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Raw Goodage

REVIEW: LED Anniversary @ SD Sports Arena – 2/19/2012

LED-1

LED’s Anniversary party Sunday night was a night to remember, with eight heavy-hitting house DJs taking full advantage of the venue’s perfectly tuned sound system for eight hours. LED Presents has clearly established themselves as Insomniac’s only true competitor for dance events in Southern California. Tommy Trash, Kill The Noise, TJR, Nicky Romero, Bingo Players, Dirty South, No Body, and Knife Party performed in front of thirteen thousand fans for what turned out to be one of the most epic Sunday nights ever. Check out our review and videos of these great sets after the jump!


LED

My Life Everyday (LED) has been throwing shows in the San Diego area for quite some time. Being the head promoters at Voyeur, these guys are responsible for bringing some of the biggest and best names through the virtually untapped dance music market in SD. They also promote at venues such as Wavehouse and have recently begun to plan out more events at the Valley View Casino Center. Their resident DJs include TJR and No Body.

VENUE

At first arrival, a nearly empty parking lot gave the illusion that we were early enough to avoid the “30-minute” wait times that LED had forewarned on social media hours before. After parking and walking towards the entrance, it was clear that the line was several times longer than that, with over a thousand people wrapped halfway around the venue. To make matters worse, the will call windows were located at the front of the line; the lack of security monitoring allowed people to cut almost the entire line once they picked up their tickets. The problem here was clearly under staffing, as there were only six or seven security members who were searching people. Small measures could have easily been taken to at least keep things flowing faster.

LED addressed this issue on their Facebook page after enough people complained about it; they claim that they will take extra precautions to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

After the wearisome experience getting in, the rest of the evening was organized flawlessly. After entering the arena from the top and overlooking the floor before continuing down the staircases, we were amazed to see how crowded it already was inside, especially since there were what seemed like thousands more waiting outside to get in. The first thing that popped into mind was, “I really hope that the Fire Marshall isn’t going to pull the plug on this one.”  Thankfully, the arena appeared to be filled with the perfect amount of people; we never saw anyone have trouble accessing the floor the entire night. There was also ample seating. LED also did a good job of preparing props for the evening; they handed out multi-colored glow wands, Knife Party facemasks, temporary Dirty South tattoos, and a few giant blow-up whales which were tossed around by the crowd like the motion of the sea.


THE MUSIC

Unfortunately, we missed Tommy Trash’s entire set due to the unexpected line we faced in the beginning, but luckily we made it just in time to watch all of Kill The Noise. Jake did a great job of starting the evening off right, playing plenty of heavy dubstep tunes from his new EP, some Skrillex tunes (which you could tell the crowd adored), his new collaboration with Dillon Francis “Dill The Noise,” and even some hip hop.

An hour later, Nicky Romero took the stage, someone who we were VERY excited to see. His tracks were practically made for this type of setting; one big room, one stage, and some massive speakers. He played a lot of his own tracks, such as “Camorra,” “Toulouse,” his new collaboration with David Guetta “Wild One Two,” and his recent release on Tiesto’s Musical Freedom called “Generation 303,” which went off like a nuke.

Towards the end of his set, everyone was pretty much inside and all you could feel was energy from every direction. Everyone was dancing, and we mean everyone. People on the floor, lone ragers in the stands, and an entire stage packed full of table-purchasing high rollers.

Then, Bingo Players took the stage to put on what was without a doubt our favorite of the evening. They opened with a special edit of Cry (Just A Little), which is always a crowd favorite. They played many of their signature tracks, like “Rattle,” their new remix of Far East Movement’s “Jello,” and their brand new tune “L’Amour,” which was released just a few days ago. The entire track selection was made to keep people moving and they fully appreciated how the crowd responded. They played some great bootlegs, like “Turbulence” mixed with the Sidney Samson remix. We couldn’t help but feel like we were back at EDC 2009 at the Coliseum, given the design of the arena and the overall feel of the event. This became especially true when the duo played “Warp 1.9,” a true throwback. It’s not too often that you get to experience a big event like this one with just one stage, which made us appreciate each moment just a little more.

LED marked the second of a two-night stint on the West Coast for the first time in Knife Party’s short history. Playing in front of a massive crowd for LED’s 3rd anniversary, they took the stage with tremendous energy. The production, lights, and sound brought their set together magically as they dropped all of their original mixes along with the well-redound remixes they have created in the short time since the side project has been created. Gareth McGrillen took the mic from the beginning to the end of their set, while he and Rob Swire traded places mixing their signature tracks, with the crowd erupting throughout their set. Knife Party has been putting out tracks for less than a year and you wouldn’t even know it; however, the two have been performing with Pendulum since 2002, so a live performance is nothing new to these guys. They took the stage promptly at 2:30AM and played a flawless set from beginning to end. Around 3AM they dropped the song that everyone in the arena was waiting for, “Internet Friends” and a sea of 13,000 plus concert goers erupted. We have never been to a show with so much energy that lasted so deep into the early morning. In addition to their original tracks, they dropped some of the hottest tunes in electronic music today. They mixed in a Zedd track, “Slam the Door,” as well as his remix of “Breakin’ a Sweat” by Skrillex and the Doors.

Their ability to feel the crowds’ energy from the booth was unbelievable as they played the right tracks at the right time and didn’t slow down until they finished their set. It is uncertain when Knife Party will return to the West Coast, but it was definitely a set to remember. LED Presents threw a great party with amazing artists, and Knife Party was the perfect ending to a perfect night.

Andrew February 23, 2012 Music

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Festival enthusiast. Costume elitest.

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