By Michael Milano
San Bernadino, CA (The Hollywood Times) 7/05/21- Fishbowls and House Music; essentially the unofficial theme of the inaugural ‘Day Trip Music Festival’, which kicked off for the very first time in San Bernadino, California just last weekend. Stacked from top to bottom with some of the biggest names in House music, The NOS Event Center was brimming with festival fans, who were all eager to get back out into the “real world”.
Being one of the first big festivals to happen since the pandemic puts a lot of pressure on Insominac, and their founder Pasquale Rotella, to give some Electronic Music lovers their first real outing since being locked indoors back in early 2020. Even with that immense pressure on them, especially with it being 4th of July Weekend, and considering they had to change venues in the 12th hour, it is easy to say that they absolutely knocked it out of the park with this one.
Walking into the festival Saturday afternoon was truly a remarkable experience. Thousands of House Music enthusiasts, many of which holding fishbowls full of Day Trips signature bright blue cocktails smiling ear to ear, some of which running stage to stage, others taking the opportunity to bask in the many shaded areas, which were all well conditioned with misters and fans, getting ready to make their way up to one of the two incredibly well designed, yet vastly different stages sometime later in the night. As the sun began to set over the Southern California horizon, and the lights around the event center began to illuminate, is when the biggest surprise of all happened. Hundreds of drones with individual lights rose to the sky, and began creating an immaculate performance that even some of the best fireworks shows couldn’t top. As the drones formulated, the crowd began to cheer loudly as everyone read “WE BACK BABY!”
There were a few truly standout performances last weekend that stood above the rest. The first that comes to mind was Sofi Tukker, performing a DJ set on the High Tide stage in the sunset or golden hour slot. Along with the Freak Fam, (their fan base started from when they streamed music every single day for over a year straight on Twitch) they brought the highest energy DJ set that any festival will ever be graced with. Another truly remarkable performance was Chromeo on Saturday night closing out the Deep End Stage with their funky goodness. They performed hit after hit, jamming out on live guitar and vocoders behind their signature “Light Up Lady Legs” set up. Finally, LP Giobbi was this writer’s favorite act of the weekend, playing live piano over the most soulful house music you will ever hear. She, along with both AC Slater and J. Worra brought out soon to be superstar Kaleena Zanders, to perform a track for each of their sets. If anyone really took over Day 1, it was Kaleena.
At the end of the weekend, there wasn’t a single sad face leaving Day Trip. It was an exhausting weekend in the sun, but the turf, easily accessible water stations, and just general organization from Insomniac made it easily one of the best ever. How genuinely surreal it was to see so many people together, and looking out for each other in one collective space, even after we have all been through so much. It’s been a year and a half since most of us have had the chance to all experience live music together, thank you Insomniac for making this happen, and in such a spectacular fashion.