Love Festival blasts electrifying beats
Imagine a place in the wilderness where you can ride a Ferris wheel, go on a boat ride and stand next to hundreds of other people as electronic music seemingly shakes the sky. For the attendees of Love Festival 2011 at Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, Calif., last Saturday, all of the above and more seemed a dream come true.
The 18-and-over event defied eardrums from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. The sun hadnât set, but Alexander Technique and Paul Ahi had already blasted their tunes on either side of the lake, with some top-40 hits like Swedish House Mafiaâs âSave the Worldâ floating across the grounds.
Alex Kenji was setting the tone with his energetic house music for the next few hours of frenzy. As he generously doled out insanely deep bass beats, each dancer on the grass became an exhibitionist â there was shuffling, slick maneuvering of lit objects and finger gloves, along with everything in between.
Kenjiâs sounds could be felt everywhere, each bass note more furious than the one before, making the outdoor venue feel like an indoor one. At times, the bass was overwhelming, back-to-back notes creating an indigestible beat that put the crowd a little out of it.
Kenjiâs mix of Nadia Aliâs âPressure,â on the other hand, was an infectious tune. The tempo was just right, the bass placed expertly. And by the time Kenji delivered a mix with lyrics from System of a Downâs âB.Y.O.B.â the crowd really was âdancing in the desertâ per the songâs trademark lyrics.
Marc Schossow also connected with the crowd through his remix of âSun & Moonâ by Above & Beyond with its infectious yet sentimental lyrics. The heartfelt words âIâll never get over you / youâll never get over meâ meshed well with the variegated electronic sounds. Schossowâs set put less emphasis on bass, creating a faster yet more trance-like sound that made the crowd dance in sync.
Funkagenda maintained the energy of the crowd as he delivered his dubstep-infused remix of Neroâs âInnocence,â which created a particularly Kodak-worthy moment. He cleverly calmed down the tune before bringing in a sprinkle of snare drum sounds and swiftly sneaking in some veritable dubstep beats. The lights got brighter and you could hear the crowdâs sudden, simultaneous excitement before they dove into the rhythm with arms, legs and hips swaying. The crowd emitted an energy unique to electronic music events, and Funkagenda stood waving his arms and singing as if he were in the crowd.
Though he was less energetic and hardly interacted with the crowd, Felix da Housecat treated fans to an intriguing mix of âPsychokillerâ by Talking Heads. David Byrneâs voice made up most of the song, and Felix used bass notes to compliment his singing. Felix continued by riding a retro wave as he remixed Depeche Modeâs âPersonal Jesus,â a track that melded well with Felixâs penchant for bold sounds.
Despite Felix da Housecatâs showy sounds, it was Paul Oakenfold who stole the show by expertly building up the tension before launching into an hour and a half of energetic, eardrum-rattling music, driving the crowd completely wild.
Oakenfold cleverly crafted notes from Red Hot Chili Pepperâs âOthersideâ into his mix and transported Anthony Kiedisâ voice into different heights as he meshed it with bass notes you could feel in your bones. An incorporation of The White Stripesâ âSeven Nation Armyâ famous riff didnât have a terribly exciting payoff, but his remix of Eurythmicâs âSweet Dreams (Are Made of This)â included repetition of the main line plus a passionate expletive before launching into an intense beat that got the crowd the wildest it had been all night.
Love Festival came to an end with the fast-paced tunes of L.A. Riots in a set that started with the words âIâm a freak like you / youâre a freak like me,â a statement that seemed to sum up the communal energy of the hundreds of strangers dancing into Sunday morning side-by-side.