Same Same But Different Fest: Post-Set Q+A With LSDream

The sights and sounds of music returned to Lake Perris, California for a festival that is all the same as many fests yet truly different. In its third year rendition, Same Same But Different Festival overcame the many difficulties of the pandemic with a strong lineup featuring SSBD first-timers Big Gigantic, STS9, LSDream, Clozee, and Polish the Ambassador. Along with the return of Boombox, Dirtwire, COFRESI, and Megan Hamilton for a great representation of many artists who refuse to be categorized in a genre. 

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Kygo’s Spectacular Return To Red Rocks

Kygo, known to family and friends as Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll, is a world-renowned producer, songwriter, and DJ. This Norweigan prodigy caught the music industry’s attention with his remix of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” in 2013. Soon after, his tropical house track “Firestone” also blew up, skyrocketing his career into something unspeakable. This 29 year-old has accumulated billions (yes, billions) of streams on Spotify alone since his first release.

Over the years, Kygo has performed at countless venues and festivals worldwide including TomorrowWorld, EDC Las Vegas, and Ultra Music Festival. Some of Kygo‘s most well-known tracks include “It Ain’t Me” with Selena Gomez, “Stole The Show” (feat. Parson James), and “Higher Love” with Whitney Houston. All of these songs are a perfect example of his signature lighthearted, upbeat, feel-good sound.

The Rebirth Of Red Rocks

Nestled in the hills near Morrison, Colorado, lies Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. This beautiful outdoor venue was opened in 1941 and hosts various events including concerts, film screenings, yoga classes, and more. This past year, they adapted to COVID-19 restrictions when possible by hosting drive-in movie screenings and limited-capacity shows. Furthermore, they took this time off to completely renovate the stage to help protect artists from inclement weather.

On Thursday, June 24th, Kygo returned to Red Rocks for the first time since 2018. This show was one of the first full-capacity shows that Red Rocks has been able to hold since the COVID-19 pandemic, and Kygo’s first live show in 18 months!

Once parked in one of the four main parking lots, attendees make the trek up to the venue either by stairs or a long ramp. Upon getting their tickets scanned, each attendee received a plastic bracelet with Kygo’s logo on it. This show had reserved seating, except for the top section which was dedicated to general admission ticket-holders. Various food and drink vendors are set up along the sides of the amphitheater as well as at the very top of the 193 stairs. Each show typically has two merchandise booths, with one at the Lower South entrance and one at the top near the visitor center.

Forester Up First

By the time that music started, the entire venue was almost full. Attendees were extremely excited to make their way into the venue and get settled for the night, so lines were already forming at restrooms and food and drink stands before the music even started. The first group to hit the stage was Forester. This indie-electronic duo is based in Los Angeles and was formed in 2019. In a few short years, they already have a record deal with Palm Tree Records as well as millions of streams on their songs.

Forester does an amazing job of incorporating live instrumentation and vocals with smooth electronic elements. Their stage setup consisted of a keyboard, drum pad, microphone, and mixer. Multicolored overhead lights amplified their set, and their name and logo were shown behind them as well. According to Forester, this was their first live show ever. Original songs like “Symphony” got a great crowd reaction from both their fans and people hearing their music for the first time. After their set, audience members could be heard discussing how much they enjoyed Forester‘s set and how talented they were. This seems to only be the start for Forester.

Frank Walker

By the time that the first set was finished, the venue seemed to be completely full. The next DJ to take the stage was Frank Walker. This Canadian musician and DJ started producing in 2016 and has played multiple international shows and festivals. Some of his most popular tracks are “Like Gold” with Loud Luxury (feat. Stephen Puth) and “Can’t Let Go“. His Red Rocks set was his first show in the United States in a year and a half due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For his set, Frank Walker used a small table with CDJ’s set up on the front of the stage. He also had an LED wall behind him, which was part of Kygo‘s full set up. Overhead lights shined multiple colors out into the audience and flashed along to his music to add to his set. Frank Walker really increased the energy in the venue with his high-energy set. He incorporated both original tracks and remixes of popular songs that had been trending this past year. Examples include “Levitating” by Dua Lipa (feat. DaBaby) and “Deep End” by Fousheé.

Kygo’s Return To The Rocks

After a short changeover, the lights on stage turned off and the amphitheater echoed with everyone’s cheers. Then, the huge LED wall on stage flashed clips of Kygo‘s previous performances at Red Rocks. Lights shined into the audience, and Kygo made his way on stage. Kygo‘s stage setup consisted of a semi-circle deck that had his CDJs, microphone, and anything else needed for his set. While performing, he was standing on top of two levels of smaller LED screens, so it looked like he was in the middle of this massive display.

“What’s up Red Rocks? Let’s see your hands in the air,” shouted Kygo. For his first song, he brought out Valerie Broussard to sing “The Truth“. His stage production was massive! Fog machines, lasers, bursts of fire, and fireworks were all used throughout the show. Attendees in the first half of the crowd could literally feel the heat from these whenever a chorus dropped and the stage lit up.

Remember how every single attendee received a plastic bracelet when entering the venue? Each bracelet was able to light up and was synced with the show. This added yet another unique element to his performance because the audience members were able to connect with each other and with Kygo on a crazy cool level. When looking at the crowd, it would be a sea of blue or pink, and they even twinkled and changed colors with the drop. At the end of the show, attendees were asked to recycle the bracelets, but a lot of people kept them as momentos.

Golden Hour

Throughout Kygo‘s two-hour set, he played a glorious mix of older tracks along with tracks from his most recent album release, Golden Hour. According to Kygo, this was his first time playing these new songs to a live audience. In addition to bringing out Valerie Broussard, he had a few more singers join him on stage. Parson James sang “Stole The Show” and Justin Jesso sang “Firestone“. Each singer was able to perform multiple songs as well, so the audience got to see them each a few times.

Kygo did a wonderful job of incorporating his original, bubbly, feel-good music with upbeat, house music breaks. He kept the crowd on their toes throughout, as no one could really tell what was coming next. Sometimes, you would expect the original chorus from a song and it would transform into a high-energy drop with lights and lasers.

At two points in his set, he slowed it down for some breathtaking acoustic pieces. A clear piano was brought out to the center of the stage. As Kygo made his way down to the piano, an eight-piece orchestra of string instruments also set up on an elevated part of his stage. Valerie Broussard came out once more to sing “Lose Somebody“. During his encore, he brought out the piano and orchestra again along with Justin Jesso to do an acoustic version of “Firestone“. The song eventually transformed into the full, upbeat version of the track, and Kygo went back up to his elevated part on the stage to finish out his set.

Can We Go Back?

Overall, Kygo put on a truly amazing set. The energy in the venue was so elevated the entire time, from the openers to the very last second Kygo was on stage. Every single performer, including the openers, singers, and orchestra, was extremely talented and it was so much fun to watch. Kygo‘s set was a dynamic audiovisual experience and it was clear to see that the audience enjoyed themselves.

This summer, Kygo is set to perform at a festival in Poland in August, at Breakaway Ohio in September, and at the Banc Of California Stadium, also in September. To keep up with Kygo, visit his website and social media accounts below!

Photos by David Cohn

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Sully Ignites the Party with a New Single: ‘Right About Now’

Sully is a bass music producer from Los Angeles who is making big waves in the music industry. He is known for his innovative sounds, which combine melodic dubstep with heavy bass wobbles and eerie atmospheres. His unique style of bass music has been groundbreaking within the electronic music scene. Now, he is back again with a hot new single, ‘Right About Now,’ available on all streaming services.

Sully started learning how to produce throughout high school. In college, he earned his audio engineering degree from the University of Michigan. Later, Sully Graduated from the Icon Collective, a Los Angeles-based music college, where he maximized his production skills and creative process. After spending years mastering his craft, Sully has quickly built an impressive reputation in the bass music scene. In 2019, Sully released his debut single, ‘Frequency Shift.’ His music was quickly noticed by WAKAAN’s one-and-only Liquid Stranger, who took him under his wing and brought him onto the Ascension tour. Since then, Sully has steadily released music with the WAKAAN Music Label and has quickly made a name for himself in the electronic music space. 

Sully Returns to WAKAAN

In his highly anticipated return to WAKAAN, Sully recruits Isaac Castor as his emcee. ‘Right About Now’ is a bass party anthem that will keep the energy going and the vibes high whether you are at the poker table, in the club, or up all night at a 3 – day ‌festival.

“‘Right About Now’ is all about igniting that energy that’s been pinned up for the past year. When I listen to the song, I reminisce about my time in college growing as an artist. Whether I was playing at a bar, a wedding, or as a local opener for a talent I looked up to, I was always trying to fulfill my potential. What makes this even more special is that Isaac and I went to the same undergrad and were usually hustling together to reach the next step. I’m so proud of this record and couldn’t be more grateful for Isaac’s flawless vocal delivery.” – Sully

Photos Provided by WAKAAN

Sully continues to impress us, establishing his name within the world of electronic music. As his artistic journey unfolds, we eagerly await his next steps.

‘Right About Now’ is out now on all streaming services! Listen to his new track ‌here.

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