Thursday, July 30th marked the third annual HARD Red Rocks hosted in the city of Morrison, Colorado at its legendary amphitheater. The evening could not have been more electrifying, largely due to the massive lineup and unforgettable beats. Sticking true to his style, Gary Richards, (HARD CEO/ Destructo) booked some serious talent to provide top-notch electronic entertainment for the night. And boy did his choices satisfy the attendees’ cravings for audible ecstasy. This year, Dog Blood (Skrillex + Boys Noize), The Glitch Mob, Porter Robinson (live), Destructo, Branchez and Option4 came together to go hard at arguably the best music venue in the world.
At this time of the year in Colorado, the sun seems to stay out much later than welcomed- especially when taking into consideration how hot it gets. I have to say though, the extra sunlight does provide for some epic photos. Branchez and Destructo both had the pleasure and pain of being on stage before the cool of night crept in. There’s nothing like a night at Red Rocks, but we often forget that the daytime allows for the incredible vistas to be seen in much more detail. The color of the sky and the contrast on the big red walls surrounding has a way of putting you in your place.
Everyone at Red Rocks was seen working their own style from rave-y wear (despite HARD’s no kandi rule) to classic heady Coloradan scarves, pins and tie-dye galore. Smiling faces were the predominant accessories of choice, and none of them were concealed by the dark of night. Before the nighttime craziness ensued, there was a heart-wrenching performance by Porter Robinson.
Porter has recently become infamous for his “live” sets and the incredible visuals he displays to flow with his music. “Lionhearted”, “Sad Machine” and “Divinity” are just a few of his tracks off of Worlds (2014) that had the audience in awe. Something about the soulfulness of his music combined with the crisp air and sense of nighttime looming swept me into an emotional wave. Looking around, it was clear that all the other beautiful souls around me had been carried away as well.
Dog Blood became a sweet relief of head banging glory; Boys Noize and Skrillex are quite the pair when it comes to producing electronic music with major oomph. HARD Red Rocks would not have been complete without this spastic duo. The energy was palpable as Dog Blood led the people of The Rocks to a place where nothing was important except dancing as hard as your body was capable of doing.
The Glitch Mob was perhaps the most memorable part of the evening. Although they headlined, Dog Blood ended up playing their set before The Mob, curating a sense of confusion in some of the crowd, but a blissful sigh of relief for others.
The Blade, The Glitch Mob’s stage set-up was made to look like it was straight from outer space, which it successfully sent the crowd straight into the middle of. Playing all the classics (besides “Between Two Points”) and of course basking in the success of their sophomore album, Love Death Immortality; the crowd was blessed with “Skullclub”, “Our Demons” and “Can’t Kill Us” just to name a few. The Mob brought myself and everyone around me to goose bumps.
When The Glitch Mob rang in the completion of the show, Red Rocks had landed back down onto earth just in time for the crowd to make their way to the lot and head home. It seemed everyone was in a daze, not sure if they wanted to leave because of the desire for the music to continue, but sure that it was time to give their bodies a rest. Luckily for the people of Morrison, the midnight sound cut-off was obeyed and a peaceful night of sleep was in store. As for some attendees, the party most definitely did not stop; it would be a sin to waste the energy that HARD Red Rocks had gifted us all, and so the celebration continued at Denver's Beta nightclub. Here, post-party stress disorder was banished as Skrillex and Boys Noize led us into the wee hours of the morning.
Interview with Gary Richards (Destructo): http://www.bassfeedsthesoul.com/destructo-interview
Written by: Melanie Gordon
Photography: Madison Lawton
*Note: All photos are property of Bass Feeds the Soul.