Saturday night ended in a bit of chaos and confusion as Skrillex thunderous bass levels brought on a flash rain storm that had everyone running for cover within the walls of Soldier Field. Our group of about 20 fled in different directions and it took us nearly 45 mins of walking in the wrong direction to finally commander a taxi cab that would take us back to HQ. It took two hours for everyone to finally make it back to the house and though some of us were too tired to head back out for aftershow activities, others continued to go HAM until 6 in the mornin. Waking up Sunday was a breeze compared to the previous day and we all were ready to begin another pon.de.preparty after we obtained food and coffee. We had planned to head to the festival for Willy Joy’s set but since moomba9 was heading back to NYC that evening and we hadn’t watched a lick of Euro 2012 together, we decided to hang in to watch the Portugese do some serious work over the Dutch before we said our goodbyes and departed. Before going into Day 2 events, I would like to personally thank Electronic Spotlight & the ladies of Nervo for allowing us access to hang out with them and paving the way for this recap. A lot of this story came as result from meeting these two and we thank them for being so hospitable! Now…….lets get on the RECAP!!!
We arrived at Soldier Field fairing much better then Saturday due to not walking 2.5 miles from the Jackson L stop to the venue; since we had already received our tixs and passes the previous day, we made our way inside the zoo once again for another round of music. This is where I’d like to think that someone must have been watching over me because, the decisions made by taking a left instead of a right turn at the entrance completely altered how the day turned out in the end. My plan was to head to Da Equinox Stage to catch the creator of HardFest and Holy Ship (aka #boatswag2.0) Destructo’s set, but my feet lead me to Da Drive Stage where Shermanology had just graced the stage to deliver their electro oriented beats.
We stayed for a few minutes in the press pit to obtain a few shots and were about to make an exit when we caught Dave from Sinlabel heading backstage. After meeting greeting him for the day, he asked if we would like to come backstage and sit in on the interview with Nervo that Electronic Spotlight was conducting. After the obvious yes came out of my mouth, we walked backstage to see Miriam doing some work on her laptop while Olivia was catching up on some rest in the canopy tents since they had arrived into town early in the morning.
We hung out backstage for the entirety of entirety of Shermanology’s backstage in the canopy, but we all greatly enjoyed the track selection they were producing with house and a bit of trance keeping our conversation going. The two sisters talked about their set for a bit before a quick wardrobe change while gathering things for their set. After last minute good lucks, we followed the crew on stage and watched Nervo throw down quite the set in front one of the wildest audiences at a stage outside of the main stage. Good ol’ electro was played to thunderous applauses, whistles, and cheers as those in attendance were treated to seeing two artists loving every minute of performing in front of their fans.
After the ladies finished their set we stuck around on stage to see how R3hab would follow such a well done performance. This native from the Netherlands must have been buoyed from the lose of his homecountry earlier because, the amount of energy he packed into his performance was absolutely absurd in every way, shape, and form. We stayed for a bit of his set before heading to grab some food backstage of Da Equinox Stage where we were greeted by a plethora of artists that were hanging out and getting their grub on while Felix Cartel was on stage. We met up with Team Bayside High, Willy Joy, Krewella, Destructo, and others who took this perfect opportunity to eat some free pulled pork sandwiches and corn on the cob while shooting the breeze. Datsik came into the area before his set began to say hi to all those backstage and after a quick introduction, we followed him on stage to see what the Canadian dubstep fiend had up his sleeves for the audience.
Performance of the Fest is the first thing that comes to mind when looking back on the videos and photos from Datsik’s set. The volume of the bass could have easily blown the neon off any raver bb that was in the audience and he showed Chicago so much love by consistently getting more and more hyped on each track he dropped. I made my way back and forth from the backstage area to G.A. to grab as many Rage Fam members as possible, so they too could enjoy the finer comforts of being in VIP during such an amazing set. On one of my trips back, I happened to take a glance to my left and froze in awe as Diplo had taken a spot on the stairs to check out Datik’s show. Walking up the stairs, I took a place to the left of him and introduced myself before going on stage to take another picture of Datsik. It was at that moment that I decided to do something that my friend Bernice of Mac & Smash once did for me and share the wealth with one of our biggest fans and someone who appreciate a chance to meet their idol even more then I would. I headed back into the press pit, grabbed our favorite Polish admirer Vicki O. by the hand, and escorted her backstage while explaining what awaited her in a few moments.
We walked in the canopy and sat down while people started making their way in to say whats up to Wez; after a few hello’s he pulled out his computer and started working away on his set before he went on stage. At this point I left the canopy to go see the rest of Datsik’s set and you would have ask Vicki the rest of what happened with her encounter with Diplo. While I was on stage, Diplo walked by and started setting up his equipment #AtTheSameDamnTime that Datsik was dropping Rusko’s Hold On banger to bring his set to a close. The crowd began to grow in size at Da Equinox stage as one of the most anticiaped artists to grace a stage at SAMF was about to plug in.
There’s a reason why Diplo is so universally adored across the world, because the guy epitomizes everything that is cool in the music industry. From the way he dresses, to his track selection while performing, to the overall aura that surrounds him is the exact reason why he is featured so many times on our site. Wez’s set featured a good amount of everything packed into a non-stop dance party with material off his new Express Yourself EP, some new Major Lazer tracks, and the infamous Mercy remix everyone was clamoring about from the previous day all being played. Since we had plans to see Diplo perform later on that evening at the House of Blues, I cut out of his set after 15 mins to make our way to Da Main Stage to see Flux Pavilion and his thunderous bass cannon in action. This is when a ROTY (Rookie of the Year) event occurred and I was the main culprit as my phone died on the walk over to see Flux and was left temporarily with a mobile device. Thank goodness we had an extensive Rage Fam at SAMF because upon my arrival at Da Main Stage, I ran into the Pfeiffer and Munárriz brothers going HAM while Flux was tworkin the crowd to bass-heavy tracks
I stated at Flux’s till the very end and made my way out to Da Drive Stage to catch Wolfgang Gartner’s set and hopefully find someone who could help me out with a phone charge. Wolfgang’s set was actually pandaemonium to the first degree as his electro-house style went hand in hand with a crowd that wanting nothing more then to rage into the night. We stayed for 20 mins before heading over to Da Equinox Stage to catch Laidback Luke’s set. Thank the good Lord that we ran into Brandon from Smile for Camera who was able to give me a a much needed iPhone recharge while we hung out on the grass and listened to the rest of Luke’s performance.
We decided to celebrate one of the great days in the history of The Dankles thus far by enjoying every minute of Afrojack’s set together as a family and kept all recording equipment at bay (or as best that we could). Afrojack delivered the quintessential icing to the cake as he dropped house heavy tracks to a packed audience who must have already called into work sick for the following day. We danced until the very end and when they turned on the stadium lights to let us know it was time to vacate the premises, we all huddled together and cheered to a fantastic weekend. Thank you React Presents and lets hope for more fun next year at Spring Awakening Music Fest!