Skrillex, Major Lazer, Caspa - Hard Haunted Mansion - Shrine Expo Hall - 10-29-11
Skrillex, Major Lazer, Caspa, Goose and others
HARD Haunted Mansion
Shrine Expo Hall
Better than... watching Skrillex on YouTube.
This year's Hard Haunted Mansion -- the two-day electronic music extravaganza at the Shrine Expo Hall -- belonged to Skrillex. Whether or not you're a fan of the 23-year-old DJ and producer, who was recently featured in an LA Weekly cover story, this fact was undeniable.
Amidst the sea of costumed party-goers, there was at least one young man dressed as Skrillex, complete with the side-shave, glasses and plaid shirt. Surely there were some women dressed like him too (you've seen our Top Five Girls Who Look Like Skrillex, right?) but several ladies at least sported Skrillex t-shirts, at least a few of which looked homemade. And when veteran DJ Destructo (aka Hard founder Gary Richards) asked if the crowd if they were ready for Skrillex nearly two hours before he the stage, the screams were almost ear-piercing.
A number of performers played the outdoor Hard stage earlier in the evening. Belgian electronic band Goose was able to draw a sizable crowd at 7:20 p.m., a time when many attendees were still walking from distant parking lots or taking off their shoes in the search line. Considering that this was, the group said, only their second performance in the U.S. (odd, considering they've been around for years), they came out as one of the big winners of the night.
Timothy Norris Skrillex
The crowd was much thinner in front of the indoor "Harder" stage, though British dubstep producer Caspa was able to get the crowd pumped once he started dropping the half-time rhythm. Everyone loves dubstep, at least that's how it seems at Hard, but few can dance to it comfortably. Those who try look confused. Do you attempt to hit every beat in the meter, or do you simply aim for the occasional snare? I don't have an answer. Every time I tried to dance to Caspa's set, I looked like I was dusting off cobwebs on a goth club dance floor.
Poor Paul Chambers had the unfortunate honor of going head-to-head with Skrillex. The auditorium almost completely cleared when Skrillex played, leaving Chambers with a very small crowd crammed in front of his stage. This was a shame because Chambers can really move the room playing techno with a '90s acid flavor.