Valentine’s Day weekend provided a surplus of fun to be had across Southern California. From Hollywood to San Diego, ravers rejoiced as set times were released for their events and come Friday the 13th, the holiday weekend was well under way. After attending Crush at the NOS Center last year for the first Crush ever, I was anxious to see what they had in store for us this year. With a diverse lineup consisting of Lost Kings, Kennedy Jones, Mercer, Alvaro, Seven Lions, The Chainsmokers and Tommy Trash, there as a little bit of everything for music lovers. After sitting through a long and slow moving line of cars for an hour waiting to get parking, we finally made it in around 10pm and were ready to embark on a Valentine’s Day adventure. I was able to catch the end of Alvaro‘s set and was completely taken by surprise and ecstatic when he started to drop hardstyle right when I walked into Crush. The night couldn’t have started off any better. As soon as Alvaro finished, a vast silence of anticipation swept over the tent that held the masses of lovers and ravers.
We all knew who was up next and whom I was most excited for, Seven Lions. The man from my native Santa Barbara, California is coming off his newest release, The Throes of Winter, he delivered in a way I’ve never seen him deliver before. With the sound fully maximized, I’ve never quite experienced a Seven Lions set quite like this out of the other 4 times I’ve seen him. As the set went on, the love flowed and those in attendance were in awe of the massive and melodic dub style that is Seven Lions. This was by far my favorite set of the night and still one of my favorites to see in person time after time. It seems Seven Lions just keeps getting better and better year after year and has no plans on slowing down either. The Chainsmokers were due up next and my expectations were somewhat uncertain as I had heard mixed reviews about their live show but they were mostly positive prior to Crush. Within the hour and half that they were given, I managed to catch about the first 45 minutes before myself and hundreds more started to filter their way out of the tent. The beginning of the set started off good enough but after a while and with frequent trips on the microphone, many including myself became annoyed and needed to get some fresh air so that’s what we did. Finally came time for the main act, Tommy Trash. Having never seen him before, I could not wait to witness the Aussie Trash man himself. Delivering in every way possible, track after track hit us in the face and got us going on a good one till the very end. With non stop energy and his signature style, Tommy made sure to send us out the right way yet leaving us wanting so much more. All in all it was a great night and my only suggestion to Insomniac if there were to be another Crush next year I would recommend another stage for even more love and fun to be had. – Bradley Callison Photos: Tony Cottrell