HARD Summer Night 2: Top Five Performances

Skrillex - Hard Summer - Matt Oliver
Matt Oliver/OC Weekly
Skrillex Crash Lands His Alien Mothership in L.A.

See Also:
*HARD Summer vs. Nocturnal Wonderland--Which One is Better
*Best of HARD Summer, Day 1 - Los Angeles State Historic Park -8/3/12
*Pacific Festival: The Dunes Announced--Mayer Hawthorne, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Poolside and Fool's Gold to Perform

Night one of Hard Summer gave us our hipster fill with the likes of Bloc Party and Mike Snow. But on the second night, the real hardened ragers came out to play in the park, as Skrillex crash landed his alien mothership, Nero performed live with chest-crushing bass featuring singer Alan Watson, Bloody Beetroots dominated in their villain Venom masks and U.S. godfather of dubstep, 12th planet wreaked havoc on the stage.

We didn't let trends take hold of who we thought were the best performances of night two. Instead alternative sounds reigned supreme. With that said, here are our top five performances of Hard Summer night 2.

Squarepusher - Hard Summer - Matt Oliver
Matt Oliver/OC Weekly
This DJ Knows How to Push Those Squares

5. Squarepusher

Some call it noise, others call it static but everyone can agree that Squarepusher's experimental sound brings masses together in harmony. While wearing a helmet paired with a mini LED lit mask, 'pusher's unique electronica, drum n bass sound sent LA on a journey through a computer motherboard. If Wes Craven had directed Tron, that gives you an idea as to the scary amount of originality. To finish off his set, he took hold of the bass and jammed, while static effects and wah-wahs were blasted in a solo.

Dillion Francis - Hard Summer - Matt Oliver
Matt Oliver/OC Weekly
Dillon is Suited and Ready for Battle

4. Dillon Francis

As his song "I.D.G.A.F.O.S." (I don't give a fuck or shit) indicated,  Francis played whatever he felt like, even going as far as remixing a Madeon track into a moombathon synth pounding anthem. His energy even inspired producer A-Trak to jump on stage with him and party during his set. His crowd was on a nonstop journey of jumping and shuffling.

Thumbnail image for Bloody Beetroots HARD Summer-8990.jpg - Matt Oliver
Matt Oliver/OC Weekly
Sir Bod Cornelius Rifo Lights His Cigarette Before Taking the Stage

3. Bloody Beetroots

The Bloody Beetroots brought their renegade punk-inflected dance music fueled with womps (not the be mistaken for dubstep whomp whooomps), and had Los Angeles fans raising their fists in the air as they danced their asses off. Their Venom masks were fitting as it felt like the crowd was transported into an underground rave world of Spiderman. Earlier this week Sir. Bob Cornelius Rifo mentioned to me in an interview, "The music which is The Bloody Beetroots project has a very broad spectrum. You can find yourself in a position to dream or unleash your anger." On this night, no one moshed in revolt, yet it was a peaceful trance of harmony in the "Church of Noise"

James Murphy - Hard - Matt Oliver
Matt Oliver/OC Weekly
James Murphy Showing That Vinyl is Still Relevant 

2. James Murphy

On the same stage where Funkadelic bass jamming Bootsy Collins headlined the night before, James Murphy closed the Red Bull Music Academy Discotheque true disco style. Breaking away from this batch of DJ norm, Murphy spun vinyl's on turntables. With each song came the timeless sound of a needle touching on a rotating record. As an alternative to Skrillex, fans grooved to the soothing sounds of slap bass Disco Funk fused with a slight influence of house.

Nero - Hard Summer - Matt Oliver
Matt Oliver/OC Weekly
Nero: Blowing Out Subwoofers in a Town Near You

1. Nero

Relax, technical difficulties happen. It was not Nero's fault their bass pushed the subwoofers to extinction.Though the English trio really brought the crowd doomsday as their set dipped into no man's land, they painfully stuck behind the decks to the very end of the set -- props to them. Let's not forget Nero did perform for over an hour with flawless uninterrupted music and should be given a lot of credit for every bit of euphoric sensations that was brought from that time. The addition of their singer Alana Watson and producer Dan Stephens gave a full retro futuristic soundtrack for Hard Summer. The visuals looked like a DMT world filled with color and obscure images that put LA into a second reality.

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