1011490_412205548894198_683855672_nPhoto by Rubin Roche.

As we prepared for day three of Wavefront Music Festival we wondered how it could have topped day two.  The music was top notch, smiles were plastered on peoples faces and the alcohol kept flowing like an ice-cold river in the Rockies.  We did know that Crookers, Diplo, Scuba, Justice, Damian Lazarus, Jamie Jones, Hot Natured and many others were going to give day two a run for its money.  We hopped in a cab and eventually made our way to the soft sand and thunderous beats that arose from Montrose beach.

The Martinez Brothers kicked things off with undoubtably the most energetic set all weekend. Using the entire stage to move around, the duo were dancing around, laughing, and joking with each other the entire set. Obviously having a blast on stage, the two young guns were naturals on the decks, providing a perfect beach-party vibe the entire time.

Scuba was up next, showcasing the underground and vicious sound from his Hotflush Records imprint. Highlighted by trippy stabs and vicious bass, Scuba really beat up the sound system. It’s hard to find a balance between atmospheric trippiness, and danceable music, but Scuba knew exactly where that line was and teetered back and forth over it.

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We caught the last thirty minutes of Sharam, a Washington DC tech house DJ.  He effortlessly commanded the ever growing crowd with beats that weren’t my cup of tea, but a lot of people were enjoying it that’s for certain.  I’d like to think the real crowd gathered for the man known as Crookers.  This is the first time I’d seen Crookers since the split between Phra and Bot.  Now commanding the stage was just Phra, but it definitely was not effecting his performance.  We were giving a very heathy dosage of booty bumping bass that could be heard nowhere else.  Starting off the set with “Dr. Gonzo” and jumping into a mess of other tracks from there, the party was just getting heated up.

The dark wizard, Damian Lazarus, stepped up to the decks next, bringing with him a crowd of interesting rebelravers. Now, when I say this was the trippiest set of the weekend, I truly mean it. Lazarus is not afraid to step beyond the boundaries of electronic music, bringing some dark and twisted sounds that were really out there. What really impressed me about his set though, was that when he was starting to sense the crowd getting lost, he would bring them back into reality by playing 80’s-infused disco tracks that were perfect for a beach party under the sun. With one of the deepest record boxes in the game, Lazarus’s A&R skills are next to none, and his sets are where he proves his worth each time. A can’t-miss set every time.

After Crookers the main stage, The Wave Stage, started to fill in quicker than ever.  There were bikini-clad ladies as far as the eye could see, and without-a-doubt it was all for the Mad Decent boss-man, Diplo.  Everyone knows that Diplo throws down with a unique set each and every time, and his set at Wavefront was no exception.  Diplo gave us massive tracks to single along too (watch the video), and bass-rattle trap tunes that nobody saw coming.  He played out just about everything include “Bubble Butt”, “Bumaye” from his Major Lazer project and of course “Express Yourself”.

After Lazarus’s ethereal journey through space and time, Jamie Jones came with the perfect beach time vibes. Undoubtably my most anticipated act for the weekend, Jones really knows how to throw a party. The founder of Hot Creations, and many say the revival of house music, Jones played the best set of the entire weekend in my book (as both a solo act, and as Hot Natured). A master at his craft, Jones will hold off the bass of a track for several measures before unleashing madness on the crowd. With the sunset providing a pallet of pastels above the city skyline, it only seemed fitting that Jones was able to play. I follow Jamie Jones more than any other DJ out there and try to find every track in his arsenal, but even then, I could only recognize one or two tracks the entire set (and even fewer during his afterparty set at Spybar!). Truly the DJ of our generation, Jones proved to the city of Chicago why he’s the funkiest producer out.

When 9:00 struck, Jones’ Hot Natured cohorts, Luca C. and Lee Foss, joined him onstage. After explaining that the Hot Natured live set had to be cancelled due to visas not going through for the work crew, the trio made sure to make up for it. Starting of by seriously crushing the crowd with Shadow Child’s remix of “Reverse Skydiving,” the trio did not hold back anything the entire set. Accompanied by an army of lasers, dancing LCD robots, smoke, and pyro; Hot Natured worked effortlessly together in perfect unison. When fireworks started erupting behind concert-goers, the group made a veteran move of playing a more laid-back track with Kenny Glasgow’s ghostly vocals over it. When they were satisfied that the patrons had enjoyed enough fireworks, Lee Foss gave a shout-out on the mic to bring everyone back into the set before dropping an absolute bomb on the crowd. A full-on dance frenzy took place the entire time, and had everyone in the crowd praying that the show would last longer.

One of the artists that I will see every time they’re in town (which really isn’t that often), is the French-electro gods, Justice. The duo that brought us Cross and Audio, Video, Disco showed no signs of slowing down that night providing the heaviest and most distorted electro my ears have ever heard.  It’s unfortunate that it was just a DJ set though, because the live sets are incomparable.  Listening to “D.A.N.C.E.”, “Civilization” and “Stress” among many others on the beach in beautiful summer weather is unmatched.  The sound, lights and production were all top notch and as Justice neared the end of their set more fireworks colored the sky.  Justice chose to close out the festival in a way that few would, the tempo slowed down and they played out four or five oldies for everyone on the beach.  We’re talking “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “Be My Baby” and even a little RUN DMC to close out the night.  It was perfect in every way possible.
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About Amelia Waters