Krewella and Showtek at Bounce Music Festival: DJs rally to save Indiana’s Little 500
It was that time of year again — the end of April. The weather warms up, layers come off, grass becomes greener, and trees become fuller. In Bloomington, Indiana, however, thousands of students (both Indiana University students and visitors) prepare for Little 500 — and not just the bicycle race. Little 500 is notoriously renowned and envied as the greatest week of partying in college nation-wide, and it would become even greater when met by another powerful party force, one that even withstood Midwest tornado warnings and unbearable heat — dance music.
For the second year in a row, Bounce Music Festival was the week’s premier event, with Alesso scheduled to headline after demonstrating the most elite production in college touring with 2012’s Tiësto extravaganza. The Thursday morning of Bounce begun as expected, a palpable air of anticipation hanging over the sunny campus. School proceeded, tornado warnings struck, and the anticipation soon shifted towards concerns that the festival would have to be moved indoors with its main attraction, Alesso, unable to land in Indiana.
Classes let out, questions were raised, but the spirit never died — no one was keeping weather forecasts from raining on their parade; certainly not at Little 500, and certainly not when some of dance music’s hottest acts were set to perform.
Driving through the empty miles of the woodsy Midwest, Krewella received a surprise phone call. Moments later, few miles away, the bubbling Indiana party scene was swept with the news that the blazing-hot trio would headline Bounce, joining Showtek and others to kick off the biggest weekend of the year.
After ditching rare rest hours and eating a quick meal at the hotel, Jahan, Yasmine, and Rain Man headed out to Mike’s Music and Dance Barn. While unexpected, Yasmine attested that such “spontaneous events like this always end up being the most memorable.” Krewella now had another event for their memory bank – the night they saved Little 500.
Before Showtek had even taken the decks, the dimly lit barn was packed from corner to corner, hotter than a sauna, with sweat hitting the ground quicker than the bpm delivered by Liquid Todd. The Dutch duo was finally up, equipped with their highly demanded recent productions, situated next to a bucket of ice to keep cool. It was a night they referred to as “the sweatiest night of [their] career.”
Showtek – Get Loose
Original drops of “Slow Down” and “Get Loose” assembled the crowd to take on Little 500 as a unit, and even the Showtek brothers acknowledged the energy, later confirming that they “felt a certain unity.” As they brought their set to a close, they commanded their audience to sit down and to jump up with the drop of “Cannonball,” setting the barn into a heat-defiant frenzy and blasting fans with CO2 to cool them down.
Sjoerd and Wouter dashed off stage drenched in sweat, ripping off their t-shirts as the crowd had done hours ago. Slugging water bottles and catching breath outdoors, the brothers acknowledged the crowd’s exceptional determination to party:
“We really respect that the crowd didn’t leave the venue because of the heat, we would have left a concert maybe in that condition, but the kids didn’t want to give in to it.”
This wasn’t Showtek’s standard nightclub or festival audience, this was Little 500’s army – and they weren’t going anywhere. While the shirtless duo regained their breath, the overheated rage-troopers held theirs – not for Alesso, but for Krewella.
Replacing the artist who currently reigns atop the charts would be no easy task, but Krewella exceeded the required filling of Alesso’s shoes. Jahan described the group’s initial belief that “the crowd would only be expecting to dance to progressive/electro house, as that was Alesso’s specialty.” To their surprise, the group was greeted with fans begging for “hard dance, 4 on the floor, and 140 bpm,” for Krewella’s signature routine.
The crowd was “jumping like energizer bunnies” and the Krew was “panting like dogs” as both sides of the booth refused to relent energy. Despite the barn’s nearly steaming state, they raised the heat, stamping their trademark charisma on Little 500 and Bounce Music Festival. The conditions were no match for Krewella’s take-no-prisoners mindset, and Yasmine humbly made that assertion:
“Within 3 minutes of setting up, our DJ equipment and laptop were sweating. We just walked up on stage and decided to fuck any sort of concern we had that night, as usual.”
Through their daily dosage of dub, trap remixes, and hip hop drops, Krewella had no concern, but neither did a single overheated soul inside Mike’s Music and Dance Barn. “Alive” gave the college crowd a taste of what they had expected and the trio showcased their forthcoming Nicky Romero collaboration, “Legacy,” to warm reception. Closing out the night, the Krew payed homage to their spontaneous guest appearance with Alesso’s remix of “If I Lose Myself,” an ode to the unexpected night turned memorable.
Krewella – Alive
There’s more to the Midwest than miles of road and wilderness, and the spirit of electronic fans lives on college campuses just as it does on both coasts. Just as the biggest party weekend of the year was threatened by the skies, a group of electronic artists put their high spirited energy and influence to its best use. It was a heroic collision of two polar universes; from Liquid Todd through Showtek’s beats and Krewella’s performance, DJs saved Little 500.
Photo Credit: Jeff Filer, Maximillian Tortoriello