Kicking off the final day of Lollapalooza 2012 for all of us EDM fans was Nadastrom, who easily take the cake as the most creative and different artists to grace Perry’s all weekend. If you aren’t familiar with Nadastrom, they are a duo comprised of producers Dave Nada and Matt Nordstrom. If you are into the sounds of moombahton, then you should know that Dave Nada created the first moombahton track. The seemingly uninterested crowd during Nadastrom only gave favorable reactions when they dropped dubstep tracks ever so briefly. The hands of the confused teenagers would only stay up for as long as the dubstep was happening, and it was truly a shame. Judging by crowd reactions, Sunday of Lollapalooza was going to be a long day with Nadastrom being one of the bright spots of Sunday.
For EDM fans, there was a 90 minute break before the heaviest parts of the Perry’s lineup were to come. 90 minutes after Nadastrom rocked Perry’s with their flavor of moombahton, dubstep producer Doctor P was up next, and the crowd was ready for him. Doctor P is a DJ that I had never seen and played what I would say was the 3rd best dubstep set of the weekend (1. Nero, 2. Skream & Benga). For anyone that doesn’t know about Doctor P, him and Flux Pavilion run Circus records together, so his brand of dubstep is very similar to that of Flux Pavilion. Although I’m not dubstep afficionado, I do know that Doctor P played about an equal number of tracks from himself and from Flux Pavilion, which he sprinkled into his set at different times. His tracks that he played, that I recognized were Big Boss and Tetris, while he played Louder, I Can’t Stop, and Bass Cannon (which he opened with) from Flux Pavilion. As with every other dubstep set in 2012, Doctor P also dabbled into a bit of moombahton, while also playing some tracks from Skrillex and Nero. There were two events in this set that really stuck out for me, both of which happened around the same time. Out of nowhere, smoke started bellowing out of the middle of the crowd from what seemed to be a smoke bomb that someone set off. Most people would surely be bothered by this, but it seemed to only add fuel to the rage that was taking place right then. The second thing that stood out most for me was when Doctor P played Yo Momma, by Cookie Monsta. This was the first time I had heard this track and couldn’t help but burst out laughing the whole time the track was being played. If you don’t know why, be sure to check out the song:
All in all, Doctor P played a really good set that was very heavy with tracks from his label and rightfully so, given the quality of tracks that are coming from Circus Records.
After Doctor P, Big Gigantic took to the stage and was such a different change of place that I personally didn’t enjoy. Big Gigantic has a style somewhat similar to Pretty Lights with their hip hop influences, but they also add a soothing sax and live drums to their performance. Having never heard Big Gigantic before their set at Lollapalooza, I was under the impression that they actually DJ while playing the Sax over the track, but I was very wrong. Between every track, they stopped and talked some which really hurt the flow of their performance and ultimately made it somewhat boring. Going into the set, I had thought that the sax was a cool idea to add on top of their beats, but that made it even worse for me as well. The sax wasn’t very loud for starters, but when you could hear it, it was almost soothing which was a stark contrast from the party beats of Doctor P that preceded them. The bright spot of their set for me was a cool track that they did sampling Kanye West- Jesus Walks. They mentioned before they played the track that they had made it specifically for Lollapalooza, and it included visuals of Chicago.
Just when I thought Sunday would get better, it actually got worse. Canadian dubstep duo Zeds Dead took to Perry’s stage at 7PM, the slot right before Kaskade. I think that there is a huge difference between UK dubstep and American dubstep, and I enjoy the UK style much better. Zeds Dead represented American dubstep as a contrast to Doctor P’s UK style set, and Doctor P completely out performed Zeds Dead. I wasn’t the only person in my group to feel that Zeds Dead’s brand of dubstep was just way too slow which really sucked some of the energy out of the crowd at times. Overall, I was in the minority in my dislike of Zeds Dead’s set given that the crowd was the most full I had seen it all day and seemed to be vibing to Zeds Dead. As is a sign of a good DJ, when they would start to lose the crowd, they completely switched the tempo and sucked everyone back into it. They did this by switching from dubstep into rap from Wocka Flocka Flame, or into trap from Baauer and Flosstradamus, and even played Epic by Sandro Silva & Quintino. All in all, this was my least favorite set of the day, but it seemed that the crowd enjoyed it, thus making me the minority.
The biggest problem of the whole festival was that on Sunday night there were two EDM headliners in Justice and Kaskade. As much as I wanted to see Kaskade, I saw him in June in Cincinnati. Also, I have been waiting a few years to see Justice, and I knew I was going to see Kaskade at Studio Paris later that night. All of this made for a pretty easy decision to leave Perry’s and see Justice at the north Bud Light main stage. Justice’s live set was comprised with an amazing synchronized light show from a magnificent stage. Justice’s stage is comprised of large stacks of Marshall amps on either side, with hardware lighting up in the middle, accented by a large cross.
As if their stage presence wasn’t enough (it was completely understated compared to Avicii’s head stage) but stole the whole festival with the best set of the weekend. Justice opened with a digital rendition of the Star Spangled Banner which dropped into their track Genesis, followed by Phantom, both of which were from their debut album; Cross. Throughout their set they constantly teased in tracks, making you think you knew what was about to happen, before they dropped into a completely different track. After having teased their track D.A.N.C.E., they finally dropped the track with Jay Z- On to The Next One, which had sampled D.A.N.C.E., it was only fitting. At different points throughout their set, their stage would separate at the cross, at which point a piano set against a light wall would reveal and either Gaspard or Xavier would come down from their post to play it along with the track.
While playing my personal favorite Justice song; Waters Of Nazareth, right before the drop all of the music cut out and Xavier came to the front of the stage with one fist in the air. Most of the fans weren’t sure what to make of this, but it was a one minute long tribute to their deceased friend, DJ Mehdi. Just as the fans thought that Justice’s onslaught was done, they came back to play a 30 minute encore that concluded the festival in perfect fashion.
Justice really salvaged my Sunday and turned out to be the best set of the whole festival for me. I know that Kaskade would have had a very similar effect, but Justice was on another level for me. Their set felt much more like a set from an iconic rock band that really took no breaks other than to pay respects, and it had the whole crowd dancing for 90 minutes straight.
This was one of my most memorable Lollapalooza’s yet, and it reminded me why I love music festivals so much. Unfortunately one of the only downfalls was that the crowd seemed to be so young all weekend, and they were also pushy; making it uncomfortable for everyone else. Maybe this is me getting older. Luckily Lollapalooza is plenty large for you to be able to get enough space that you can get away from unwanted pushing. If you haven’t been to Lollapalooza yet, I suggest you plan on going in 2013, there is a reason they have been doing this for 21 years. The only other complaint that I had was that I wish there were a more diverse EDM lineup. I would have loved to hear a trance dj, and a drum & bass dj thrown in there as well. I know that Lollapalooza is not an EDM festival by any means, but at points it seemed too dubstep heavy.
Lastly, I want to congratulate Perry Farrell for putting on another top notch festival, and having an extremely professional staff that showed how great they were at dealing with crisis. I look forward to seeing what type of EDM lineup that Perry Farrell puts together for next year, as they have grown every year that I have been going, and I will look forward to covering it in 2013! Bravo Perry, bravo.