At A Time When Music Festivals Are Starting To Feel The Same, LA's Air + Style Is Doing It Different

By: Benjamin Tillis

In a time when music festivals can all feel the same, Air + Style in Los Angeles was a refreshing change of pace aimed at pleasing the sport and music loving state of California. With an incredibly diverse lineup and the unique opportunity to watch professional athletes flaunt their tricks, the two day festival did not disappoint. There may have been snow on the ground, and even the rare case of rain on the first night, but the acts and competitors kept the crowd hot!

 Air + Style brought the heat... and the snow.

Air + Style brought the heat... and the snow.

Highlights of the first day were no doubt EDM superstars Cashmere Cat and Zedd. Norwegian DJ Cashmere Cat thrives on radio’s top voices, including Selena Gomez’s and Ariana Grande’s, both of whom could be heard at his set. The most surprising song had to be his take on Panic At The Disco’s “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”, which got the whole crowd excited. Never before had it been so cool to sing at the top of your lungs to the chorus of that song. Zedd finished off his show with currently popular “The Middle”, which concluded with an epic fireworks show with the backdrop of the beautiful downtown LA skyline.

 Tinashe.

Tinashe.

It would be difficult to find another festival showcasing the great musicians who performed on the second day of Air + Style. The four-piece jazz/hip hop group BadBadNotGood played a phenomenal set that no doubt revolved around their impressive drummer, Alexander Sowinski. Directly following BBNG’s set, Tinashe took the stage. Although she played the smaller of the two stages at Exposition Park, located beside University of Southern California’s campus, her performance was that of a stadium tour. Incredibly rehearsed, she showed off her dancing skills with her backup dancers and hit every note beautifully. She closed her set with “Faded Love,” her new song that features Future and is quickly climbing the charts.

 Spotted: Shaun White. 

Spotted: Shaun White. 

In the middle of all of this, it was a difficult decision as whether to watch the skateboard or snowboarding competitions. Popping into the skatepark, the winner of the Best Trick Competition the first day was Alex Sorgente. Heimana Reynolds took home the first place trophy for the skateboard Best Trick competition the second night. He was joined on the podium by Tom Schaaf and 14-year-old CJ Collins. These awards were presented by snowboard legend Shaun White, who at the 2018 Winter Olympics broke the record for the highest score in men’s snowboarding halfpipe. Needless to say, fans were very excited to see him in such an intimate setting.

 The skating competitions kept us on edge.

The skating competitions kept us on edge.

To continue the high energy of the festival, Griz played an ever upbeat set on night two. The DJ recently announced that he’ll be pursuing a rap and spoken word project instead of EDM, and he proved this by beginning his set rapping over his own beats. After a couple songs of this, he transformed back into what his fans know and love, belting out groovy tunes through his saxophone. Closing out the night was French pop band, Phoenix, who absolutely owned the stage. The crowd was happy to close out the night with their hit song “1901.”

 Pheonix singing to the crowd. 

Pheonix singing to the crowd. 

The mutual love for high adrenaline sports and live performance created an instant bond that brought the crowd at Air + Style together, and it was apparent at every show and event. To add to that, it seemed like the musicians were inspired by the athletes. Every set seemed to be the artists showcasing the best of their best; every trick was an athlete proving their insane capabilities. It was an impressive sight to see and something you do not want to miss out on if Air + Style comes to your city.

Learn more about Air + Style here.

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.