San Bernardino, CA- The sun had finally set on a hot first day at HARD Summer as the crowd eagerly awaited the return of the renowned french duo, Justice. The ambient lighting from the “HARDer” stage faded away engulfing the crowd into an excited darkness as Xavier De Rosnay and Gaspard Auge walked out onto the stage. For a few moments, all I could hear was the roar of the crowd.
The lights continued to stay off as Justice opened up with a clever looping of the intro to “Genesis”, the opening track to their 2007 debut album “†” (pronounced “Cross”) before blasting the crowd with white light as their iconic cross appeared on the LCD screen behind them during the final horn of “Genesis”. As that faded away they smoothly transitioned into “Welcome To The Jungle” by Guns n Roses before slamming right into the drop of “XTC” by Boys Noize; kicking off this DJ set in a truly epic fashion (see the video below). Justice has always been known to blend genres and this intro really set the precedent for what was to come.
While at first I was disappointed to learn that this performance wasn’t going to be LIVE and was just going to be a DJ set (especially after watching the live stream from their incredible performance at Coachella earlier this year) Justice certainly did not disappoint and they were easily one of the highlights of the weekend.
Throughout the set, Justice played banger after banger as the crowd showed their approval with dancing and throwing up crosses with their arms during the breaks. During “Phantom”, another track off their debut album, the entire stage shimmered with strobe light, dancing in perfect synchronicity with the song. As “Civilization” was played, the lyrics flashed on the screen behind the duo making sure not a single person in the crowd wasn’t able to sing along. During “Stress” the stage went dark during the tracks intro to really set up the intense feeling that the song brings along. As “Stress” was hitting it’s iconic bridge, Justice lopped it as if to keep the audience in suspense before playing out one of their biggest songs “We Are Your Friends”.
Justice have been a staple at HARD Events and were even at the very first one ten years ago. So it only made sense for the producers to bring them back to rock the house for the “last” true Hard Summer. They may not have been on the main stage, but Justice- and their audience- captured the same kind of energy and theatrics that you would feel at any of their headlining shows.
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