Any big artist coming to my corner of the world in Albuquerque is a very rare treat, but having a whole electronic music festival a 20 minute drive from my house was nothing short of amazing. Read on for my full recap!
(Click the pictures for a larger view)
The day started out pretty well with The Eye getting everyone ready for the day. He was a bit rough in the mixing department, although he was the only one to use Serato with 1200s instead of CDJs, so I can forgive him for a few slip-ups. I was about ready to head to another stage when about half way through his set I got a nice little surprise in the form of a track he dropped by my good friends, No Body. After that I knew I had to stay for his whole set.
No Body – We Speak American (Original Mix) (320 kbps)
I made my way over to the main stage next to catch a little bit of Afrobeta, Jessie and The Toy Boys, and Booka Shade who were all more phenomenal than I expected. Plus, Jessie was looking awfully smoking hot in her outfit.
Next up back over on the Dim Mak stage was Le Castle Vania. I actually ran into him about an hour before his set and introduced myself briefly. It seemed like he was on a mission to go somewhere or do something since I got a wild deer in the headlights look like he’d never heard of Chemical Jump. When I tweeted him about it later he said he definitely had, so I guess I just caught him at a weird time.
Anyway, his set was just as I expected it would be. He played a few new tracks of his which went over really well with the crowd. Though as with every unreleased track the crowd didn’t start jumping up and down until about a second after the drop. Always fun to watch. I’m hoping more people noticed than just me, but him and The Eye both played one of my favorite Darth & Vader remixes.
Freefire – Dataloss (Darth & Vader Remix) (320 kbps)
Holy Ghost was up next on the Dim Mak stage. At this point I just wanna note that I headed over to the Rockstar Energy drink tent and loaded up on about 6 cans, so I was completely wired and wide eyed for their whole performance.
I’m not too familiar with Holy Ghost tracks sad to say, but I did recognize he first single off their debut release and huge crowd pleaser, Do It Again. I’m always on the fence about live bands. When I hear a track on the album I want to hear that track exactly the same way live. I noticed a bit of improv in their set, but other than that they stuck with the tracks to the T and it was more than enjoyable time.
Holy Ghost – Do It Again (320 kbps)
Rusko was definitely one of the most fun at the festival to watch and listen to. Dubstep is very much a second genre for me, so to listen to someone who truly knows how to play and producer it well is a real treat. His signature mohawk was cut a bit short but that didn’t stop him for bobbing to the wobble and throwing down so many good tracks I’d never heard before. And of course he played one of his better known tracks, Da Cali Anthem.
Rusko – Da Cali Anthem (320 kbps)
A bit before the end of Rusko’s set I went back over to the Dim Mak stage (really the best place to be at the festival) to catch a bit of Nero. Blown the fuck away is all I really need to tell you about that show. Enough though only Joe Ray came out to play, it was hands down the best act of the day. I talked with a friend of mine who said Nero was a bit of a train wreak at HARD summer, so I was thankfully I got to see a good show. He even mixed in beautifully the original Chop Suey by System Of A Down for his closer.
Notable tracks played:
Doctor P – Tetris (320 kbps)
Steve Aoki. What can I really say about Steve? He’s an amazing entertainer and He played a ton of unreleased tracks.. That’s about it. Though seriously, he played 3 new unreleased tracks by himself, probably collaborated with other artists (one was a Weezer collab confirmed by himself over the mic) and at least a couple more future Dim Mak releases. He had the longest timeslot of the day on the Dim Mak stage at an hour and a half, so as usual he played nearly every track out to the full length before mixing out. I’m not hating on him for it, but personally it just annoys me when a song is played for more than 2 minutes. I’ve got serious music ADD, I know.
Later he got out his signature inflatable raft out to do a bit of crowd surfing and brought out a bottle of champagne to spray over the front row of the crowd.
Kaskade was another one of the best acts of the night. Opening up with his latest single Eyes sold me on the performance. House music has been growing on me this past year and seeing Kaskade play some of my favorite tracks at an incredibly loud volume with the bass thumping was incredible. Turning to my side and seeing the girl singing look at me and sing Laidback Luke’s remix of Cinema along with me made my night.
Even with several acts dropping off (Erol Alkan, Aeroplane, DJ Shadow, LA Riots) and the outrageous $13 beers, overall I’d say Identity was a success for a first year festival. I’m looking forward to attending the festival in the years to come even if it means flying or driving to another state. Let me know who your favorite act of Identity was in the comments!
P.S. I took a lot more pictures than just these! Go over and take a look at all the photos on Chemical Jump’s Facebook Page!