Beyond Wonderland SoCal - Event Recap

March 27, 2015 -

Daily Beat Staff

As reality slowly sets back after spending a weekend in Wonderland, I couldn't help but imagine what this year's Nocturnal Wonderland will be like. Everything about this show just makes you appreciate the finer things in life. Beyond Wonderland is one of my favorite festivals to date after this weekend, and let me tell you why...

I began day one by swinging over to the Queen's Domain to check out the one and only Tchami. I have not had the pleasure to see him live yet, so I had to make sure I witnessed his set. The timing couldn't have been perfect when he played because as daytime was transitioning into nighttime, it only made me even more excited for the duration of the night. He previewed a couple of his unreleased tracks that I look very forward to hearing again and I highly suggest listening to that set if you missed it.

When it comes to Tiesto's live sets, you honestly never know what to expect. I saw him for my first time at EDCLV 2014, and I was extremely let down with his song selection. This time, however, I was curious to see what he would play and to my surprise it was one of his better sets. Not only did he play deep house and trap, but even gave us some of his old school sounds when he dropped, "Adagio for Strings".
After that I decided to stay for Mr. Dillon Francis and was so glad I did. It is very hard to find DJ's like Dillon anymore. Not only does he place his uniqueness and creativity into his music, he also manages to convey his energy very well to his audience. At this point the stage was fully awakened and everything within it was all coming together perfectly during his set. From the bright fireworks and energetic performers to the florescent lasers and scorching fire..this set proved to me again what Insomniac is capable of constructing.

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Following up his set was the Dirty Dutch master Chuckie who held nothing back from Southern California. To this day he stays true to his mixing roots which I think personally kept him so big this whole time, along with his production of course. Drop after drop, genre after genre, and mash-up after mash-up, Chuckie just went at those CDJ's hard for that hour. This was one set I was really looking forward to see all weekend. With that said, I could not have been happier with the outcome.

Now it was time to make some moves, so I decided to get funky and check out Soul Clap performing at the Funk House. I loved the creativity of the set, and thought just this genre made the stage even cooler. It caught my attention right off the bat as I was approaching the stage and then I understood the whole purpose. It resembled an old, 60's jukebox that you would notice at the diners once upon a time ago. I felt like it fit perfectly with the genre of music being played. Once I figured this out standing backstage, it just put a smile on my face because it shows how much Insomniac really cares about their headliners. After spotting the beautiful construction of the stage, I walked back over to main stage to finish off my night with the heavy electro freaks GTA. It's always a pleasure to see this combo throw down like they do. This set consisted of a lot of classics mixed perfectly with few newer drops. It was a great way to finish out day one.

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After a long day one of Beyond Wonderland it was time to return back to the rabbit for an eventful final day. I arrived to the venue only to become more welcomed by one of the most talked about DJ's, Hardwell. He not only had one hell of a crowd, but truly lived up to his name. I have not seen Hardwell perform in a hot minute so it was great to see what new tracks he would play. This was one hot set from the number one DJ himself and made me happy without a doubt. After dancing my heart out for an good hour, I thought it was time to further explore the venue.


I walked over to the Cheshire Woods, which was a very peculiar stage. I stayed there for a little bit to cool down and also had the opportunity to see Adam Beyer. I'll be honest, techno is not my pool of music, however I can appreciate it enough to go enjoy it. Which is exactly what I did for about a hour and I enjoyed every second of it. I then progressed my way over to the Mad Hatter's Castle to check out Sub Focus. I haven't had the pleasure to see this individual yet which I am very surprised about because I attend a lot of shows. This stage really pulled my attention because of the strobes, fire, and honestly the crowd the music attracted. There were some really talented names booked for this stage which attracted a variety of customers in a sense. I made sure to make a return later throughout the night to enjoy Hardstyle legends, D-Block & S-TE-FAN.
Before I closed my night off with some Hardstyle, I had to make sure I caught Showtek and a little bit of Knife Party at the main stage. In my opinion, this was the most active I've seen the crowd this whole weekend. I had the great pleasure of kicking it back in VIP, relaxing for a little and overall just enjoying the show. Truthfully speaking, it is such a beautiful sight when you can sit above the crowd a little and have a perfect view the way I did. If you have never experienced a festival in VIP before, I highly suggest it. They also provide nicer bathrooms too.
In retrospect, 70,000 fans united together to celebrate something very unique. For two days, natives and all ravers joined together to appreciate and feel dance music with fellow music lovers. As this weekend will stay in the past, we always have the future to look forward to. Make sure to grab your tickets for a wonderfully planned 20th anniversary to Nocturnal Wonderland ASAP!

Photos brought to you by IE Photo Rentals

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