Article | Onlythebeat

HARD Summer 2013 Review

Thursday, August 08, 2013
Elizabeth Ninivaggi

There was much more than city lights booming from the heart of Los Angeles this weekend as over 60,000 music lovers flocked from all across America to hear the sounds of some of EDM's biggest names including, Zedd, Dog Blood and Knife Party to perform live at HARD Summer 2013. I was lucky enough to venture into this madness with absolutely no expectations and was curious to see what exactly went down at what dance music aficionado, EDM Snob quoted, " Straight up, HARD Summer in LA has pound-for-pound the best lineup of any festival this year," and he couldn't have been more accurate. Centered in downtown at L.A. Historic Park right, the location is surrounded by an immense cultural community including Chinatown and multiple nearby art and music school. The twelve-hour window allowed for a spacious line up of performers starting with up and coming newcomers such as Just Blaze and Nick Thayer ended with experimental electronic producer and rapper, Flying Lotus. Four stages dotted the landscape as the beautiful city skyline painted the background and electrified the grounds with light all night long.


Day 1

Though the eccentric lineup was already exciting enough it was the actual live performances and festival goers that really created such a unique ora for this festival.   The first night started off with a bang at the main stage with the founder and CEO of HARD himself, Destructo who kicked off the night with a high energy electro/tech house mix set. It was a difficult decision to chose between the main stage and the HARDER stage which was set to host, Dog Blood but the choice was finally made to stay and see one of my personal favorites, Tommy Trash and stage at the main,"HARD", stage for the night. The Australian native mixed in popular hits such as his remix of Destructo's "Higher" and crowd favorites such as Deadmau5'S "The Veldt". The high energy continued at the stage as dubstep producer Flux Pavillion brought the notch up even more with heavy bass ballads including, "I Can't Stop" and "Gold Dust". He even managed to throw in a couple of Major Lazer singles with massive drops that got the crowd jumping simultaneously. Popular house duo Duck Sauce took the stage afterwards and produced a jumpy house set ending with their classic, "Big Bad Wolf". The last duo to take the stage was the ever popular, Knife Party who's set hosted multiple singles including "Internet Friends" and "LRAD" that produced a great energy that got the crowd bumping till the very end.


Day 2

The second day called for a later start as the bigger performers such as JUSTICE and Bassnectar were set to start much later. I was lucky enough to catch one of my personal hip-hop favorites, Flossdradamus dropped major old school remix beats such as, Missy Elliot's "Work It" and even got crowd goer's twerking to Diplo's "Express Yourself". DJ Hanzel (aka Dillon Francis)  graced the stage with laughter with his jokes and crazy cat and burrito graphics and one of the most amazing live sets I've ever witnessed. Dropping crowd favorite Major Lazer and Justin Timberlake beats and even mixing his Dada Life remix of "So Young, So High" kept for the most energetic performance that had everyone dancing from start to finish. He even through in "The Whisper Song" as he announced, "remember how awkward prom was..I feel you HARD!"  New favorite, Baauer stepped onto the HARDER stage next and gave an intense bass filled set that created massive drops from left to right that had everyone in awe.


Though HARD Summer isn't the biggest or most hyped up festival of the summer season, it was definitely one of the liveliest and most impressive event that was brought with much West Coast love. My experience was nothing but bliss and the performances were some of the best to date, but it was the people and Los Angeles itself that really put this one in the books.

 Did you go to Hard Summer? Let us know what you thought in the comments section below!