This weekend I was honored to be able to perform twice as part of SF’s Outside Lands Festival which takes place in Golden Gate Park. For starters the pre-party on Thursday was mountains of fun. It was my first time setting foot in the California Academy of Sciences, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. The Academy is one of the coolest buildings I’ve ever seen. The Piazza where we were situated is a large room with glass walls and extremely high ceilings. Platurn and Motion Potion did a great job warming things up before I went on, but unfortunately most of the crowd was in the other room for Eskmo. Since there was nobody to alienate I decided to just play a bunch of new music that I’m feeling of late, from 2 Step Garage to UK Funky to Dubstep to Moombahton. Shortly into my set the floor got going. A bit later the lights got turned way down, lazer stars were projected on the ceiling and things really started heating up. It wound up being an absolute freakout session with the crowd screaming during all of the breakdowns in my tunes. I also got to premier my new tune “Sharp as a Knife” that Sick Boy and I made and it got a huge response; I can’t wait for us to put that out! I didn’t get a camera out on Thursday, but managed to grab a video clip from my phone when I dropped the tune on Sunday.
Friday I didn’t make it to the festival as I was too busy with one thing or another, but Saturday I made it out pretty early. Walking in I caught some great jazz riffs from The Greyboy Allstars whom I’ve dug for a long time. The next couple of hours were spent acquainting myself with the festival grounds. I was very impressed with how everything was put together, from the vendor tents to the surrealist forest with bizarro gingerbread house-type things. It was also rad to have tons of vegan, gluten-free options for food. My friend and exceptionally funny comedian Moshe Kasher was performing in The Barbary so I poked my head in and caught a great set from him. Check it out:
I then rolled into the DJ Dome by Heineken to get the lay of the land and to check out Mexican Institute of Sound who absolutely rocked the party. David Harness then took the helm and got the whole place shaking, bumping it harder than I’ve seen him throw down before. Next up was Eskmo on the Panhandle stage, who surprisingly I hadn’t seen live before. I was very impressed with his live set, which was very dynamic in addition to his music being produced extremely well. After that I headed to the Twin Peaks stage for The Roots, but the vibe was just a bit too mellow for my taste so I decided to swing by Paper Diamond whom I hadn’t heard before. The show was good and the crowd was really into it. I was underwhelmed though, as their set was almost exclusively bootleg remixes of mainstream songs. Speaking of mainstream songs, the night ended with Girl Talk, whose shows I actually really appreciate and are always a blast. Mashups were taken to the extreme, booties shook, and toilet paper cannons were shot.
Sunday I made sure to get in early to catch Tune-yards. This band is super fresh and I’m really feeling their incorporation of live vocal looping in their performance. I would love to remix this band. A lot of people were there and the band did not disappoint. After grabbing some food it was time for !!! on the Twin Peaks stage. Their stage presence was good, but somehow I find their music unremarkable although I’ve seen them several times. None of it really stands out to me. I then got to say a quick hello to Jillionaire who was getting ready for his performance with Major Lazer (who were sadly on at the same time as I was) before heading to the Dome to get ready to play. I got in with my peeps and MoPo was quite obviously way in his element, showing the crowd who’s boss.
Before I knew it 4:30 rolled around and it was time for me to play. The beginning of my set was definitely stressful! First off there was a giant air-conditioning duct blowing cold air very fast directly at the only place on the DJ table where there was any room for my CDs. (They were literally blowing into the crowd who graciously handed them back.) Then as I went to mix in none of the CDJs were properly plugged in. Thankfully there was a great sound tech on hand hustling hard, and both of my first 2 mixes happened just in the nick of time. I actually thought for a minute about what I would have had to do if I only had one CDJ. Wouldn’t be fun! Shortly thereafter though I found an ok place to put my music and was able to just get into the zone. The set was definitely a journey ranging from drumstep to moombahton to house to electro to garage and funky. It was really fun watching the effect of the peaks and valleys on the dance floor, with several hands-in-the-air freakouts throughout. It didn’t hurt that steam cannons were showering the crowd throughout. The A/V team also incorporated my logo into their visuals which was really cool to watch.
I dropped 4 tunes that were original productions or remixes of mine and they all went over well. That is always a great feeling. My homies were rock stars and filmed parts of my set in addition to passing Eric Sharp stickers out to the crowd, so I’ll have a more full-on video coming soon as well as digging up some stills. Here’s a mobile clip for now so you can catch the vibe!
At the end of the set I took things down a big notch so that Doc Martin could mix right in properly. The energy in the room stayed high even though the tempo slowed down. This was my first time opening for Doc and he was really a class act. He let me stay on the decks for an extra 15 minutes (I later found out he knew that the Dome would be going longer than anticipated) and gave me a big hug when he got on. I stuck around for a good part of his set, reminding us all why he is such a legend.
The rest of the night went by really fast! I caught a few minutes of STS9 doing their thing, heard some bluegrass from The Infamous Stringdusters, and headed over for Deadmau5. I was hearing a lot of hype about his new stage production, and I must say it was quite impressive. The music didn’t quite do it for me though, so I went over to hear Arcade Fire. That on the other hand blew me away and literally gave me goosebumps. I was really only familiar with one of their songs (Mountains Beyond Mountains) but I am so glad that I had the opportunity to hear them live! Their style was rad, stage setup amazing and they carried off their tunes so well. I left the festival feeling like it was a great reminder of how much I love music and its ability to touch my emotions.
Huge thanks to the organizers for reaching out and making me a part of this festival and to Heineken for the killer production inside the dome; I can’t wait for the next one!