San Bernardino, CA- It was day 2 of HARD Summer 2017 and I was rushing to get to the festival grounds in time for a set I certainly could not miss. Destructo was about to play his last set at a HARD event and I knew that it was going to go off.
I arrived at the Hard stage (set in the Glen Helen amphitheater) about 15 minutes early so I took a seat in the photo pit as I witnessed MK finish up his set before the Hard father himself took the stage and when he did, his Hard family greeted with him with so much energy.
Destructo, AKA Gary Richards, has played at just about every single one of the events he has hosted as the CEO of Hard Events but being the modest man that he is, he always plays earlier in the evening with a set that isn’t too aggressive and always aims to just get the crowd moving and warmed up. While this set started off this way, it quickly escalated into something I was not use to seeing from him. “Yo Hard fam!” Destructo yelled into the mic in the middle of his set, “This is my last set at Hard so you know I had to bring out some special guests”. Just then rapper, Yo Gotti ran up on stage to perform a new track he did with Nicki Minaj tilted “Rack It Up”.
After this short performance, Destructo claimed the stage didn’t feel like a party enough so he invited his entire backstage entourage to turn the stage into a dance party. “Yo this still doesn’t feel like we have enough people up here,” Destructo said mid track as he signaled the security to let some fans past the barricades and onto the stage. “Come on fam do that shit!” He yelled as the crowd rushed the stage. And when he said “fam” he meant it as his young kids joined him behind the decks.
At this point DJ AC Slater joined him at the DJ booth and together they dropped the GTA remix of Destructo’s “Party Up” and it was at this point that his DJ set began feeling like an actual headlining slot. When the beat dropped everyone on stage just exploded as the crowd went absolutely berserk. Even the security around me couldn’t contain their composure as I saw a few them start to jam out with the crowd. It was an amazing moment that really captured the spirit of everything that Hard Events have become.
The rest of his set included other bangers he’s done such as “Higher” and “Technology” while also sprinkling in famous hits such as the Deadmau5 remix of “Jump Around” by House of Pain.
As his set was coming to a close, Destructo once again grabbed the mic to say something to his fam. “Just so you know, this party is just getting fucking started and I’m not going anywhere. This is just the first chapter!” The crowd roared as he continued, “We only have time for a few more so here’s a track no one has heard before”. It was then unleashed the track “Hard For The Night” featuring Snoop Dogg and Yo Gotti.
After this song the music paused as Richards had one more thing to say to his audience. “Hard Fam. I’m Destructo and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for following me for the last ten years. And I couldn’t think of a better way to end this chapter right other than with my good friend Giorgio Moroder, the king of electronic music”. At this time, the disco legend walked up next to Destructo as everyone cheered before Georgi grabbed the mic himself. “I’m so happy to be here and I think we’re going to end this with one of my favorite songs. It’s ‘Last Dance’ [by Donna Summer] but hopefully it wont be our last dance.” Destructo then hit play on the deck before taking his friend in arms and grabbing the mic one last time. “We’ll be back soon Hard!”
I certainly hope so.
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