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I Love This City (San Diego) Review


The summer festival season is clearly in full swing here in California. Us So-Cal’ers had the chance to go the little brother festival of San Francisco’s I Love This City, aptly named “I Love This City - San Diego.” LED and Live Nation hosted three stages of beats at the Cricket Wireless Amphiteather, and if you blew this event off, let us tell why you missed out, big time!

Sometimes, even with your perfect dream line-up or your whole crew of friends, an event can leave bad memories. Maybe your favorite DJ played a disappointing set, the sound quality was poor, the crowd was too aggressive, or the thought of using the port-o-potties left you dehydrated. I Love This City had none of those things, and was an all around great event.

We really have to hand it to LED and Live Nation for having such a great venue, incredibly friendly staff, and a perfect summer line-up. We were definitely skeptical of the Cricket Wireless amphitheater, what kind of rave forces the audience into seats? We were also weary of a 16+ event, the teenages tend to be roudier and cause more problems. We were also unsure about a mostly daytime show that ends at 11PM. We were unsure of the dubstep heavy line-up, was this going to be a dubstep show or will there be something for everybody? Well, we were wrong in all our doubts.

The amphitheater was a fantastic venue. The seats were great in those off moments or when you just needed to get off your tired feet. They also guaranteed you some personal space. Girls out there know exactly how frustrating it is to be surrounded and squashed by sweaty, shirtless guys. Seats to save the day! Almost all the annoying aspects of a standing-room only even were alleviated by the abundance of chairs. Even better, the amphitheater still had a large pit, and a huge lawn in the back for all you moshers, shufflers, and asphyxiaters. Surrounding the main stage were vendor/food stands, water fountains and, most importantly, clean restrooms. Did I mention free parking? How about a large second stage in the adjacent parking lot? Or waitresses that would bring you drinks even if you weren’t in VIP? Yeah, we definitely can’t wait to go back.

Whoever planned the line-up for the main stage deserves a medal. The main stage was like listening to a 8 hour long mix; a mix that slowly builds up throughout the day, one that fluctuates dynamically with the atmosphere and one that manages to satisfy every palate of hunger you had.

The Twelves, a personal favorite of ours and one you should definitely check out if you haven’t already heard of them (Pete Tong calls them Brazil’s answer to Daft Punk), started the afternoon off with nice and easy funky jams; nu-disco to warm up your legs and prime your ears. Adrian Lux followed with his progressive, vocal and melodic style of house music. He played the perfect blend of his own tracks off his new album and crowd-pleasers, occasionally mashing both together. We were particularly impressed with his mashing of his original mix of Teenage Crime with the Axwell remix and Adrian’s vocals from Alive. We also had a chance to sit down with Adrian Lux after the show; take a look at the interview.

A-Trak and Madeon brought the sun down with two unbelievably diverse, engaging, and outstanding mixes. A-Trak kept familiar sounds fresh with his unique scratching and mixing. The crowd definitely got a kick out of his humor when he replaced the words “Barbara Streisand” with “San Diego.” Madeon followed A-Trak’s funk with a fast paced, well balanced mix that proves Madeon is a name to watch out for. There wasn’t a dull moment as he brought the sun down and kept the crowd up.

Even if you aren’t an avid fan of headliner Skrillex you would have loved his showmanship and the energy he brings to the crowd. He should only play instrumentals from now on, the crowd sings all the lyrics to his songs anyways. LED was wise to shut down the other stages for this headliner performance, and Live Nation did a fantastic job of handling the crowd as three audiences became one.

The line-up had much more to offer, including Radio 1 star Jaguar Skills, The M Machine, Brodinski, Nadia Ali, Lucky Date, The Crystal Method, and 12th Planet (who could be seen walking around the main stage crowd in the afternoon).

The weather was beautiful, the crowd was radiant with energy, the vibe was right: I Love This City was an all around great place to dance, make friends, and spend a perfect memorial day weekend. We hope I Love This City becomes a Memorial Day Weekend tradition!

In the area and looking for another event? Be sure to catch our coverage of Eric Prydz, Arty, Hardwell, Doctor P and more at the Identity Festival at the Cricket Wireless Amphitheater August 28th!

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