Hard Red Rocks Review
Thursday, July 31st marked the date of the return on the immensely well known dubstep duo NERO to the historic Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Accompanied by the likes of Mad Decent figurehead Dillon Francis, the unique British DJ group Rudimental, and house/dubstep enthusiast Destructo, Red Rocks was the place to be on this beyond beautiful evening. The weather could not have been any more on point for this event, and as it became time for the doors to open and enterance to be permitted, Morrison soon became flooded with bass lovers of all kinds. The lots quickly filled up with electronic music fans, and the lots were a clear sign of good vibes and pure optimism. As many headed into the venue between 6 and 7 PM, Destructo was first to take control of the stage as the rows of this mystical venue slowly started to amass with attendees. Destructo got the party started off on the right foot, quickly captivating the attention of the entire venue with his unique mix of house, dubstep, trap, and hardstyle influences. As his hour long set came to a conclusion, it was clear that we were all in store for one hell of an evening with so much talent still to come later in the evening.
As Rudimental took the decks next, the live energy was incredibly prominent as this group did their absolute best to appeal to the wide spectrum of music lovers who had come out to attend the event. Rudimental made sure to keep it bouncing by starting off with many of their well-known bass filled house productions. Along with some classic non electronic throwbacks accompanied by a rendition of “Free” featuring the lovely Emeli Sande, Rudimental most certainly dabbled in many different musical fields throughout the course of their energy-packed performance. With the help of a live trumpet and continued vocal assistance, this DJ performance soon turned into a live act extravaganza featuring numerous musical gifted individuals. As the groups stage time came to an end, the crowd slowly starting to pour in from the lots and Red Rocks was packed with fans from left to right. Following a short intermission to change the live production setup, the attendees of the event were more than ready to rage as Dillon Francis was next to take the stage.
Dillon Francis took the stage looking like a true baller, rocking a fresh suit to accompany the insane visuals and stage set up entitled “The Gary”. Dillon has more or less become one of the biggest talking points in EDM, and this comical entertainer did a fantastic job enticing the crowds needs during the duration of his performance. Dropping a variety of moombahton to accompany his normal EDM festival type sound, it was evident that a majority of the crowd had attended to worship the beats of this intellectual Taco Bell lover himself. Mixing in a variety of his more well known songs with some new unreleased tracks, Dillon made sure to make the most of his time on stage, and for the entire hour and a half he was allotted to play, the entire crowd could be seen getting down with smiles and open, positive mindsets. The visuals that were used during the set could be classified as incredibly unique to say the very least, as the Francis production team did an excellent job putting on an all around appealing performance for all the fans of this event to enjoy. Many members of the newly arising “Dillon Francis Family” were also in attendance, and in my personal opinion, it is always awesome to see the gathering of any sort of musical “Family” to watch one of their favorite producers go up on stage and do their thing. As time progressed, Dillon’s settime was soon over, and it was time for “the Gary” to be dismantled and wheeled off stage.
Following another short intermission for production and audio adjustment, it was time to see where HARD music festival had gotten it’s name from, as the notoriously bass-heavy NERO was all set and square to unleash their madness for all of Red Rocks Amphitheatre to enjoy. NERO fans were in for a real big treat as the usual duo consisting of members Daniel Stephens and Joe Ray were accompanied by the wonderously serene vocals of Alana Watson. Kicking off the rowdiness within seconds of coming on stage, it was clear that NERO had came to perform from the very first drop they unleashed on the audience. Dropping a variety of tracks off their new unreleased EP including “Satisfy” with live vocals, the three members dubstep specialists showed why and how they had earned such a high status in the electronic music community. Also mixing in their more well known tracks such as “Me & You”, “Promises”, and “Innocence”, this performance was a huge success for any who had ever heard of the name NERO prior to the events festivities. I personally found this performance to be incredibly intimate and jaw dropping, and to me it was extremely special to get to experience some of the music that had first gotten me into dubstep in the first place. NERO has come a very long way since that time, and it was very reassuring to see them sticking to what they were and are originally known for, and not sucomming to the music these kind of events seem to be warranting nowadays.
Overall, this event turned out to be one hell of an event indeed, and I am extremely grateful to have gotten to witness so much talent all in one energy filled evening. NERO absolutely killed it in my personal opinion, leaving the entire audience in awe as their performance came to an abrupt end right before midnight. HARD Red Rocks had certainly lived up to all the hype and expectation, and I certainly am super stoked that I got the opportunity to attend an event filled with so much euphoria and intimacy. Other attendees of the event can certainly attain to the awesomeness that went down on this gorgeous evening, and I know that many fans including myself are anxiously anticipating the return of another insane lineup next summer when HARD decides to roll through Colorado once again at some point in the future.
Written by: Cooper Turley