Finally found some time to reminisce about last week’s Identity Festival in San Diego and it’s giving me the itch to get over to another rave as soon as possible! Though the Noise Train’s arrival to the Cricket Amphitheater was a little delayed, we managed to make it in time for Hercules & Love Affair and Holy Ghost! at the Dim Mak Records stage. It was at these performances that we eased into the festival atmosphere, met a ton of new friends, tagged some ravers with the Noise Train stamp, and broke in our dancing shoes. While these two bands grooved, massive crowds began to pour in, but not before we got some killer shots up close (post to follow with photos from the Bullitt)!
Next stop, Datsik, who stepped up to the tables and went in HARD! Talk about a change of pace from electro rock to mind numbing dubstep. The two-stepping, head bobbing crowd exploded with energy and threw up their hands with every break and drop. This was definitely a personal afternoon highlight and by far the festival’s heaviest dubstep set.
We finally pulled ourselves away from the Dim Mak stage and cruised over to catch Afrojack on the main stage. Apparently even internationally recognized Producer/DJ’s aren’t immune to the hassle of traffic jams. While waiting for Afrojack to make his way to the venue, Steve Aoki dazzled the crowd with an impromptu opener and some exclusive new productions of hard-pounding house. However, as the sun began to set, Afrojack began to “take over control” of the decks with a monstrous set. It was apparent from the vast number of festival attendees, bouncing from the front of the pit to the top of the amphitheater, that this had to be the biggest Identity Fest crowd to amass yet! With our blood still pumping to the beat of Dutch House, we darted off into the night to stop at the RockStar Energy Drink tent and watch Crystal Method deliver a masterful performance.
Crystal Method’s set was mesmerizing to say the least and if you haven’t seen their stage design yet, it’s sure to impress. Custom built by one of Scott and Ken’s buddies, Crystal Method’s gears and instruments were situated upon a welded a light fixture. Just picture a massive, industrial-looking arch that resembles an electronic command station. Take a look at these pics that TCM took at the show last Friday.
With the nightlife rave energy in full swing, Pretty Lights hypnotized the crowd. Playing from a huge LED tower on the main stage, the DJ/Producer lulled festival goers into a rocking trance. Remixes of Pink Floyd, hiphop beats, and uplifting house commanded the crowd’s full attention. All in all, Pretty Lights had the most stunning and stimulating light show at the festival, but the thudding bass of Steve Aoki in the distance drew me back over to the Dim Mak stage.
Whatever you’ve heard about Steve Aoki’s out of control, high-energy sets is completely true. Though he had to fill in for Afrojack earlier in the day, Aoki completely lived up to his reputation and delivered a huge set of nonstop bangers atop his seemingly 100-foot tall scaffolding. Closing his set with Warp, the crowd shouted in unison, “1, 2, WOOP! WOOP!” and got charged up for Kaskade’s headlining set.
Kaskade killed it. Enough said. No but seriously, his set was well worth the wait and his stage design created an intimate ambiance that encapsulated the entire amphitheater. Deep house was one of the first genres that got me into electro music and Kaskade has mastered and perfected by producing and performing its sound. Here’s a little piece he threw together on Youtube that includes both of his performances in San Diego and San Francisco.
Unfortunately we didn’t get to see all the artists at the show and I’m super bummed because this is the second time I missed Nero. Nonetheless, this was definitely the best electro festival to roll across the U.S. this summer and we can’t wait for next year. If you were at any of the Identity shows and have some experiences that you want to share, let us know and leave a comment!