Woke up pretty sore and more than a little exhausted but pumped because the line-up was about to make it all worth it. Today featured the Dirtybird Players at the Underground tent and those adorable French Ed Banger boys at the Summer Stage.
After some mild confusion on how to get there (even though I was there yesterday), and a short, unwanted trip down skid row, I finally make it to catch gLAdiator's set. They turned it up with a huge crowd, and, considering it's 1pm directly under the sun, people were getting all kinds of ratchet. It seems like the stage they were on held that theme for the rest of the night, which means that as the opening set, the two guys definitely set the right mood.
Nathan chilled with the guys after their show, while I caught Cory Enemy. He's a native of LA as well, and if there is one thing this city knows how to do- it's to stay ratchet all day long. Cory did great, but the most memorable thing I got to see/hear was that mess known as Brooke Candy, who was a guest for the set. If Lady is to Danny Brown, then maybe Brooke Candy is to... Riff Raff? Anyways, it was an experimental choice that I can respect, although I didn't necessarily ever ask for it. It was a lot of pushing boundaries at that point, especially with the heat in my face.
Next up was Feadz, which put me at the Summer Stage for the first time. This years stage was smaller and I noticed a big change in the dynamic compared to the stage they had in the similar vicinity last year. The guys of Ed Banger, Busy P, So Me, and for the sake of this statement, Gesaffelstein, were relaxing and talking in the back while Feadz pulled some magic into the air. Everyone looked like they were in their casual Sunday, with most of them sporting Ed Banger tees, and dapper Gesaffelstein sporting a relaxed version of his usual look with a loose button up. Just stuff I notice as a girl.
While US artists know how to get down, this was certainly more of what I was interested in hearing on Sunday. I didn't listen to Feadz all that much before, but he definitely has my attention now. I loved his set, and the feel of the stage-with trees surrounding it- made it feel like we were partying in a forest-ey corner, which was a nice idea by the Hard coordinators.
Bromance labelhead Brodinski was up next. I was a bit bummed since he passed by where I was standing two minutes after I left but eh, whatever. That's right around the time I started noticing the BMC gear everywhere, and I realized how much of an extent French dance music was influencing the world. I'm that weird friend out of the group that finds different music, so I took solace in the fact that I was with other people into the same stuff. As Feadz finishes his set and the man of the hour comes on stage, people are going crazy. They love this guy.
If anyone knows how to rock a crowd and play at such early times, it's Mr. Louis Brodinski. Watch his Boiler Room and realize that this guy knows how to work the crowd, regardless of the situation. Plus, while most DJ's kinda do the head bob and most people don't pay attention to the events on the stage, watching him is probably half the fun. I read someone on Youtube comment once that no one has more fun at a Brodinski set than Brodinski, and every time I watch him, I believe that comment full-heartedly. I'm pretty sure he had some problem last year that didn't let him play at Hard, so it was finally nice to see him at this festival (although now that I think about it... did he play 2011? Feel like I've seen him more than a few times by 2013).
We left his set early to catch up with some Dirtybird guys back in the artists area. We aren't usually allowed in, but we finally got clearance, and Nathan made friends with the bouncers, so it was pretty awesome once we did. The back area is probably one of the most relaxing areas. Groups of friends are relaxing there, and the water is plentiful. Everyone there is super friendly and while the festival is a bundle of chaos, heat, and semi-naked people, the back feels like a hangout area, and it is.
Since we have some time, we check out the last 15 minutes or so of Breach, and Eats Everything finally gets there right as it gets to his time slot. Man, he must be exhausted since he tweeted an hour before that he was still at the airport. It was the first time I was at that stage that day, but it was so obvious everyone had nothing but love for these guys, and unlike yesterday, everybody was at the tent specifically to dance their ass off to some deep house.
Eats Everything, with red solo cup in hand, picked one of his songs and kicked it off. He's probably also another DJ that has more fun than any other person there. Dancing away his hour and a half set, time flies quickly. Nathan wanted to know what the first song was so bad, and luckily we had the chance to talk to him after, which will be up in a couple days.
It was then onto Mr. Oizo, who was the first guy to get me to go crazy on the dancefloor. Ed Banger was killing it time after time; this might be their tenth anniversary but they were slaying it like it was their 50th. By this point I realize my ear-ringing problem on the right side especially, I was definitely stupid enough to not bring earbuds. I forget too many times, and my ears are starting to pay for it. Uh-oh, not good.
Justin Martin is up next, so we run over to the other side of the venue. At this point I'm pretty curious about how much walking I've done, next festival maybe I'll bring a pedometer. Although, I couldn't even remember earplugs so I'm not counting on it. He did his thing, and the Underground Stage is going pretty wild. I loved it, and the energy was so amazingly different from the rest of the festival, it was nice to come to something less wild.
Halfway through Justin Martin, I run into a friend and find myself at Dillon Francis. He was adorable, so appreciative, and that made his impressive set all the more better. He had this moment of awe, staring at the crowd. He said something about how amazing it was that people were paying him money to play songs off his computer, and he just looked so struck. It was probably the best set he's ever pulled (that I've seen), just from how sweet he seemed. He played his TEED collab track at the end, and if I remember he dropped Ying Yang Twins at some point. Audience members featured his face on cardboard cutouts, and many of his online jokes about dads and cats were made into signs. Great participation between the crowd and audience; it felt like a sappy love moment, but it was okay because he seemed pretty happy. Really what I'm trying to stress is that he seemed grateful, which just made everything so much better.
I ended then at the summer stage at Justice. That stage is naturally smaller than the others, so it felt much more intimate than if the two guys rocked on a bigger stage. There is buzz and everyone is eager. They test out the lights, people are kind geeking out waiting. It's packed, the ladies bouncing the backstage entrance, one of which I befriended earlier and told me she hated this music, look bemused at the sheer amount of people trying to go a little bit wild for the last two hours of the event. Made it relatively close to the front, enough I can see Gaspard's tall frame and Xaviar next to him, which at my 5 foot 3 height is considered a good spot to stand. The one word I would describe their set would be clean. Every transition was perfect and I'd say that they were probably the guys with the least amount of mistakes or anything that sounded even remotely off. Every thing blended perfectly, and it was a smooth journey straight through. It never occurred to me how perfect Gesaffelstein and Justice blend together by the way. Something to think about in the future (note to self).
The hour passes quickly and it's soon time to go. As much as I love partying, this was one of the first weekends I was saying no to the after party. To get out I needed to pass Baauer, who was playing a short one hour set, but had a huge crowd. I didn't stay there for too long, but everyone looked like they had a great time. If there is one thing I need to mention here, is that gLAdiator set a pretty incredible mood that resonated even until the end of Baauer (they were all on the same stage). As a sidenote- I lost Nathan in the process, so enjoy a picture of Bassnectar from a performance that doesn't get talked about here at all.
And just like that the weekend is over. Much madness, much exhaustion. Time for bed.