Fans of heavy bass music across the country got the biggest treat once a brand new festival, and one of the first of its kind was announced just a few short months ago. Safe in Sound was set to bring some of the best artists in dubstep, drum and bass and trap to cities all across North America. The event runs from September 19th through October 25th, with a stellar lineup including Destroid, Doctor P, Adventure Club and many others including special guests UZ and Downlink. Though each city sports a different roster, there is no doubt that the highest caliber production would be consistent throughout especially because of the 150,000 watt PK sound system that is pretty much the optimum choice for this type of festival. Philadelphia’s Festival Pier near the Downtown area served as this edition’s home for the day and the show sold out before the weekend even started!
Philly’s lineup included Adventure Club, Excision, Flux Pavilion, Zeds Dead and special guest supporting acts Terravita and ƱZ. Needless to say, this event was stacked! Once the doors promptly opened at 3pm patrons were subject to a run-of-the-mill security check including removal of one’s shoes. The line moved quickly as everyone was anxious to get the day started. Philly local Architekt warmed everyone up with his dirty dub set that showed his skills and proved why he’s usually on the bill for many shows in the area. He even opened for Destroid at SoundGarden Hall, which was just across the street from the Pier last December. He was the perfect beginning act and a great representative of local talent.
Terravita were next up and blew everyone away with their grimy beats. If you have not seen them yet, be sure to add them to your list of must-sees. They put on an even better performance than their Moonrise one and continued their trend of live rap vocals and crowd participation. The duo threw in some random trap tracks that made their set all the more dynamic and made them a great addition as a special guest. Though there were rumors swirling about a cancellation, ƱZ still managed to show up, albeit very late. His set was only 30 minutes long, so that none of the main acts would get delayed but it was still more than enough to make up for his late arrival. He managed to squeeze in many classic trap songs that got everyone moving including “Tell Me” by RL Grime and What So Not. Clad in his infamous eye mask and black bandana, his identity still remains a mystery, but his strong stage presence and ability to throw down was definitely apparent this past weekend.
Once the hottest dynamic duo of dubstep took to the decks, all the ladies could be heard swooning. It was also a pleasant surprise to see both Leighton and Christian on stage, considering that has rarely been the case this past year. Adventure Club seems to be returning to their roots by dropping dirty track after dirty track and even ramping it up with some hardstyle that can reach up to 150 bpm! Of course everyone sang along once “Crave You” faded onto the speakers, they even prompted all the chicks in the crowd to get on a pair of nearby shoulders if possible. Their vocal tracks including “Gold” and “Crash” were also met with a sweet chorus of voices from enthused attendees. They were clearly the most energetic thus far; repeatedly hopping on top of their decks and headbanging along with everyone. It was a bit sad to see them go, but the next act is a true master at all things bass.
Flux Pavilion, who is also known for pairing up with Doctor P, is unmatached in terms of how he manages to include various genres in one set with such fluidity. One second a bass heavy dub song could be heard which would quickly and seamlessly transition into a slower trap song. He opened his set with his most popular song “Bass Cannon” which could definitely be felt by the front row people through the PK sound system. He also dropped songs off his most recent EP such as, “Do or Die (ft. Childish Gambino)” and “Make Your Body Wanna.” Toward the end of his set, he took an unconventional approach by playing a disco-y song that definitely took everyone by surprise. He made sure to close out with some intense and hardcore dub tracks though.
Excision, the purveyor of high-wattage sound systems, was next up to the plate. He was the first to feature a 150,000 watt sound system and has highly popularized it since he started that tour. He included a lot of his own tracks, as well as some drum and bass. As usual, some metal and rock songs were thrown into the mix to which the crowd responded with moshing! It may have appeared dangerous to anyone on the outskirts but, the vibes were pretty good and no one got injured. It was great to hear “X-rated” at the end of set with the all-too famous intro that everyone chanted along with, which segued into the VIP version of “Bounce.” Because his sets are never short of extreme, Excision always leaves everyone exhausted and happily broken.
Despite being nearly killed by their predecessor, Zeds Dead did not hesitate to bring the heat. They wanted to make sure everyone’s tanks were past empty by the time the night was over. Their set included a few moments for a breather when they played some minimal groovy tracks, clearly demonstrating that they may have been influenced by their time on HOLY SHIP!! Their inclusion of NERO’s newest and industrial-dub track “Satisfy” definitely got a huge reaction from the crowd. After throwing in some old school hip hop tracks, the duo brought the fest to a close that was smoother than butter by dropping their hits “Eyes on Fire (remix)” and “Coffee Break.” Their final song was “Collapse” of their EP from this year.
From the visuals that were truly on point, to the ground-crushing PK sound system, Safe in Sound definitely took the cake in terms of bringing nothing but the cream of the crop in the world of dubstep. The vibes were excellent despite it being all ages, it was very well-run and organized and overall it was an excellent event. Though there was somewhat of an after-party at SoundGarden, most people probably lacked the energy from the sheer onslaught of bass they had just experienced. Safe in Sound is undoubtedly one of the events you should look out for next year, as it is the epitome of a dubstep festival. +
If you have a chance to attend in another city, tickets for the fest are still on sale here: http://www.ticketmaster.com/safe-in-sound-philadelphia-pennsylvania-09-27-2014/event/02004CF871D92D0E
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