Disclosure @ HARD Summer 2013
My latest GRAMMY feature, found here.
From Aug. 3–4 the Hard Summer 2013 music festival descended upon Los Angeles State Historic Park with a sold-out crowd of dance/electronica music fans and a mouth-watering lineup. Festivalgoers donned fluorescent festival attire as they invaded downtown to indulge in their favorite music and party hard while overlooking the grandiose L.A. skyline.
The festival's sixth annual installment featured many of today's leading DJs and artists, including GRAMMY winner Skrillex and Boys Noize performing together under their Dog Blood moniker; the festival's founder Gary Richards (better known as Destructo); French electronic duo Justice; DJ/producers Baauer, Breakbot and Zedd; Australian electro house duo Knife Party; and international hip-hop heavyweight 2 Chainz.
Topping my list of must-see performances was Disclosure, featuring brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence. Moments before their set, I had the privilege of meeting the UK garage duo at their trailer to seek some insight to what the crowd could expect during their much-anticipated performance, and what makes the duo tick.
Even though Disclosure headline EDM shows, Howard Lawrence explained that for them, a great performance is about "lots of live instruments." Howard Lawrence plays bass, guitar, a sample pad, and synths, while Guy Lawrence handles percussion, including an acoustic drum kit. But the innovative approach of melding electro and acoustic instruments has its limitations for live performances, even for two experts such as the Lawrence brothers.
"There's only two of us, so it's impossible to play every part," said Howard Lawrence. "Playing a festival is a lot different than a headline show," added Guy Lawrence, "so the goal is to lure in both fans and those just walking by, and make sure everyone's happy in the end."
And the Lawrence brothers did just that.
The rowdy crowd was thrown into a frenzy as the duo took the Underground Stage, which featured their logo lit on the giant projection screen. The duo dove right in and began with the upfront garage track "F For You." From the beginning, it was clear that everyone in the crowd, including the Lawrence brothers, was there to have a good time. The opening track was quickly followed by familiar cuts such as "You & Me" (featuring vocals from Eliza Doolittle), "Confess To Me" (featuring Jesse Ware) and bloggers' delight "Latch," featuring Sam Smith's soothing falsetto.
Collaborations with other artists are as much of a signature for Disclosure as their use of instruments.
"We like to do things on a personal basis," Guy Lawrence explained. "It's not really about working with big names, but more talented singers and songwriters. When we wrote 'Latch,' Sam Smith was unknown without a single song; now's he's had a No. 1 hit."
Such an eye for talent should be expected, of course, for two brothers who sport such success themselves. And this year's Hard Summer music festival was the perfect place to feature that talent across the board.
Disclosure Set List:
"F For You" "When A Fire Starts To Burn" "Boiling" "Tenderly" "Flow" "You & Me" "Stimulation" "Grab Her!" "White Noise" "Voices" "What's In Your Head" "Confess To Me" "Running" (Jessie Ware, Disclosure VIP remix) "Help Me Lose My Mind" "Latch"