The night started in a parking garage in Los Angeles just around the corner from the venue. We had gotten there early and began tailgating before eventually deciding to hit a bar for drinks (and even some pizza!). This was the first event we had been to since EDC and my friends and I speculated what the night ahead would be like. The show brought hardstyle legend Max Enforcer back to Los Angeles, as well as introduced Dr. Rude for his first US appearance and we were excited!
Upon entering the venue we decided to scope out the venue for friends, and check out both the upstairs Mainstage and the downstairs “Basement” which would be taken over by PLUR Eventz
for the evening. On the Mainstage, Crime Family was warming up the crowd with a hardstyle set, playing a fun selection of tracks I wasn’t expecting like Shot of Tequila, Caramba! and WINMY. Though it was still early people were taking advantage of the open space on the dancefloor and already shuffling in the crowd.
Downstairs I was excited to see what the PLUR Eventz stage had to offer, as PLUR Eventz were some of my favorite shows with my friends when I was in my earlier rave days. As we walked in, we caught the end of Shark Bait’s set while we grabbed a drink at the bar. It was then that the hardcore gods smiled down upon us and HYN began to play, completely catching me completely off guard with a hardcore set! As The Pearly Gates and The Torment Of Triton pounded over the speakers I couldn’t help but crack a smile and haaken with the small crowd that had assembled, also spellbound by the hardcore. At the end of his set I gave HYN two thumbs up and made my way upstairs for some hardstyle.
I walked into the now packed mainstage to see Max Enforcer and E-Life playing, and it was nothing but bangers from the beginning of his set to the end. He dropped some epic dancefloor bangers including Runaway (U & I Frontliner Remix), Lost in Paradise, Mellow, Mosh Pit (Headhunterz Remix), Rocked Up, Imaginary, and even FTS! In addition to these, he made sure to drop some fresh tracks that are exploding in today’s hardstyle scene, like Armin Van Buuren vs Vini Vici Feat. Hilight Tribe – Great Spirit (Wildstylez remix), D-Block & S-te-Fan – Angels & Demons, and he even played an exclusive remix of Art of Fighters, Synthax & Xcite – Creatures of the Night , which he later told me is unreleased and he only drops it during his sets. “I like to keep some tracks to myself instead of releasing them,” he said, “it makes it a special moment that you can only experience by seeing me play.” I also mentioned to him that one of the reasons I really enjoyed his set was because it was a great mix of the whole spectrum of hardstyle, to which he replied “I don’t tend to follow the trends of ‘euphoric’ or ‘raw’… I just like to play the music that I like and it gives the set my personal
style.” Spoken like a true legend, he played what he wanted and the result was unbeatable. I hope to see him again very soon and I hope this message reaches other aspiring DJs out there to not follow the trend of the scene, but to be true to yourself!
While I caught up with Max Enforcer and E-Life, we witnessed Dr. Rude’s first US appearance unfolding on the stage beside us. Dr. Rude’s style is very unique in that he too plays the spectrum of hard dance music, but with a bit of a freestyle flair with tracks like Gaan Met Die Banaan, Welcome To The Zoo, and Ghettoblaster. It was when he played Kalavela Shot me Down that I was reminded of the first time Dr. Rude grabbed my attention on a Hard With Style podcast.
Other tracks that stood out to me from his set included Zatox & Le Shuuk – Basswall, and what night of Hardstyle would be complete without Digital Nation or the Darude – Sandstorm (Sub Sonik Remix)?! For his first US appearance I can tell that Dr. Rude will definitely be back. The energy that he brought kept the crowd dancing from beginning to end.
All around it was a very fun night, I got my dose of hardcore at the PLUR Eventz stage, and I got to listen to some great Hardstyle artists. Stay tuned for more Basscon events coming up, including TNT at Monarch Theater in Pheonix AZ on July 13, Lizard Lounge Dallas TX on July 14, and at The Circle in Huntington Beach, CA on July 15, Darren Styles at Bassmnt July 21 in San Diego, CA and the second installment of Project Z returns to San Bernardino, CA on August 12.