Aditya Sareen, Adventure Club, Bach Off, balcony, bassline, Caked Up, Daily Trojan, dance floor, Destroid, drum and bass, drumset, dubstep, electric guitar, Flux Pavilion, guitar, heavy metal, Hollywood, Hollywood Palladium, I Can’t Stop, Los Angeles, melody, Oscar Wylde, Queen, Safe In Sound Festival, Star Wars Rebels, synth-pop, synthesizer, Terravita, Tetris, Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Tron, Vegas Banger, We Will Rock You
Flux Pavilion recently said he does not believe dubstep is dying as a genre, and that certainly seemed to be the theme of the Safe In Sound Festival. Five artists lined up at the Hollywood Palladium on 18 October 2014 to prove that catchy synths and wobbling basslines are still very much in fashion.
One would not peg the Hollywood Palladium as a venue to host a music “festival,” but surprisingly, it gelled extremely well with the size and theme of Safe In Sound. The circular dance floor, surrounded by balconies on all sides, ensured that everyone could have the type of concert experience they preferred. Lines were manageable for the concert, and getting inside took less than fifteen minutes, which is almost unheard of for a lineup such as this one.
The lineup could best be described in one word: eclectic. Every single artist brought something new to the floor that distinguished him or her from the rest, yet kept with the dubstep genre in some way. Terravita opened up the night with some pulse pounding basslines and revved up the crowd in preparation for the bigger acts to come. The band’s style is most distinctly reflected in their popular single Bach Off, where they combine orchestral sounds akin to those of Bach [Toccata and Fugue in D minor (BWV 565)] with nervewracking bass to create a powerful mixture. The trio, hailing from Los Angeles, proves that not everything in dubstep is generic.
Caked Up, the duo comprised of Oscar Wylde and Vegas Banger, went on next, showcasing the kind of music that can only be enjoyed with bass that pops eardrums. Their blend of trap and dubstep featured some surprises, such as a remix of the Tetris theme that nobody expected in what was an applause-worthy set.
It was at first confusing to see a drumset and guitars being set up on stage next, but all was explained once Destroid, the heavy metal trio, came on. Never has the medley of dark chords on the guitar, metal band screaming and wobbling bass sounded so right. Donning matching suits with Tron-esque lights synced to the music, their performance was certainly one to remember.
Then came on the first of the two headlining acts: Adventure Club. Their signature style of dubstep infused with reflective melodies and heartwarming vocals are always a pleasure to hear. They played tracks that have shot them up to fame and also debuted two unreleased singles. With some stage dives and bouncy props, they interacted with the crowd the most out of any act, which is admirable considering the size of the event.
Staying true to tradition, the festival saved the best for last, as a roaring crowd welcomed Flux Pavilion himself to the stage. His thumping beats infused with catchy synths stand as a testament to his superior control over this genre. But rather than stick to dubstep, Flux played tunes from a whole range of genres, including trap, drum and bass, and a great rendition of Queen’s We Will Rock You. He sent shivers through the crowd with his signature track, I Can’t Stop, and surprised everyone when he pulled out the theme for Star Wars Rebels that he had been working on. This was one night where Flux proved he was as diverse as any artist in the electronic dance music scene.
All in all, Safe In Sound was as its name describes; a comfortable and fun music experience that brought along some great surprises, a sold out Hollywood Palladium and stellar performances from each of the artists.