HARD Haunted Mansion Review: Friday
I really had no expectations as to what this past Halloween weekend’s HARD Haunted Mansion would lead to. Though after experiencing the several dozen thousand person event staged at USC’s The Shrine (next to a multistory unfinished parking structure which added effect), I can say I was blown away. In “you’ve gotta experience it to understand it” fashion, nothing I’ve done before compared to the event. From the ridiculous range of costumes, to the extremely eclectic nature of the crowd to the unreal multimedia accompaniments of every show, it was simply a one of a kind experience. Check out some of the highlights of Friday Night:
On the whole, the outdoor stage completely out shined the indoor stage. However, DR’s set inside carried the early night well. While crowd’s were fairly thin inside beforehand, Don got a good number of HARD’ers going before the rest of the nights acts came up.
A self-described hip-hop based produced, A-Trak’s set was technically flawless. From intros to transitions, his set was simply spot on. Each bit seemed perfectly in place, yet equally energetic. As the first real DJ on the outdoor stage to get the crowd truly geared up, A-Trak deserved considerable credit for setting the stage for the rest of the night.
In our earlier interview with the BBs, they noted that they came from a punk background–not electro. That completely came through in their unbelievably energetic set. From the opening “WARP 1.9”, the pace and intensity of their set was unmatched through the night. The two have a knack for bringing out the most in the crowd, and they did not disappoint on Friday.
In what I considered the best set of the night, 2ManyDj’s mixed everything from Major Lazer to Michael Jackson to Dolly Parton. Not only was the set without flaw, but the originality of the songs they drew from was ridiculous. As they said in our backstage interview, their key to remixes is taking an already amazing song and making it better. And the songs they drew from were certainly amazing, but just obscure enough to provide a fresh set list. And their mix of “Hey Boy, Hey Girl” was simply electric.
2ManyDj’s was a tough act to follow, but Deadmau5 did a hell of a job. Moreover, his light show was spectacular. The video display behind also complemented the set excellently. At one point, a high-speed flash slide show of industrial development across the world lit up the crowd and was a meaningful addition to Deadmau5’s beats. All in all, “Ghosts n Stuff” was one of the finer points.