Second Sky Music Festival in Oakland, CA – October 29, 2022
Goldenvoice and Porter Robinson brought a large crowd to Oakland Arena this past weekend, to enjoy a day of bass-heavy electronic music at Second Sky Music Festival 2022. The annual festival was originally scheduled to last two days, but due to production constraints, it was only held on one day this year. On a sunny Saturday during Halloween weekend, many festivalgoers gathered in spirit and filled the festival grounds with creative and unique costumers. The lineup included ten different artists, who represented a wide range of subgenres and listeners.
Magdalena Bay opened the afternoon with a performance of synth pop with light vocals, pranced across the stage. She performed songs from her latest album, Mercurial World, including “Secrets (Your Fire),” “U Wanna Dance?”, “You Lose!” and others.
Hudson Mohawke followed with an energetic trap-heavy set, bringing the energetic electronic bass. Many attendees were hoping he would live up to the hype after his viral success with his 2011 hit “Cbat” earlier this year. Needless to say, he did not disappoint, transitioning into “Higher Ground,” famously performed by TNGHT, his duo with Lunice, and other hits like “Intentions,” “Stump,” and “Bicstan”.
Following in the footsteps of today’s internet sounds, Drain Gang’s own Bladee performs to a cult-like fanbase that knows his songs by heart. Bladee took the stage wearing flourescent orange sunglasses and an Oakley hat underneath his hoodie. Bladee’s stage presence was natural and energetic, as he rapped across the stage to each side of the audience.
Following the cancellation of Fred Again, one of the festival’s main highlights was the appearance of legendary DJ and producer Skrillex. Skrillex took the stage in front of a sea of chanting fans, who were waiting for him to perform whichever song he chose. Unfortunately, there were technical difficulties, such as one of the CDJs breaking and repeatedly replaying the same song. Skrillex still blew the crowd away, transitioning to many classics like “Bangarang,” “Where Are U Now,” and even “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites,” which caught everyone off guard. He later brought out Porter Robinson, and they shared a precious moment standing on top of the DJ board, exchanging words about how they had inspired and supported one another throughout their careers, and how they wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for each other. A wholesome moment to cap off a somewhat disastrous but nonetheless impressive set.
Virtual Self and G Jones
Virtual Self (Porter Robinson) then performed a set with G Jones as the sun began to set. The crowd was loving the techno and trap bass, while the projected visuals became more ambient than ever. G Jones performed hits like “Dark Artifact,” “A2C2I2D,” and “On The Platform” alongside Virtual Self.
On one of his favorite holidays, acclaimed trap DJ RL Grime started to close out the night. Every year, RL Grime drops the fan-favorite Halloween mix, which is full of spooky headbanging vibes. Personally, he has never disappointed from the times I’ve seen him and understands how to read the crowd well. RL Grime took the stage in nearly pitch-black lighting, with vivid, flashing visuals complementing each bass drop. Grime infused cult favorites like Playboi Carti and Kanye West with his own unique spin. His set included a lot of pyro and fireworks, as well as a lot of excitement and shuffling.
Porter Robinson, the night’s headliner, was welcomed by crowds of die-hard fans wearing Potaro merchandise and holding fan-made signs. Porter began his set with an acapella piano performance of the smash hit “Look At The Sky,” giving it a new spin. The euphoric electronic keys drew fans in to sing along with him. His set was followed by fan favorites from his most recent album, “Nurture,” such as “Mirror,” “Something Comforting,” and “Musician.” Porter Robinson became emotional and repeatedly expressed his gratitude to the audience for allowing him to perform in front of such a large crowd year after year. Porter Robinson went through his catalog of Nurture tracks to ecstatic fans while large amounts of fireworks erupted. As the night came to a close, Porter announced to the audience that he wanted to perform a song that few people knew he was a part of (considering he did background vocals and is credited as a writer). Porter dedicated this special performance of Zedd’s “Clarity” to his fans by singing an acapella of the intro while the audience chanted every word of the hit song.