CRSSD on the waterfront

img_3083CRSSD is a music festival in San Diego’s waterfront park, featuring a wide range of electronic and dance music artists from all over the world. Three stages, The Palms, City Steps, and Ocean View provided festival-goers with a range of options and artists to see, with different sets taking place all day, from noon until 10 p.m.

CRSSD had a warm and welcoming ambiance, helped by its waterfront setting, summer-themed stage design, festival decor, and the innumerable palm trees throughout the venue. The crowds were equally as lively, both in manner and dress. Floppy sun hats, flashy clothing, and parasols were all part of the typical CRSSD attire. The atmosphere on the dance floors was boisterous and upbeat, and the bass-heavy beats fueled the fun for the concert goers.

With artists from Miike Snow to Zhu, CRSSD had a star-studded and diverse musical palette for the crowd to enjoy. The musical genres ranged from indie dance to deep house, and for the electronic music lover, at all times at least one stage had an enjoyable set playing for fans to vibe with.

Because the festival started early in the afternoon and ended well into the night, it was necessary to plan for breaks in between, but because of the three stages, it made it easier to pick and choose which artists you wanted to see throughout the day without missing your favorites.

Senior Khaled Alaskar said that CRSSD had an excellent selection of music and enjoyed his experience at the festival.

“I thought that the variety that each of the three stages had was great; it wasn’t the same music playing over and over,” Alaskar said. “There were some unique acts, which made the festival fun, and really enjoyable.”

Some of the highlights of CRSSD were sets by Louis the Child, Kungs, Flight Facilities, Bonobo’s DJ set, Miike Snow, and Zhu, all of which drew large crowds to the stage. The audience roared with applause when Kungs started playing his new song, “This Girl,” which has one of the catchiest openings of any current song. The catchy opening may be the reason for its over 200 million plays on Spotify. Louis the Child pumped up the crowd with their hit song, “It’s Strange,” which was featured on the soundtrack to FIFA 16. Overall, the crowd seemed to respond to the catchy, upbeat songs of these artists, often reacting to the build-up and drop of the popular dance anthems.

The sound quality of the event was very good and not overly loud, which can be a problem at large music festivals. The mix was crisp and clear, and every artist’s set seemed to be held to the same high standard for quality. Because the overall sound was so good, it was easy for the crowd to get into the music without noticing anything about the speaker quality or mix quality. It was also nice that concert goers were likely to have gone home with their hearing intact, something not typically associated with bassy electronic music.

The USD Vista was able to catch up with two acts at CRSSD, Louis the Child and Sam Feldt, who both gave some insight into the world of electronic music. Both artists are on the rise, and have produced songs that have garnered critical acclaim and millions of plays on popular music streaming sites.

Louis the Child, a duo from Chicago consisting of Robby Hauldren and Freddy Kennett, has recently gained popularity with the subsequent releases of their songs “It’s Strange,” “Weekend,” and “Fire.” The duo started making music around five years ago, while still in high school.

What started out as a creative exploration, mostly with fun in mind, ended up becoming a rapid success story with the two playing some of the largest venues and festivals in the world. They remarked that it all sunk in for them when they played a set at Lollapalooza, their hometown festival.  When asked what their creative process for making music looks like, they said it involves a good chunk of experimentation and testing.

“We usually find a melody or chord progression we like and then go from there,” Kennett said. “Then we’ll usually build from that [point] on.”

The duo tends to place their focus on creating polished songs in the studio so that they can shape their own musical identity. They have found success working in their own style and enjoy creating original tracks. Their musical influences include artists like Porter Robinson, Madeon, and Bon Iver. They listen to and incorporate a wide range of genres into their own music. Louis the Child has an upcoming EP to look out for within the next few months, and start a tour this November.

Sam Feldt is a Dutch DJ and producer, best known for his songs, “Summer on You,” “Been A While,” and “Hot Skin.” Feldt recalled playing music as early as age 11, when he took piano lessons and later started to learn music the music production softwares Logic and FL Studio. He started seriously getting into electronic music and DJing around age 17 when he saw a DJ in a Holland club pump up a crowd. He found himself desiring to be able to do the same. Feldt originally started making tracks in his bedroom, like many other DJs just starting their careers.

When Feldt was approached by Spinnin’ Records to sign for their label, it sunk in for him that he actually had a real chance at turning his music into a career. Feldt’s musical process tends to start with a chord progression or acappella that he likes, and then he works from there. He loves both working in the studio and live mixing. Feldt originally began his career as a DJ but then gradually moved to creating more of his own songs with his personal flair. When asked if he had a piece of equipment in his rig that he simply cannot live without, his answer was certainly unique.

“To be honest, earplugs,” Feldt said. “When you have loud music playing, you should have earplugs in, if it’s on stage or just listening at a show. For me, it’s like a footballer protecting his legs.”

Sam Feldt has a new single, “Runaways”, debuting on Oct. 7 and a new album scheduled for next year. He also has an interactive fan portal in the works, building on his idea that music should be free creative content, which is accessible to the masses. He hopes to make his music free for his fans, with the only caveat being they create an account to receive updates about new releases, tours, and projects.

CRSSD was a great time, and, while on the mellower side for a music festival, it did not hinder the overall energy at the event. The music was excellent, and the location was picturesque.

The three stages provided variety for the audience, and the wide range of artists kept the festival fresh over the course of two days. The fun summer vibe is sure to bring a crowd next year.

By Walker Chuppe, Arts & Culture Editor