First Wasteland of 2020 recap
In high school, my friends and I would go to the Arena nightclub in Hollywood, CA …
…where DJ Irene introduced me to acid hard house and my love for the harder side of music developed. In present days, everyone knows I love trance with all my heart, but I will always have a place for harder sound. And that was fulfilled over a weekend at Wasteland.
This was my first 2-day Wasteland Festival held at the Palladium, in Hollywood, CA. The event was brought to my attention by my best friend, Nessa as I didn’t plan on it but my schedule changed so I made plans with friends to go. Due to some personal reasons, Nessa almost did not get the chance to go but we rallied to get her a ticket as I’m sure she would not have appreciated me being there without her to as much as I would not want to attend this event without her.
Nessa loves hardstyle and most of my recent knowledge of the genre comes from her. I knew the lineup was stacked, but I only recognized three names – Brenan Heart, DJ Isaac and Wasted Penguinz. She gave me a quick Cliff Notes version of each act, so I could be prepared for the night.
Besides getting my hardstyle fix, I also like attending Basscon events because I get to connect with friends I normally don’t see. We met up with Death Camp founder Jose Hernandez and his beautiful wife Oli, and as well many other friends.
The Palladium is known for strict security, so I traveled with only what I needed to make it pass security. Once in, we started making our way to the dance floor and I got hit with the first “Oh my God, you are at a hardstyle event” which I got used to it by now, but it still amazes me how often it happens. We started our usual rounds with the front right side of the room as Geo was killing it which got us into the mood with Showtek’s ‘FTS’ and we were on a ride for the rest of the night.
We made our way into the crowd for DJ Isaac but Lny Tnz was still on deck while playing some of my favorite rock anthems, like Queen’s ‘We are the Champions’. I was singing at the top of my lungs and by the time DJ Isaac came on, I was a sweaty mess. Being my first time seeing him, he did not disappoint as he played some hard hitting tracks such as ‘World Renowned’.
My age started to show but I really wanted to catch all of Brennan Heart’s set. I was first introduced to him from some friends at Exchange LA back in 2017. He had this melodic hardstyle going and I loved his set even when he dropped Armin Van Buuren’s ‘Blah Blah Blah’, I knew these hardstyle kids loved themselves some trance. We ended night-1 watching Radical Redemption with the Death Camp crew as we left sweaty, soar, and ready to do it again.
Night-2 came quick and before I knew it, we were pregaming at my house. With the same crew as the night before, we made our way in with no hassle and short lines. Darksiderz b2b Pulsatorz were going ham and getting the night going. We did our rounds and I was getting excited to see Wasted Penguinz. So we made our way into the crowd running into friends we haven’t seen in a very long time. We talked, hugged, and a mosh pit started to form near me which I ran for safety before the drop. I was not going to be a part of that. The wait for Wasted Penguinz did not disappoint. Dancing with my best friend as she was singing to lyrics that I had no idea what they were, was emotionally happy. My age started to show again as the crowd kept growing, so we made our way back to our friends over to the side of the dance floor for more dancing space and breathable air.
After Wasted Penguinz, DJ The Prophet came on and my whole crew kept referring him as the Godfather, “He is the Godfather of Hardstyle”. So my attitude was, “Alright, let’s do this”. As he played, I recognized some of the tracks which brought back my arena days with that hard dance that I fell in love with. I danced till my body ached, it had been awhile since I danced that hard for that long.
Just as quick as the night started, it came to an end with DJ Anime b2b Mad Dog playing hardcore that was not for the faint of heart. We walked out of the venue, hurting, aching, sweaty, tired but willing to do it again for a night 3.
My first Wasteland was an overall success. The music was amazing, crowd was into it, but most importantly, my friends made the events that much better. I am actually looking forward to attending it again next year.