KZUU Lucky 2013 Show Review

Lucky was over spring break, and a few KZUU DJs made their way there, and have come up with a review for you, featuring contributions from Nick Siler, Derek Lombardo, Blake Nakatsu & Spencer Stumpf.

Fred V & Grafix

Despite stuck with a terrible time slot (8-9PM) and not the most easily found location they did a fantastic job weaving their way through a mix of  mainly balls-out but also some of the more liquid vibe of drum & bass. When the intensity was turned up, one couldn’t help getting the feeling the mantra was “well, if they can’t find us, they are damn well going to hear us” and trying to drown out the other stages. What was extra neat was them coming out and hanging out and chatting with fans after their set, including a neat interview with Derek. –Nick

Derek & Grafix

My favorites of the night were Fred V and Grafix, playing the very first set of the night they held nothing back. Any duo or dj that opens with such a ferocious doubledrop like they did earns my everlasting respect. They interacted phenomenally with the crowd (all 12 of us) and were such a pleasure to meet after. I thought the two played the best set I’ve heard in my entire concert going career, and was able to tell them I thought they were better than Andy C in September which got some surprised looks! – Derek

Ed Rush & Optical

Holding nothing back is the central aspect of this set, with high paced drums and throttling bass vibrating your eyes out of your sockets. Great set. – Nick

Ed Rush & Optical were a fantastic contrast to the young blood of the DNB with the deep and dark sounds they’re so known for. They slammed the audience with such a relentless onslaught of the big guns, breaking out Noisia, Phace and The Prototypes notably, playing songs I’ve wanted to hear live for quite a while. – Derek

Torro Torro

Unlike Freaknight 2012, my friends and I only waited about 15-20 minutes to get into WaMu. We walked into the main stage right when Torro Torro dropped the Killagraham remix of Go Deep. We went off! Quite the entrance, I must say, because we had been debating all afternoon whether or not Torro Torro would drop their own remix or Killagraham’s. Torro Torro went off with their signature high energy and hard beats. I had never seen them before. Although they were early, I was pleasantly surprised to see the people who came to see them seemed to be grooving just as hard as people would later in the night. Seeing Torro Torro first off the bat set me in a good groove for the rest of the event. – Blake

The M Machine

After Torro Torro, The M Machine came right on at the main stage. I had seen The M Machine once before at EDC 2012. All three of them were there and they played a bunch of their new stuff off of their most recent EP, The Metropolis Pt. 2. They kept it pretty calm and groovy with some of their more alternative stuff for the first part of their set and their visuals were full of awesome illustrations sticking to their comic book styled album art. As they started to pick it up, it was time for me to go over to the trance stage to see Audien and later on BT, so I didn’t get to see the end of The M Machine’s set.  – Blake

Andy Caldwell

The entire set didn’t grab me at any point, lacking passion or interest throughout. – Nick


I arrived at the trance stage and danced through Andy Caldwell. Caldwell had a decent set but nothing that struck me too well. After Andy Caldwell, Audien came on and killed it. I got sucked into his set and it just flew by. He has powerful chords over pretty constant loud kicks. I was really hoping he would have played The Reach but regardless his set was thoroughly enjoyable and I was grooving through the whole thing. – Blake

Though more exciting than Andy Caldwell’s set, I still found it hard to get into and honestly feel a thing from the music. – Nick

Camo & Krooked

Camo and Krooked was, as I expected, unlike anything I’d ever seen or heard. Having two DJ’s mixing on two CDJ’s a piece was the recipe for an absolutely massive set. The two teased tunes, doubledropped and tripledropped like it was nothing. The set wasn’t my favorite, as it was more of a pounding than a journey like Fred V and Grafix’s before, but it was truly something to behold. – Derek

Delta Heavy

Quite frankly, I wish I was here for all of their set, as opposed to when I couldn’t stand Audien anymore. For the lack of better words, this set was KILLING it. Awesome. – Nick

Delta Heavy was my most anticipated performer on the night, but also the biggest letdown. He played an incredibly diverse set with some fantastic tunes, but was mixed incredibly poorly and left me rather unsatisfied (although slightly humored watching armies of bassheads trying to dance to drum and bass) – Derek

Nadia Ali

Nadia Ali’s proves once again that her voice is the best in electronic music, and has been ever since her IIO days (which she did do a rendition of as well.) Best moment? A cover of The Police’s “Roxanne.” – Nick


Zomboy was my favorite show possibly of all time. I’m more of a bass heavy, energetic set type of guy, so I can always appreciate some bass. The reason why Zomboy stuck out from the others like a sore thumb was because the flow of his set was flawless. It was constant energy all the way through, transitioning from one huge song to the next like it was effortless. There were definitely no signs of stopping for the UK Skrillex “sound-alike.” – Spencer


This was undoubtedly the most disappointing show of the night. This is BT, arguably America’s first electronic music star. He pioneered a new wave of trance, as well as a new intricate method of production that was beyond so many other talents. However his entire show consists of him playing music that quite simply wasn’t his, let along similar to his “sound.” (Examples including Dada Life, and a variety of other overplayed electro house tracks that can be heard at any house party nowadays, but more so last year.) Personal song count? 3. Flaming June (or rather, a sample interrupted by an electro house beat), his collab with Tiesto “Love Comes Again” and another song, I think. At that point, I wasn’t paying attention anymore. It wasn’t trance, let alone BT’s sound. At this point in the evening, I had been at the “Trance & Progressive” stage for about just under 4 hours, and had heard absolutely no trance, the closest being a vocal rendition by Nadia Ali. The expectation was solely that BT would bring this entirely, but, to but it straight-forwadly, he did not and played other peoples electro house, perhaps just to appease the crowd and sound that had been played so far at Lucky. One neat thing I did notice was the large numbers of “long not in college anymore” couples who I presume were old fans of BTs. However, I’m guessing they too were disappointed in the song choice, as about halfway through, there were none. But still an interesting thing to note. – Nick

It was a difficult decision, for me at least, whether or not to see Pretty Lights for my 3rd time or see BT. I was really trying to get tranced that night and BT has been my recent favorite but its always a pleasure to see Pretty Lights. I decided to see BT since there’s not many chances for me to do so and I’m sad to say that his set didn’t live up to his name. I was expecting a set full of ridiculously good trance but it was quite the opposite. He played songs along the lines of Language, Kick out the epic, and some SHM and they’re all irrelevant. If I’m skipping Pretty Lights to see BT, I would have liked to have seen more of BT’s original stuff. It was quite disappointing. – Blake


After BT, I went back to the main stage and caught up on some real big house with Arty. Arty was playing big airy chords of trance and some really deep house drops. I loved it personally. I got locked in and his set through out was enjoyable. – Blake

Pretty Lights

Pretty Lights to me was just mediocre. It’s not that he was bad, he just wasn’t impressive. This was my third time seeing him and his Lucky 2013 performance was definitely the least favorite of the three. Not sure if it was because of the different stage (versus having his usual light city) or if it was just not the same vibes I got from the first two times.  – Spencer

Kyau & Albert

Good set mixing electro house (at the trance stage again) with some progressive house, as well as a bit of minimal for a hot sec. I liked this set a lot. – Nick

High Contrast

This was easily my favourite show of the night, because for a variety of reasons. Actual mixing, actual drum & bass, and the MC was damn good at getting the crowd hyped. High contrast transcended over drum & bass, jungle, drumstep, a little dubstep, as well as a hip-hop beat here and there. The energy was continuous from start to finish, and never did it feel lacking passion. This made the night so worth it, fitting to be High Contrast, and extra fitting to be the last show of the evening too. – Nick

High Contrast closed the night out, and while I didn’t see too much of him, he played quite a nice selection of older jungle tunes which was a perfect way to wind down after such frenzied dancing. – Derek

I don’t normally listen to dnb but High Contrasts sound was awesome. It was a good mix of banging bass and liquid drums. – Blake


I had to leave and go to Showtek after a little bit back at the main stage though. Showtek is known for their hard style but their live set consisted mostly of pretty hard house. It was a good way to get any energy I had left out before the end of the night. One of the guys of Showtek had the whole crowd kneel down low for Cannon Ball and when he dropped it we all jumped. It was unconventional but I thought it was a good touch to the set to incorporate the crowd. Their last track was a brand new one. It was a mixture of their hard style and some trap. – Blake

Final Thoughts

Drum and bass, drum and bass, and more drum and bass! I was in complete heaven at Lucky 2013 because USC seemingly finally answered the call for a drum and bass heavy lineup, and boy did they come through! Booking the Hospitality tour was such a fantastic idea I can’t even begin to describe the quality of the djs on that bill. The bass stage was tuned to perfection and very, very loud making listening to DNB live such an incredible experience. I commend USC on their dedication to making their fans happy and boy did they make me one happy guy with a whopping five drum and bass artists on the night, all performing admirably and in some cases absolutely blowing me away. The overall production on the night was as usual very well done, and I staggered out the door at 3:45 a very tired yet satisfied partygoer. – Derek

These shows for me have always been about the energy. It’s not about the beautiful people that surround you, it’s not even about the lights, it’s about the music and how it moves you. Lucky 2013 in my honest opinion has been the best show USC has put together since last year’s Paradiso.  I think it’s safe to say Zomboy had one of the most impressive and energetic shows I have ever seen. Personally i’m more of a fan of the heavier music, so this was right up my alley. The bass stage however had issues with the power going out a few times, especially during Bare Noize and Delta Heavy. Although it wasn’t completely devastating to the artist’s sets, it was still frustrating to both performer and audience. Besides that, Lucky was a very well rounded show and it only gets better and better. – Spencer

I didn’t know what to expect from my first USC event, and in the grand scheme of things, I am impressed and really pleased at the whole management of the evening. To put it frankly, the shows that were good, were absolutely phenomenal. Those that weren’t  were beyond disappointing. Fortunately, the pros outweigh the cons, and result in an overall brilliant evening! – Nick

First I want to thank USC for making this night possible. Lucky was a great way to spend my Friday night! Besides a couple disappointments on the artists’ side of things, the whole night went flawless for myself. I appreciated the lineup mainly because there was a strong balance of quality artists through out the evening. There wasn’t a particular time during the night where there was one definite artist that I wanted to see. But at the same time I had no problem with missing any of the artists that I did have to sacrifice to see another. Overall, I had a blast at Lucky 2013. By the end I was exhausted from moving the whole night. There wasn’t a set that I wasn’t grooving at. Although I didn’t get sucked into as many sets as I thought I would, I got to see a bunch of artists that I thought I wouldn’t normally get to see which was a good thing. Thank you to USC for a fun and complete night. – Blake

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