… the show was great, but we're still up at night looking for some answers …

Is the NIN effect relevant anymore?

The lull between artists is hardly an optimum time to listen to music — beers are to be bought and pee needs to be drained; but from time to time we’ll catch whatever is being pushed through the venue's overheads and take notice of the “vibe” the sound engineers are trying to elicit. Sometimes good, sometimes bad — like life. What was interesting about choosing “Nine Inch Nails” between sets at HARD, however, was wondering if anyone in the crowd even knew who Trent Reznor is or why he’s so important to electronic music’s movement? He most definitely wasn’t the first to pioneer harshly addictive sounds with 0s and 1s instead of strings and keys (though he uses plenty of those), but early industrial artists jumped the gap between underground and popular — and one could certainly argue Reznor was a huge part of the evolution … does that kind of musical knowledge exist as a norm?

Do Skrillex fans even know where he came from?

Speaking to musical pasts, watching Skrillex pop up just about everywhere around the world and collaborate with just about every artist around the world still trips us out when remembering where Sonny Moore came from — and how much we’ve dug his stuff no matter where he goes. We first found him long ago in a time far, far away when he was the frontman for From First To Last: a sort of screamo-yelling-rawr type of madness that was hip with the cool kids in the early/late ‘00s. Now he’s making millions, flying everywhere we can’t, and hanging out with Justin Bieber (ok so that part probably sucks) … time changes all.

Who will Skrillex bed next?

Speaking of the myriad artists Skrillex gets in collabo-bed with, which one does everyone think he’ll go to next? He’s got Jack Ü with Diplo, Dog Blood with Boys Noize … something, something with the Biebs — it's a long list; he’s everywhere. Is it too much? Is it not enough? We think he does just fine on his own collaborating and having guest features on every other track, but is naming the crew something entirely different the way of the future? Confusing? Question? So many questions …

Wh-oa! Did they just say "nigga"?

Far be it from us to tug at the bark of a racially-rooted tree, but things got pretty awkward when Dog Blood threw on a track that repeated the word “Nigga” over and over. Not because the majority of the crowd was white, singing along without accord — or that the artists themselves are of that majority spectrum too … well yes, yes those are exactly the reasons why it looked like some people got uncomfortable. Where exactly does the word become ok? It wasn’t them rapping it, or even implying that they wanted to use it, given it was from an entirely different song, not of their own — but we think it would behoove artists (especially DJs playing other artists' music) to be more cognizant of their vocal stems, no?

Can other artists learn from The Glitch Mob?

Of course the "news" surrounding the EDM culture right now is about artists tweeting to other artists about trivial shit they likely wouldn't say to one another's face — this time about DJs that "press play" and those that don't. The market has shown those types of artistry details don't matter, because some stage-hacks are making a ton of money — and good for them if that's what they want to do for it. But when a trio like Glitch Mob get on stage, with their loud rig commanding attention and smoke-strewn drums wailing in unison, the vibe of artistry multiplies ten-fold. They're artists. And good ones at that. Each and every show we've seen of theirs has been different (and yet still the same), with their electronic prowess building each time to deservedly throw them in to headlining gigs at Red Rocks. There's plenty of artists (and just people in general) that could learn a lot from watching The Glitch Mob's ethic.

– all photos by CHIEFB, see more at our Photo Pit