Marina Green Park in Long Beach, CA, covers nearly ten acres, overlooking a beautiful waterway and the Pacific Ocean. An enormous crowd of music lovers made it to the park early to listen to some of their favorite artists and see the first night of the new tour. On another perfect, sunny Saturday in Southern California, the all-day event that is the Alchemy Tour came through and left a lasting impression.
The three enormous industry forces that joined together for this tour brought some friends along as well. Shadient began the day, playing to an exuberant crowd that gathered at 2 PM to hear his unique blend of heavy bass music. Early on, the tone was set, and despite the early time slot, the fans that made it out did not lack for energy. Jason Ross followed up and switched the pace slightly, delivering some of his music that has been touched by the likes of the house and techno sounds of Above and Beyond and Anjunabeats. Still, he kept the crowd engaged and played a vibrant mix of styles underneath the hot sun.
SVDDEN DEATH was next, and had a truly striking performance that showcases the power of the riddim dubstep subgenre in 2019. The crowd was on a rampage, headbanging and opening mosh pits as he dropped banger after banger. It seemed as if a striking amount of branded clothing worn by festival attendees throughout the event was SVDDEN DEATH merchandise, equal to or perhaps even greater than the amounts worn for the headliners. It was an astute move to have him come on at 4 PM, as it seemed like everyone that would be in the venue was already there by the time his set began.
The Glitch Mob began the headlining sets of the night, delivering some of their trademark wall-of-bass sound, and effortlessly moving between genres and styles. Despite being the longest-tenured act on the lineup, the experienced trio showed their understanding of the young crowd as they dropped their collaborations with up-and-coming producers LICK and 1788-L.
Seven Lions came out to an already exhausted crowd, most of whom had been sweating and getting down under the cloudless sky for five hours. It proved to be a welcome change of pace–as the sun set, he played some of his trademark soaring emotional dubstep that frequently had the whole crowd singing along. Pleasant, ethereal visuals accompanied his melodic tunes and were a nice palate cleanser. Seven Lions is certainly known for playing a host of heavy music, switching gears at breakneck speed between dubstep, techno, and even the occasional psytrance drop.
The anticipation was palpable in the break between Seven Lions and the night’s closing act, Gud Vibrations. NGHTMRE and Slander have made their names as great party hosts, and their typical high-energy sets are fan favorites everywhere. This particular instance did not deviate from the formula, but also did not disappoint, as a constant stream of heavy music blared from the enormous sound system over an exuberant crowd. Their trademark Atom lighting rig provided an intense atmosphere to their stage presence as everything from trap to riddim to hip hop washed over the crowd. Crowd pleasing favorites mixed with a slew of new music and remixes as the night progressed. Guest appearances were made by Kompany, who played his recent track “Broken” with Slander, and Dylan Matthew, who came out to lend some uplifting vocal work to the set.
But perhaps the peak of the night came from other producers’ music. Eptic‘s instantly memorable remix of the RL Grime track “Era” was played to a crowd that went absolutely insane, further solidifying its place as one of the banner bangers of the year. Additionally, the still-warm “Griztronics,” an instantly popular collaboration from Griz and Subtronics that came out mere days before the show, was played and also given a surprise drum and bass treatment.
Overall, the first show of the tour went off without a hitch. It was surprising how well the styles of the three headliners meshed, and everything seemed to flow seamlessly. All of the performers were well equipped to their tasks, and the crowd seemed to know exactly what was expected of them and when. This kind of flawless synergy between artists and listeners is a wonderful thing to witness, and we’ll look forward to seeing what the rest of the Alchemy Tour has in store.