Written by Mara M. Mannella
Photo by Insomniac
As we inch further and further down the Road to EDC, in the recent rearview is another stellar 2-day Insomniac event, We Are NRG. For those who headed to the NOS center, simply too impatient for the arrival of EDC or perhaps not making the voyage this year, it was a full-on assault of great music and impressive production. The Southern California event featured a lineup fit for a full on festival on one zen-like stage.
Only able to attend day 1, my experience was short but oh so sweet. Friday’s lineup was a whirlwind of genres, all of which gripped attendees from 6pm-2am. From early in the evening the good vibes were palpable. Perfect weather made the outdoor stage an entertaining cooldown area with a soundtrack that drew in passersby for a quick dance party before heading back into the Damas building. The crowds grew steadily as the lineup jumped from Sweet & Low to LO’99 to hometown favorites ARMNHMR. Veteran Laidback Luke demonstrated why he is regarded throughout the dance community as one of the best in the business. His set was fittingly high “NRG” and set the tone for the rest of the evening’s artists. Joyryde blasted through crowd favorites and originals, wowing the audience with his unique sound. Fan favorite Fedde Le Grand delivered 60 minutes of his signature sound featuring some brand new music and reliable hits. The stage was then set for master of dramatics KSHMR, who orchestrated yet another incredible cinematic musical experience. KSHMR’s sets take the listener on a journey of epic proportions and this We Are NRG appearance was no different. Headhunterz was tasked with closing out the show and it was the perfect blend of nostalgia and dynamic beats. Die hard faithful and new fans alike were treated to 60 minutes of genre-transcending tracks. Headhunterz drove home the point he will not be pigeonholed; his sound is a mind-boggling trip around the electronic dance scene. The only negative of ending an evening with an artist such as Headhunterz is the crowd will never stop wanting more, and his set left many wishing for another hour (or 3) of hard-hitting tracks. Highlights from day 2 included a gritty, raw set from heavy hitter Kayzo, a bass explosion from trap master Baauer and a closing set from everyone’s favorite superheroes, Adventure Club.
We Are NRG proves year after year to be an incredible event, bursting with intimate event vibes paired with massive festival caliber artists and production. As we look forward to the year’s Insomniac events ahead, We Are NRG will be an experience not soon forgotten.