This past weekend Los Angeles was shaken by an earthquake of the best hard bass known to man! The Sound of Q-dance made an epic return to The Shrine Auditorium near USC’s campus on Saturday, November 15th. The third edition of the first standalone event to debut in North America just last year, featured an even better lineup than past editions. A wider variety of genres was represented by some of the biggest heavy hitters in hardstyle and hardcore. MC Villain, Audiofreq, Coone, Evil Activities, Psyko Punkz, Technoboy and Zatox all graced the massive stage in the main hall of The Shrine and brought their different styles to fans from all over the country and beyond.
The Sound of Q-dance definitely upped the ante with the largest stage setup to date which featured a number of screens that were projected with insane and intricate visuals that are characteristic of the Q-dance brand. The merch table also had a bunch of treats that American fans die to get their hands on- flags, lanyards, hoodies and t-shirts were all sold without the exuberant shipping fees. Needless to say, the line at the table was long and so was the wait, but it was worth it! To start the night off, Skylapse a trio from the LA area played a number of hardstyle hits. What made them unique was their astoundingly beautiful female vocalist that sang her heart out to some of their original tracks. They did an excellent job of getting the crowd pumped up for the next act.
Hailing all the way from Australia, Audiofreq was the first headliner to step up to the desks. He is known for his high energy sets that span many genres including subground, rawstyle and everything in between. It was really cool to hear some of his originals such as “Volition” and “War Cry,” but the true highlights were “Creatures of the Night” by Geck-o and of course, his new track “Riot” which combines trap and rawstyle into an insane punch-you-in-your-face tune. Look out for the release on November 24th!
As with all Q-dance shows, an interlude precedes each act and with that the visuals at TSOQ 3 changed as well. Before the Psyko Punkz were to begin a really cool version of Medusa (from Mysteryland 2013) appeared above the stage with her menacing, glowing green eyes. It was pretty fitting considering Psyko Punkz were going to hypnotize everyone with their beats! Their set had a lot of their classic songs: “Drunken Masta,” “Trippy Hippie” and “Love This Life.” They even threw in their newest track “We Stay Up.” Overall their set was a good mix of everything that makes them a crowd favorite.
Bringing the sounds of the old school was the “King of Hardstyle” none other than Technoboy! Most of his set paid homage to the 90s and the sounds that shaped hardstyle into what it is today. Tons of reverse bass and TNT songs blared on the speakers and gave everyone a taste of history. It was really cool when he played his 2012 Qlimax edit of The Nasty Boyz “Angel” which features a sample of Enya’s “May It Be” from The Lord of The Rings soundtrack. It gave everyone some time to breathe and take in the sheer awesomeness around them. Technoboy made sure to crank it up toward the end in preparation for Coone!
Dim Mak’s sole hardstyle artist hasn’t let the new label take away from what he’s truly passionate about. Though his newer songs have taken on more influence from hip hop, he keeps his hard bass kicks and always puts on an intense show. TSOQ 3 was no different- “Zombie Killer,” “Aladdin on E” and obviously “Survival of the Fittest,” the 2014 Defqon anthem were all a part of his set. He even showed the crowd his appreciation by opening with “California Love” by 2Pac. All the while, a creepy clown that emulated the stage from this month’s Carnival of Doom watched down upon the audience with glaring red eyes.
By midnight everyone was ready to kick it into next gear with the creator of rawstyle- Zatox, who had an album signing session earlier in the evening to promote New World Order. As the Master’s face from Qlimax 2006 suddenly appeared on the screen with his grisly-looking countenance, Zatox unleashed one of the most high-octane and purely raw sets ever! He played a handful of new material from the new album including “Back in the Days.” He made sure to showcase his roots by throwing in a variety of original songs such as “Action,” “Natural Born Raver,” “Fight the Resistance” and “Check out the Drop.” Zatox fans got a great taste of what Italian rawstyle is all about from the master himself. It was also an excellent way to precede the final act of the night- Evil Activities!
Check out Zatox’s new video for “New World Order:”
MC E-Life made an awesome introduction that asked if everyone was ready to crank it up to 160-200 bpm and was met by a chorus of screams and roars! This was the first TSOQ to feature a hardcore artist and one of the best nonetheless. His set also spanned his entire career and had “Broken,” “Nobody Said It Was Easy” and “Never Fall Asleep” all thrown into a mix that made sure everyone would empty the tank by the end of the night. He even challenged everyone with a 200 bpm track that surely wiped everyone out. There was no one better to close out this edition of TSOQ- Evil Activities brought the room into high gear and nearly killed everyone.
The Shrine in downtown LA once again served as the massive home for hard bass fans from all over the world. The Sound of Q-dance 3 was an excellent showcase of the harder styles and proved that Q-dance has officially landed in the States and is here to stay! Fans were left thirsting for more and looking forward to next edition in 2015.
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