HARD Summer, Day 1 - Los Angeles State Historic Park - 8/3/12
See also: Skrillex, James Murphy - Hard Summer, Day Two - 8/4/12
Los Angeles State Historic Park
Better Than... Your run-of-the-mill music festival for both the danceability factor and the people watching.
HARD Summer festival kicked off yesterday, celebrating the first year that the famed festival was given two days to celebrate the hottest EDM acts around. The doors opened around 4:30pm on Friday as swarms of festival-goers arrived in their rave-worthy best, which meant they were dressed in the smallest amount of clothing they could without getting a police record. Neon tutus, exposed boobs with butterfly stickers covering the nipples, spirit hoods and furry boots (are those still cool?) -- we even spotted a midget rocking a jeweled bra and hot pink bedazzled panties.
Four stages of the hottest up and coming names in electronic, dance, dubstep, and house music took over the park grounds. Among the big players were Boys Noize, Bloc Party, Miike Snow, Magnetic Man, Little Dragon, Joey Beltram and Erol Alkan. While the majority of the crowd showed up after sunset, the early birds were treated to Lunice and Vampire Weekend's DJ Baio in the Red Bull Discotheque. As the night progressed, the talent escalated and Breakbot, Chromeo, and Bootsy Collins & The Funk Unity Band capped off things under the discotheque big top.
While there was undeniable action on the HARD and Harder Stage, the place to be for those looking to discover the next big thing seemed to be the Fool's Gold Clubhouse. A-Trak took the headlining spot at the clubhouse and spent the hours leading up to his set introducing fresh talent signed to his own Fool's Gold Records. If you were among the masses squishing into the grassy knoll to catch the bigger names last night, you missed out on the antics of Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire and his Peel Off Passion Crew (did we mention his DJ was wearing a transformer's mask which he says he only takes off if he trusts someone or when it's time to make out?) and Danny Brown who riled the entire crowd into chanting along to "Blunt After Blunt."
For many, HARD was more about the chance to express themselves than the music. Groups of females arrived sporting that "I spent six hours getting ready for tonight" look. There were shirtless men with glitter on their pecs, people sporting sombreros and many who had whipped out the Sharpie to scribble: 'Hard or Bust" on any exposed body part. HARD was the place where eccentric became the norm and attendees that missed the "dress to impress" memo stuck out in the crowd like a sore thumb.