How can you top a festival at a gorgeous venue with one of the best line-ups San Diego has hosted in years? How about doing it again…7 months later! San Diego and SoCal residents didn’t have to wait another year to re-live a great weekend at the Waterfront Park – CRSSD made us all happy by throwing another festival as we officially say goodbye to the summer. Bringing back the three stages and improving on some of the logistics of last year (see my review HERE) – I had a chance to catch a bunch of great artists.
Day #1 had me going and excited as I bounced around to see SNBRN, Justin Jay, and Gallant, however my first highlight started as the night was about to begin. There’s just something magical about an act at sunset, and duo Bob Moses got that prime spot delivering their fitting blend of live band instrumentation and slick deep house grooves against a gorgeous backdrop of palm trees and ships in the harbor. Making my way to the Ocean View stage, St. Lucia performed a lively set with their feel good indie-electronic jams. A personal favorite, Trippy Turtle, made his way back to CRSSD but this time with fellow Norwegian, Cashmere Cat. Their energized set switched from Jersey club to future trap to heavy hip-hop remixes and more!
I’ve associated Bonobo with his more downtempo oriented-sound, and have witnessed more of this style when I saw him perform at another festival. However, to my pleasant surprise, his DJ set ventured more into a mixed medley of melodic techno and beautiful up-tempo, off-kilter beats. His set was one of the most diverse I would hear over the weekend and one of my favorites. I had a chance to get “Wasted” on the “West Coast” with Zhu before catching Italian electronic music pioneer Giorgio Moroder. At first he was spinning some modern mainstream EDM tunes, but then he dipped into his catalog of classics including Blondie’s “Call Me” and a nostalgic remix of the theme to “The Never Ending Story,” a classic childhood movie. I’ve never really gotten into The Flaming Lips and their brand of psychedelic art rock, but I’ve heard their live shows are not to be missed. I surely wasn’t disappointed as the band filled the stage with elaborate and fantastic colorful lights & visualizations, animal suits, puppets and the singer even rolled over the crowd in his inflatable ball. Definitely a stimulating experience to end the first day!
I kicked off the second day with some grooves by house duo, Bicep, followed by some melodic future bass/trap by Jai Wolf. His original “Indian Summer” was a magically fitting track for those late afternoon vibes. In his trademark mask, Berlin’s Claptone threw down a deep and funky house set getting me going with tracks like “The Music Got Me” and what would become my most memorable track of the weekend “Sirens of Lesbos – Long Days Hot Nights (Claptone Remix).” For me, this euphoric fire of a tune represented the weekend as a whole especially with the lyric “I’m in a sunshine state of mind.” Those summer vibes definitely did not stop there as I continued on to catch a favorite, Matoma, as he mixed in some of his ridiculously catchy tropical house/hip hop remixes of The Notorious B.I.G., Will Smith and Jay Z. Kygo was one of the last acts to be added to the lineup and I was super keen to hear a set of jubilant, feel good melodic house with finely crafted pop sensibilities. (Oh and scheduled at sunset so needless to say I was pleased!) The way Kygo composes his melodies often have a way burrowing into your brain (in a pleasant kind of way) – in fact, I’ve found myself randomly humming the lead to “Stole the Show” quite often since the festival.
I then took a well deserved break, as I chilled to Los Angeles based Banks. She swept the audience with her brand of future R&B and sensual electro pop jams like “Drowning” and “Beggin For Thread.” Goddess of the underground, Maya Jane Coles, was on my list to not miss, as I had seen her several years ago and I was hypnotized by her set. She absolutely threw it down with dark grooving tech house and techno and, despite being the closer for the weekend and dancing the last two days, her selection of tracks got me going, dancing-shoes in full effect.
Though it would have been a content ending to another awesome weekend, I decided to go for a bonus round and attend the CRSSD After Party at the Music Box. There, I got an extra serving of Maya and a chance to catch some driving, entrancing, mechanical techno – Berlin style – courtesy of Ben Klock (who I had happened to miss at the festival). I’m super stoked that CRSSD has been bringing diverse and world class artists to San Diego. Here’s hoping to another stacked weekend soon!
Artists on this festival’s lineup are featured throughout Mood’s Core offerings like Trendspot, Perimeter and Frequency.
– Submitted by Jesse Nathason, Music Design