As we drove down the 5 freeway headed to the Pacific Festival, the excitement level was rising like a hot kettle on the stove. With a loaded lineup headlined by Snoop Dogg & Cut Copy and artists such as Calvin Harris, Phantogram, Ghostland Observatory, Steve Aoki, Fred Falke, Bag Raiders, The C90′s, !!! (Chk, Chk, Chk) on the schedule, there was no better place to be on August 13th, 2011 than Oak Canyon Ranch in Orange County, California. Having VIP Backstage access was sure to make it epic. What follows is just that. E.P.I.C.
Click read more to read my part 1 review of the Pacific Festival.
With the Southern California sun beating down on a perfect afternoon, we arrived just in time to see !!! (Chk Chk Chk) rocking the main stage. Nic Offer had great stage presence as he danced around the stage while singing am/fm. The whole band had the crowd into it when Nic joined the crowd by climbing over the railing.
AM / FM by ChkChkChk
While they left a little to be desired with their stage presence, the music was solid. Right nearby, The C90′s were on top of the Shagadelica stage (a double decker bus outfitted in white fur, picture above). As Siegz joined the band on stage (top of the bus), I joined the crowd below to get the vibe. The Shagadelica was a great idea but needed a better location. The C90′s had a decent crowd and good sound and I’m excited to see them in the future.
Following The C90′s, Siegz and I checked out upstate New York’s finest alternative/electronica band, Phantogram. Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter have created a buzz about their music, but I’m also here to tell you they are talented performers. They played such hits as Mouthful of Diamonds, When I’m Small, and Let Me Go and then it was time to go because Calvin Harris was coming on main stage.
Calvin started the crowd off with Awooga, followed it up with Flashback and I’m Not Alone. The beach balls were flying around and the crowd was gaining energy when he hit us with one of his 2011 singles, Bounce.
The song was the tipping point to the festival heading towards its peak with Steve Aoki, Ghostland Observatory, Snoop Dogg, & Cut Copy still to perform. Following Calvin on the stage, Steve Aoki proceeded to create “Turbulence” when he sprayed champagne amongst the crowd while bumping his top joints. The set really took off when he played his remix of Kid Cudi’s Pursuit of Happiness.
Following Steve Aoki, Ghostland Observatory (Austin’s finest) put on an amazing lightshow which was added by the dark hills of Oak Canyon Ranch. Lead singer Aaron Behrens dominated the stage with hits such as Give Me The Beat, Sad Sad City, and Glitter.
Near the end of Ghostland Observatory, I went back to Lakeside Stage to see Fred Falke drop the remixes. Let me just say this: Fred Falke can jam and had the crowd going wild. Girls were loving his music and honestly the man needed a bigger stage. I recommend you listen to golden cage to hear more of Fred because next year, the man is going to be on the main stage.
Speaking of main stage…The stage was set for California’s hip-hop king, Snoop Dogg. While keeping the crowd waiting an extra 30 minutes wasn’t cool, within minutes of Snoop appearing all was forgiven. Snoop played some of his classic hits, took a moment of silence for Nate Dogg, received multiple lap dances from his dancers, smoked some chronic, and owned the stage for the entire hour he was on it. While Snoop may not be a young buck these days, his performance would make you think it was 1993. He absolutely destroyed his P.I.M.P remix into The Next Episode and my only thought was that you wished you were in the moment.
Headliners and closing act Cut Copy had a tough act to follow but Dan Whitford and the guys came out and immediately set the scene with their electropop smooth style. Besides Whitford’s subtly good singing dance moves, the melodies of songs such as Hearts On Fire, Where I’m Going, Take Me Over and Lights & Music were more than enough to make me feel like I’d reached the peak at Pacific Festival.
And when the encore was Need You Now, the only thought that crossed my mind was Pacific Festival 2012.