Labor Day weekend kicked off LED style as thousands of concertgoers came out in style for LED’s annual Tramps Like Us show! The yearly back-to-school affair reeled in a diverse set of artists ready to perform for the weekend. Featuring the talent of Sander Van Doorn, Moby, What So Not, Headhunterz and Makj just to name a few, fans were treated to a crazy weekend!
Starting the party right at 9 p.m. Saturday night, resident LED openers, Cole Plante and Audrey Napoleon welcomed the crowd with their warming electro and electro-pop vibes. At just 17, this is Cole Plante’s second LED festival, and we can only hope for more from the budding producer. Following them were trap duo LOUDPVCK, who got the crowd jumping with their 808’s and bass, even dropping their massive collaboration with fellow trap duo gLAdiator, “Tony.” Returning from last year’s Tramps Like Us lineup, What So Not, took to the stage next. The Australian super duo of Flume and Emoh Instead, WSN has grown immensely since the last time they ventured to San Diego, even coming off a huge packed house performance at this summer’s HARD Summer music festival. With support from Flume on the production side of WSN, Emoh Instead takes to the decks as WSN to handle the live mixing. It’s almost impossible to fully encapsulate WSN’s performance sound: from trap to downtempo to techno to chillstep, WSN has shaken the EDM playing field of four-on-the-floor “big room” monotony. The music isn’t the most easily accessible, but it’s groovy, and it’ll keep you dancing. You won’t hear that many “3, 2, 1…Jump’s” or “Put Your Fucking Hands Up!” samples here, the infectious bass lines and progressive melodies almost take over you and command you to groove.
Fellow Tramps Like Us alumni and electronic dance music icon, Moby, blessed San Diego with a legendary performance. Taking a step out of his usual house scene and into the festival one, Moby delivered an energetic set that combined the raucous sounds of electro house with the grooving house beats he’s known for. Dabbling into the high-energy sounds of electro house, Moby played most of his songs out, a technique few dj’s in today’s scene seem to forget about, giving them time to breathe and establish their individual sounds. While some dj’s manage to fit song after song into their set, Moby took his time and let the crowd appreciate all the little nuances of each song he tastefully included. He even threw some throwbacks into his set, such as Klass’s 2008 remix of Guru Josh Project’s “Infinity,” and closed the night with the 2007 classic from Tiesto, “Adagio For Strings”. All the while, Moby fed off the crowd’s energy, and gave it right back to us with his set.
Dannic brought the classic Dutch House sound that LED events have nailed down. While his set was fine, no glaring mistakes and filled with hard-hitting drops, some new and some heard before, it was not as memorable for me as the performers before him. Switch out Dannic for fellow dutch house producer and Hardwell protégé, Dyro, or even Sunday’s Borgeous, and their musical identities start to blend together, and distinguishing sets can become rather difficult. By no means did Dannic not lay down a solid all around set, it’s just that he failed to bring in anything new and awe-inspiring to make his name stand out from the crowd. Slotted in as the “dutch house” artist for Saturday night, he did indeed “bring it,” but I can only feel like we needed more from him in order to win me over as a fan.
The reigning headliner for Saturday, Sander Van Doorn was ready to tear the roof off of the LEDome. Coming in hot from an earlier performance at LED’s Finger Lickin’ San Jose, SVD let loose a wild house and electro house set for us to enjoy. Laying down some hard house tracks, such as “Get Enough” and “Pressure,” SVD also premiered his new collaboration with rising “future house” superstar, Oliver Heldens, called “This.” Mixing it up with some of his high energy tracks like his Yves V collaboration, “Direct Dizko” and Firebeatz collaboration, “Guitar Track,” SVD danced a fine line between house and electro, while keeping everyone grooving on the dance floor.
Closing out Saturday in style, Victor Niglio brought some West Coast love to his booty-bouncing bass. Gaining fame with his monster trap remix of Martin Garrix’s “Animals,” Victor has been killing it as of late, with remix after remix garnering hundreds of thousands of plays on Soundcloud. With a vocal presence on social media, mainly Twitter and Reddit, I see big things and bigger shows for Mr. Nilgio in the future.