Skills LovEvolution/Love After: The Love came back with a BANG

Well it’s been almost two weeks now since the Love invaded the grounds of coliseum and the dust has settled.  Now we have rolls full of pictures, heads full of memories, and hearts full of satisfaction to endlessly remind us of the great time that was had that chilly day/night Saturday, September 24th.  Speaking of which, the chilly (and almost rainy at times) weather wasn’t enough to slow down the day portion of LovEvolution.  Wetness and clouds aside, the masses came in flocks from all over the Bay Area to enjoy some of the best world class electronic music there was to offer.  The layout was really reminiscent of the LovEvs of old in the Civic Center of SF with floats surrounding the outer rim and each float being from a specific “crew” or promoter.  One thing I’ve always loved was the unique designs and themes of each specific float.  Always makes it hard to choose which one you want to spend more time with.  Luckily, there was enough time in the day to wander all around.  With each float having their respective grounds, the shaded (although not really needed) chill area, the main stage with top popular EDM acts, and easy access to facilities/food, I think the overall set up was a big win for Skills.  The music was great from all the stages and it’s always good to see lots of support for each one.

Once the sun (or lack thereof) started to set and the party people were warmed up, it was time for Love After.  The lineup was huge for trance lovers, however Laidback Luke and Moby were there to provide housey and eclectic support.  As expected, the stage was massive and the lighting & screen set up was out of this world.  The Oracle Arena was a much better venue for an event such as this vs. the old Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and the Cow Palace used for ETD POP.  I thought the extensive floor space and ample stadium wide seating was perfect to provide the massive concert feel.  It really gave you the ability to walk around and enjoy the entire venue without necessarily have to “rub elbows”.  Really got me excited to hear that ETD POP will be held there next year.

What can I say?  I really give Skills a lot of praise for pulling this thing off without a hitch (that we know of).  Considering the new venue(s) and location change, they did a great job of promoting and planning this LovEvolution to be just as meaningful and memorable as the predecessors.  Speaking of promoting, I thought Skills also did a great job with getting the word out through social media, word of mouth, and even billboard advertising.  Besides that, the crowd is another key element for a successful event.  They were certainly hyped and energetic throughout most of the day.  While it may have seemed a little more packed in the previous San Francisco events, this first time in Oakland had a decent turn out that I’m sure will surge in the coming years.  For Love After, the crowd was especially hot for the DJs, which kept the energy reciprocating through the entire night.  The hard media work definitely paid off and based on the DJ responses from twitter, it sounded like they were impressed as well.

Personally, I think LovEvolution has found a new home.  While some of us previous attendees may be nostalgic about long days/nights in San Francisco, I think this venue replacement was a really great choice.  I like that the grounds are still easily accessible via public transportation and there was plenty of space.  Was there room for improvement?  Sure.  There always is.  However I have full confidence in Skills for using this as a learning experience to continue bringing us the love for LovEvolution and future events at this new venue for years to come.  One thing is for sure: EDM is ALIVE and well in the Bay Area.




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