latest in Grubhub's Sound Bites, a virtual episodic concert series that attracts millions of viewers thanks to its immersive livestreams.
Most would assume a performance from a Grammy-winning EDM juggernaut like Zedd was the highlight of the night, but au contraire—it was the partnership with Taco Bell. The experiential activations were the event's pièce de résistance.
Masked staff served free Taco Bell items through the night. Lactose intolerance be damned, we loaded up on Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos like there was no tomorrow.
Like something out of a boozy funhouse from Candyland, there was a tiny bar serving drinks behind secret doors. You could order a Baja Blast with agave wine or an Orange Splash with soju, and they wouldn't appear unless you rang the doorbell. It was a full-on adult playground.
If pounding spiked Baja Blasts is wrong, it's tough to imagine being right.
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The marketing team behind the event leaned heavily into its EDM influences with a fake DJ booth, where attendees could "deliver the sauce" for a fun photo op.
Renowned electronic music producer and multi-instrumentalist Big Wild kicked off the evening's musical slate with a typically magnetic performance.
Donning red pants, he sauntered around the stage and delivered his signature blend of disco and indietronica via live renditions of fan-favorite tracks like "6's to 9's." Frequent collaborator iDA HAWK also made an appearance with a stentorian performance of their 2016 single "Invincible," among others.
After popping open a bottle of wine, they say you're supposed to "let it breathe." Zedd did no such thing, taking the stage and immediately uncorking his classic, electrifying sound.
Considering the setting and attendance of less than 200, there were whispers Zedd may perform an unconventional, more restrained set than his typical barn-burners. After all, it's a quaint winery in one of the nation's bougiest cities—not Ultra Music Festival. But he went on to deliver a no-holds-barred DJ set in one of his most intimate performances in years.
Zedd cycled through his arsenal of dance anthems like Lance Armstrong after a blood-doping session, dropping "Stay The Night," "I Want You to Know," and more in a nonstop blitz of electro house. And whether you were a wine snob or a neon-clad raver, you were in.
You can stay up to date on Grubhub's "Sound Bites" series here.