The annual celebration "end of summer" celebration hosted at Los Angeles's Historic Park is none other than HARD Summer. With one of the best line ups for the summer announced earlier this spring, HARD presents continues to uphold their reputation - bringing in some of the world's best talent to one of the biggest cities in Southern California for parties that just can't be missed.
Despite having some technical difficulties the first day regarding sound from the stages, HARD Summer's four stages were bass heavy and packed from noon 'til midnight all weekend.
It's been a long time coming that hip hop and electronic have found a middle ground in trap, and HARD embraced the two genres by inviting some big names in hip hop to perform along with electronic headliners. Saturday kicked off with 2Chainz, notorious for his radio hits "I'm Different", "Birthday Song", and "Fuckin' Problems".
You could feel the energy in the Underground Stage ten minutes before seven 'o clock hit, when the young and incredibly talented UK duo DISCLOSURE hit the stage. Their most recent album "Settle" hit the ground running when first released earlier this summer, releasing non-stop repeat tunes like "Latch" and "White Noise". Their live performance packed the entire tent from front to back and had people jumping to the smooth, electronic indie beats.
Meanwhile, TJR, TOMMY TRASH, and DOG BLOOD were throwing down heavy to their own packed stages. I managed to catch the end of TJR's rowdy set along with the craziness that is Dog Blood as SKRILLEX and BOYS NOIZE jumped around the stage. HARD did a fantastic job of thinning out the crowds, placing talent all over the park.
We almost forgot about disco house.. that is, until DUCK SAUCE brought out their enormous laser-shooting rubber duck to the main HARD stage. Accessorized with snazzy golden jackets, A-Trak and Armand knocked it out of the park in the suavest, smoothest way, grooving all the way through their set.
Sunday was set to be a trap heavy day, with headliners like GLADIATOR and PAPER DIAMOND kicking off the second day of the festival. I was long anticipating seeing up and coming producer CLOCKWORK in action, and he was my absolute favorite from the weekend. A year ago, he released his EP “Titan" with Dim Mak Records. His sound was raw and heavy house, laying it thick on the bass and flawlessly creating songs you can’t help but feel deep down in your bones. He’s since released his “Surge" EP - a little more refined, but fearlessly huge sounds packed into just a few minutes. People were dancing their souls out in the dusty ground all throughout his set.
After a momentary slow down with Gessaffelstein, the heat got turned right back up with trap gurus FLOSSTRADAMUS. There isn't much more to be said besides Flosstradamus knows how to throw a party of epic proportions - the crowd was twerking, getting crazy, and straight up losing it to the vibrations of the bass. The audience flowed seamlessly into the transition to DILLON FRANCIS's crazy cat pizza visuals. There's something about "DJ Hansel" that you just can't help but love - especially the genuine smile he had plastered on his face all throughout his set during HARD. He briefly brought out Flosstradamus again to bring together Dillstradamus, and transitioned flawlessly from one song to the next unexpected track - from trap to moobahton to just plain heavy electronic.
Meanwhile, back at main stage, EMPIRE OF THE SUN pulled in an enormous crowd from all directions. Playing some new, some old, and hitting all of us right in the heart with their tunes "Alive" and "Walking on a Dream". Anybody who is anybody knows Empire of the Sun is known for their avant-garde costumes, and they didn't disappoint at HARD. They had dancers flying around the stage in mysteriously cartoon-like outfits, fireworks blasting, and a life-sized skull apparition that kept the crowd singing along and wondering what was coming next.
Young producer ZEDD followed up on the main stage with a production of epic proportions. He brought it back to the popular tunes of electronic, playing some of his biggest hits including "Clarity" and "Spectrum", and threw in some Swedish House Mafia, Avicii, and more. BASSNECTAR was the final act to throw down on the main stage while JUSTICE electrified the other end of the park.
And just like that, HARD Summer is a wrap! Another great event for the production team in the books, and we can't wait to see what's in store for HARD's Day of the Dead coming up in November.