A record-breaking 45,000 people packed the LA Sports Arena & Grounds to ring in the new year. The LessThan3 event team was among the 45K at Together As One 2011, and we all came to an agreement that the event was a blast. The sound systems, lighting, people, and performances on all three stages were top notch in comparison with other TAOs, but perhaps not to the phenomenal level of TAO 2009 with AvB and Armin Only.
The event organizers, Go Ventures, certainly stepped up their production value for TAO 2011, perhaps in an effort to play catch up to Insomniac Events who have always managed to raise the bar each year with their annual Electric Daisy Carnival, Nocturnal, Audiotistic, and Beyond Wonderland events.
There were significant oversights at TAO 2011, as there always are with such massive events. Press relations were a big-time headache for us LessThan3-ers. From hearing the stories of other people, it seemed like the lines were long and arduous caused by having only two entrances with poor crowd control, though once you finally got into the event you were certainly treated to a vast array of EDM delights. We’re still not sure why they didn’t copy the EDC model of letting people in, since that seemed to keep things moving at a quick pace. Perhaps they wanted to be able to control the entry more carefully after the tragedy that occurred at EDC.
The night started off on the right note with Kill The Noise‘s set in the indoor sports arena. They were only the second act to be on, but they never held back for one second and got the entire arena pumped and hyped up. Markus Schulz, the only trance DJ of the night, killed it for all the trance fans at the main outdoor stage; he poured all of his energy into the crowd, track after track. One of the most memorable tracks was On a Metropolis Day, which had the usual crowd-destroying effect. There were one or two technical mistakes that were clearly observable even to the untrained ear, which was a bit odd for one of the top 10 DJs in the world, but it hardly detracted from his otherwise fantastic set. Next on was Dada Life, and they came complete with their signature champagne glasses and oversized bananas, and treated the crowd to their usual sensational remixes along with dropping one of their new tracks, Unleash the F*cking Dada.
Now we move forward to a description of what, in our opinion, was the best part of the night: We first caught the end of Diplo, who was playing a massive set, dropping in and out of popular hip hop tracks of the moment, including Black and Yellow, which was a huge hit. Easily the show-stealers, however, were Jack Beats, who absolutely decimated the crowd with their unique dubsteppy-electro lovechild sound. They played a great deal of their hits, including Get Off and In For The Kill. It was fantastic to see those guys headline the countdown at such a massive event–they certainly deserve it. The absolutely packed Saturday Night Sessions arena was filled to the brim with ravers getting absolutely dirty to their set. The duo also perfectly timed the countdown with the line “the revolution is here” from their track, Revolution, which was just plain awesome. Our hats off to these guys.
For the dubstep and drum’n’bass lovers, the Bassrush stage was poppin’ off with five-star performances from Rusko, Nero, and 12th Planet. Rusko in particular has been seriously polishing his DJ skills, and now that the guy has a plethora of absolute bangers, it’s no surprise that his performances are starting to blow the roof off each time he spins. Pendulum’s set was also extremely memorable, with energy bursting at the seams in all directions. For many, ending the night with that set was the biggest bang possible to go out on. All-in-all, it was one of the strongest dub lineups in Cali in recent memory–a very strong showing.
At the very end of the night a few of us bailed on Pendulum to catch some of Wolfgang’s set. As usual, the rising electro deity slammed the crowd with heavy beats and and an all around well-balanced and technically perfect performance. That’s what you get when you start DJing from the age of thirteen! He did a nice job of bringing in some melodic tracks to counter the harder hitting ones, and we personally can’t wait to get our hands on a setlist to post a few of them up here.
Throughout the night, the LessThan3 team was handing out tons of stickers along with free shirts. If you were lucky enough to get immortalized by one of our photographers, then check out the LessThan3 TAO Facebook album for your shots!
Even with legislation mandating EDM events end at 2am rather than the usual 4am, TAO rocked, but as with everyone else, I would have liked if the party kept rolling till the wee hours of the morning. All in all though, spent and exhausted after a night filled with spectacular sights and sounds, TAO was the perfect way to end 2010.