Low End Theory rumbled their 2nd annual festival on August 8th with their massive subwoofer system. They’ve been rumbling the LA music scene and beyond for the last couple of years. Low End heavyweights and newcomers shared two stages at the Shrine Expo Hall. They shook attendees with their beats and mesmerized them with their visuals.
Residents were on full display: Daddy Kev, Daedelus, D-Styles, with Nocando mostly handling MC duties. There was also a batch of newcomers and those who’d made a name for themselves: Nosaj Thing, Teebs, Open Mike Eagle, and Flying Lotus of course. They were all on display, contributing their unique flavor of beats and rhymes to the Low End collective pot. Nosaj had a melancholy-like adventurous rhythm to his set while Daedelus followed with an awakening set of booming bass and string compositions accompanied by his animated performance. The energy just flowed from then on, with Gaslamp Killer creating a real-life image of what Charles Manson would look like if he were into dropping body-numbing beats. Thundercat brought a different animal, same beast type of energy with his set, slowing things down for his wild bassed-out jazz. Earl sliced through a set of heavy depression and angst, with the crowd responding properly to the slower tracks. Then the performer we’d all been waiting for, the one who gained a loud “wow” from the audience as soon as the curtain backdrop fell to reveal Lotus’ Performance Cube. Flying Lotus blended content from his You’re Dead! album with Kendrick Lamar tracks and a general collection of spastic, spaced-out sounds complemented by the hypnotic wave of visuals that he seemed to travel through. It was truly a sight to behold, one that wonderfully capped off the night.
Low End didn’t grow out of already-present money or much established fame, but from persistent dedication and a belief in the sound coming from the Airliner every Wednesday night in L.A. Seeing Nocando and Gaslamp Killer interact between sets, delighted that their dreams were coming true, was a unique experience in itself. Also, seeing the numerous smaller acts that are making a name for themselves within the scene was also a unique experience. Having Open Mike Eagle, Jon Wayne, Milo, Samiam, and countless others make waves here and onto the future is what Low End has always been about. So until next years festival! We’ll see how Low End Theory will continue to shape the musical landscape one Wednesday at a time.