concert recall

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Over the last few years, I’ve come to consider CRSSD Festival one of my most looked forward to events all year. The bi-annual San Diego shindig boasts one of the most unique festival atmospheres and music curations on the planet. The Waterfront Park is the perfect setting for the 2-day, 3-staged, 21+ weekend long event. Views of the water, gorgeous sunsets, pirate ships, and a smorgasbord of gourmet food and microbrews all combine to make one of the best music festivals in the country. Here’s my recounting of one of the best weekend I’ve had in a long while.

 

 

After entering the festival I bee-lined it straight to the City Steps stage to check out my man Brodinski; the hip-hop and techno don threw down a heavy set, weaving in and out of every transition from banging techno to dirty south hip-hop with ease and flair. Up next was San Francisco’s own Matrixxman who played a booming hard techno set that set my eardrums a blaze and had me headbanging harder than metalheads at a Pantera concert. After scarfing down some delicious tri-tip, I caught Louis the Child’s set at sunset. The young tikes did not disappoint as they perfectly captures the sunset’s balearic mood and then got much darker and heavy once night fell. It’s refreshing to know these two boys from Chicago are killing the game right now in an otherwise saturated future bass scene.

 

The illustrious DJ Harvey was up next. I did not know much about Harvey coming into Saturday but I left amazed at the man’s knack for finding obscure old school disco tracks that mix perfectly with his more modern house-y selections. The whole set was a unique experience of hearing records that haven’t been played anywhere else in decades. After Harvey’s very culturing set, it was time for the Dirtybird all-stars to get behind the decks. First up was Shiba-San who mixed in tech house, classic house, techno, and the dirtiest of Dirtybird tracks throughout his set. Justin Martin may have been the most disappointing set all weekend. His set lacked any dance-able cohesion and he kept getting on the mic a bit too much. All in all, Saturday was a great day for music.

 

 

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! I arrived a bit later in the day as I usually do on day 2 situations. I went to one of the after parties the night before and it’s safe to say I wanted to sleep in. The first artist I checked out was Lee Burridge. Lee put on a very groovy and smooth techno affair. Although I only caught the end of his set I really enjoyed it and definitely want to check him out at future events. Next up was Maya Jane Coles. Maya threw down a hard and banging techno set. She had the crowd hanging on every track and just embodied pure badassery. The rest of the evening I spent going back and forth between Kaytranada and Dubfire while making stops at the bar in between both stages. This is one of CRSSD Festival’s huge advantages; there are only 3 stages and they are all so close together that it makes it easy to take in as much music as possible. Kaytranada was certainly a treat. In the past, I wasn’t really a fan of his live sets, however, he changed my mind this time around with an amazing set that was very upbeat and fast paced. Dubfire’s set, though not the live Hybrid setup, was superb in progressive techno flare. His set was extremely packed and had great sound from front to back.

 

Time and time again, I’ve returned to the San Diego Waterfront for the biannual event. Good food, good drinks, great music, and amazing weather all combine to make one of the most well-organized and fun festivals in the United States. See you in March!

 

Kaytranada – Whateva U Want

 

21 Savage – No Target (Produced by Brodinski)

 

Louis the Child – Fire

 

Procedure – Matrixxman

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Symbiosis Gathering

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After it’s 11th installment, Symbiosis has cemented itself as one of the best music and art gatherings in the US. The hosts have perfected the art that goes into harboring the knowledge, wonder, and magic of what experimental pop-up communities have to offer. And, as always, the music and art are top notch no matter where a wandering heart may find itself. We were somewhat skeptical of how the increased attendance – 15,000 tickets sold – would mar the experience we had last year; loss of intimacy and the trouble that comes with it (crowds, crime, and irresponsibility) weighs heavy on the luster. Upon arrival, we found the pre-fest jitters to be just that: butterflies fluttering for a home to settle. And we were home.

 

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Despite a brutal commute, scorching temperatures, and an adolescent population the size of Disneyland, I had an amazing time at this year’s Day N Night festival in Silverado, CA. Thrown by Santa Ana’s Observatory in the spacious Oak Canyon Park, Day N Night festival’s inaugural line-up was one for the ages; focusing mainly on up and coming hip-hop artists. Even before being dropped in that crowd, you can definitely see the appeal for students. From top to bottom, the inaugural line-up was a who’s who of 2016’s hottest acts from Flume down to 21 Savage. Concert bills like this prove that the need for a major label to shape and distribute your sound is nothing but a mere notion of yesteryear.

 

 

The two headliners A$AP Rocky and Flume played Saturday and Sunday, respectively, and each brought their own brand of flash and debonair to the main stage. A$AP Rocky closed out the Saturday mainstage which also featured high-energy performances from up and comers Lil Yachty, Lil Uzi Vert, and Post Malone. Each of these young guns played to massive crowds and brought their own brand of hip-hop for the kids. Though each artist is quite new school, there were a few cues from each set that hearkened back to the golden era with each performer having a real DJ behind them complete with a full entourage on stage with them at all times.

 

 

Seasoned veteran and Compton’s own, YG stole the show Saturday performing hits like “Twist My Fingaz,” “Why You Always Hatin’?”, and “Who Do You Love”. He had the crowd hanging onto every lyric, every quip, as the stage lit up bright for his hour long set. After YG, I went to go check out Metro Boomin’s DJ Set. Being the self-proclaimed Future Stan that I am, I’ve been following Metro for a minute. I was not disappointed as Metro spun his self-produced Future tracks back to back to back and even brought out T-Pain as a special guest to perform “Buy U a Drank”. Saturday closed out in the utmost style as A$AP Rocky took to the main stage and kicked his set off with “L$D”. Moments later he brought out A$AP Nast, Ant, and Twelvy to run through all the hits and even do some tracks off their previous mix tapes.

 

 

Getting into the festival on Sunday was a grueling journey; but once I got inside, Flume’s DJ Set did not disappoint. Slightly more on the hard side than his live shows Flume dropped banger after hit after banger to the massive crowd who never seemed to mind that the temperatures were over 95 degrees. Curiously, the Australian super-producer’s set started at 5:00pm, a bit early than most expected however he more than made up with it by bringing out Vince Staples for “Smoke & Retribution” and Vic Mensa for “Lose It”. After Flume the Soulection crew ripped the Weedmaps stage. The trio of Andre Power, SoSuperSam, and Esta each played their own brand of electronic blended hip-hop and old school r&b favorites. 21 Savage was easily the biggest surprise of the weekend. His cool and calm demeanor on stage in addition to his neo-gangster rap persona made for a heavy set as he performed tracks like “Savage Mode” and “No Heart”. At one point there was even a girl holding a french bull dog puppy on stage just chilling with the rest of his crew.

 

 

At the end of the day, Day N Night’s talent made up for the the difficulties with the logistics. If the Observatory continue to consolidate Hip-Hop’s rising stars, hit-makers, and mix in some electronic acts for good measure, there’s no question we will be returning year upon year. After all we do this for the music right?

 

Sebastian – H.A.L.

 

King Krule – Octopus

 

RL Grime – Aurora

 

Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun

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Woogie Weekend

 

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From July 8th through the 10th, a steady techno drone settled over Oak Canyon Park. It marked the second coming of Woogie Weekend. If Lightning in a Bottle is the well traveled eco-conscious older sister with worldy experience, then Woogie Weekend is the laid back little brother with really good music taste.

 

While LIB seeks to educate and inspire, Do Lab’s Summer campout instead focuses on calming and inviting atmospheres. Think grass, shade, fair weather, water sports, mini golf, hammocks, room for plenty of activities, and colorful decor to ease the eyes. Leisurely strolls and plenty of comfy seating set the tone for the camp-out chilling.

 

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| Further Future | Photos |

 

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40 miles beyond Las Vegas sits a martian landscape. The Moapa Indian Reservation. Last weekend, its red sands – and Mother Nature – played host to the second installment of Burning Man veterans Robot Heart’s fledgling gathering of music, technology, sustainability, gastronomy, and wellness: Further Future.

 

Every few years, it seems like new gatherings pop up in an attempt to carve out their own piece of the pie. Some falter, some fail. Further Future has seen its fair share of struggle from a last minute venue cancellation and scramble to stay afloat last year to inclement weather, afterthought logistics, and salty press this year. Yet, despite it all, the Further Future crew have impressed upon us with FF002 exactly what we believe the future of the music industry, and more specifically the festival engine, can really become and influence. Here’s to hoping FF003 hashes out all the kinks.

 

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HOLY SHIP

 

The short: cult-like organized chaos.

 

 

The long: What if the first day of college was on a cruise ship with all of your favorite electronic artists and lasted three days? If that’s something that sounds like a swashbuckling good time to you then welcome aboard Holy Ship! With five stages of music and a magical menagerie of a line-up, I would say that Holy Ship! is the closest to perfect medium to consume electronic music.

 

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CRSSD FEST

 

It’s often said that the third time’s the charm. But, Goldenvoice and FNGRS CRSSD have proved all it takes is two. Their second ever SD music festival this year blew us out of the water, unsurprisingly. With a deservedly hyped lineup and a fantastic front runner, this pair of concert promoters have etched their names into the proverbial show-stones of San Diego and SoCal.

 

 

 

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