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Hardstyle Highlights: An EDC Las Vegas '22 Review

Article by: Jessica Duncan

My fifth EDC Las Vegas was one for the books! As a fan of hardstyle, I spent most of my weekend posted in front of the Wasteland stage. Its redesign was a welcomed change, as it had been a few years since the stage was last updated. This year's stage was previously used at EDC Mexico and maintained the shipping container look that the EDCLV Wasteland stage is known for.

This year’s Wasteland lineup was a good mix of artists from the American hard dance scene as well as European veterans, showcasing a range of the different styles of hard dance. Darksiderz, Junkie Kid, Lady Faith, and Rob Gee have been holding it down for the American hard dance scene for over 10 years while newcomers KAMI and LLLLNNNN made their EDCLV debuts. Scene staples like Darren Styles, DJ Isaac, and Headhunterz came through for the old-school hardstyle fans.

After being plagued with visa issues all year and having to cancel a performance at Wasteland in February, Sound Rush finally made its EDCLV debut. Happy hardcore and reverse bass were represented by Tweekacore and Darren Styles, while hardcore was represented by Mad Dog, Anime, and Lil Texas. Da Tweekaz, Adrenalize, and Wildstylez represented euphoric hardstyle sounds.

The only issue I had with Wasteland was the sound bleed from Kinetic Field. Hardstyle is supposed to be super loud so you can feel the kick in your chest, but during Darren Styles's set I could barely hear the music even after taking my earplugs out. This probably had something to do with the high winds limiting the speaker output, but the problem was fixed for Saturday and Sunday.

I also spent some time at Bass Pod and the new stage design was absolutely insane. My favorite set there was G Jones. Hearing the way he manipulates sound and uses the full range of the stereo field combined with his visuals was a mind-blowing experience. The dubstep classics set by Doctor P and Funtcase brought me back to 2010 when I first started listening to dubstep. The amount of drum and bass at the Bass Pod was exciting to see — this year really feels like the year drum and bass takes off in the US. I finally got to catch a Sub Focus set and it was even better than I had hoped for because it was a b2b with Wilkinson.

Other sets I really enjoyed were Duck Sauce, A-Trak b2b Craze, Kx5, ZHU, Subtronics and Kayzo. It was also a welcomed surprise when Jauz brought out Snoop Doog as his special guest at the end of Night 1.

Overall, this year's EDCLV seemed like it was more crowded than EDCLV 2021. Getting into parking took longer than usual on Friday night, but it wasn't too bad getting in and out the other two days. The weather was pretty nice, outside of the wind Friday night and early Monday morning, but thankfully the weather was much more mild than the heavy winds of 2019. I’m already looking forward to EDCLV 2023 from May 19 to 21!

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