Event Review: Hard Bass 2015
February 7th, 2015 in Arnhem, NL, Hard Bass once again took place under the roof of the GelreDome. The 26th edition of Hard Bass was not one to be lost in the numbers. Bigger, better, and badder each year, this massive hardstyle event is not for the faint of heart and will surely never cease to keep raising the bar. Just as you think you've seen it all, B2S will prove time and time again that they always have new tricks up their sleeve and leave the crowd awestruck by their spectacular production and music forefront, always pushing the industry to the it's very limits.
Adhering to the technological, futuristic, and deep space exploration theme, this edition of Hard Bass continued the saga by using music, delivered by 4 DJ teams, and the energy of the fans to revolt against government misuse of technology to spy on and control citizens. Using real world issues and news broadcasts made the mission to "take back what is ours" all the more real. And by the end of the night, judging by how well received, massive and intense the production and music were, one would be inclined to say, the mission was successful.
Entering the GelreDome is an experience that, no matter how many times you have done it, does not lose it's magic. The feeling of butterflies in your stomach as you await to enter the enormous chamber is proof that the experience is out of this world. This is not just another party. This is Hard Bass, the experience of a lifetime, every time.
Cheers erupted outside the GelreDome as the gates finally opened at 9:30pm. The stadium was dimly lit with glowing blue light and accompanied with the thunderous echoes of suspenseful introduction music to create a dark and mysterious ambience and build the tension of fans waiting for the night to begin. The first to arrive have around 30 minutes to explore the venue, grab drinks, buy merchandise, and settle into place until the show kicks off at 10pm so getting inside early, before the venue becomes too busy, is recommended.
The clock struck 10 as the first DJ took the massive stage. Luna, one the original hardstyle DJs from the early 2000s, started the night off with a warm-up set featuring subground and early hardstyle to ease the crowd into what would become a very upbeat and energetic night of full on hardstyle.
More and more fans made their way to the dancefloor and the crowd became more dense throughout the hour as no one wanted to miss the start of the main event beginning with Team Blue, which consisted of Code Black, Audiotricz, Toneshifterz, and Bass Modulators. As the clock struck 11, it was time for them to take the stage. The introduction began, activating more aspects of the visual production, such as lasers, CO2 cannons, and fireworks. The concussive explosions of fireworks turned everyone's attention to the stage.
Team Blue is known for the more euphoric side of hardstyle, which seems to match the color and lighting theme well. The next two hours took fans on an emotional journey of self discovery and feelings of unity, as euphoric hardstyle is intended to do. Even though not everyone may enjoy euphoric hardstyle, or raw hardstyle just as well, Hard Bass has something for everyone, ranging from euphoric to raw and everything in between.
As the night went on, the music became harder as is expected at hardstyle events such as Hard Bass. The progression of music felt very natural, and as with most feelings and emotions, they start out small and soft and build to become more intense and at times, overwhelming. This could be the science behind how the lineup is selected and what types of music and intensity will be played and when. Some may not be able to handle the type of hardstyle delivered from harder and rawer artists if it were played during the beginning of the night, but towards the end, the crowd is ready for whatever is thrown their way. Along with the progression of the music, the visual production follows a similar routine. Upon seeing the stage at the beginning of the night, there is no way to tell what it is capable of later on. As the night goes on, more and more aspects of the stage and visuals all throughout the stadium become active. Just when you think it has become fully powered and you’ve seen all it has to offer, another piece will be added. With 32 high power lasers, fireworks, pyrotechnics, hundreds of LED spotlights and other types of lighting, as well as moving stage design and structures hanging from the ceiling, it is no wonder how B2S can keep changing and added visual effects all throughout the night.
Team Green, consisting of Brennan Heart, Atmozfears, Zatox, and B-Frontliner, and Team Yellow, with Adaro, Crypsis, Outbreak, and Frequencerz paved the way for the grand finale, Team Red, which included Radical Redemption, Titan, Warface, and was headlined by the ultra raw act, Freakz At Night, composed of E-Force, Deetox, and MC DL, who stole the show. Raw, unrelenting, holding nothing back, and playing multiple never before heard tracks and some crowd favorites, such as Seven by E-Force, this new act delivered everything they had promised. They ended the night with a force to be reckoned with. Pushing the limits in every way, playing at mostly 160bpm and ending with hardcore, it is hard to believe the GelreDome was able to hold up after the destructive audio assault they blasted through the stadium's massive sound system.
As with all good things, Hard Bass 2015 drew to a climactic ending. It was time for the crowd of 35000 fans to make their journey home. The dancefloor, or for a more suitable term, battlefield, now littered with plastic drink cups, water bottles, and confetti, was just a reminder of what had taken place throughout the last 10 hours. Only pictures, videos, stories, and memories are what remain of this epic and unimaginable night. B2S has done it again, and though it is hard to imagine what they will come with up to top this, they certainly will not let us down.
Credit for all photos goes to b2s.