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Illenium Takes Eugene by Storm [Review]

Photo Credit: Merc Photography

This weekend has been huge for Oregon ravers. Illenium and Foam Wonderland at the Cuthbert amphitheater mark a strong start for the summer festival season. The crowd showed up to Friday’s show in full force, ready to spend the night vibing and kick off the summer right.

As always, the Cuthbert proved to be a welcoming and fun venue. Lines were nonexistent, entry was quick, and we were able to get dancing in no time. Throw in a beautiful spring evening, and things couldn’t get much better. Most attendees opted to stay back and vibe in the grass seating areas, though the small pit at the front was full to the brim all night. The lineup, featuring Crywolf (Live), Big Wild, and Illenium promised to provide a feel-good night. Local opener Evergreen was a pleasant surprise, and definitely got the crowd ready to dance all night.

Crywolf’s live set was quite the event. He was fully committed to using the entire stage since he wasn’t bound by a set of CDJs. He opened with a few tracks featuring himself on drum kit, Porter Robinson-style. Other portions of the set featured Crywolf on guitar, keyboard, or vocals, each of which brought out an intimate side to his performance. Though the visual element of this decision was appealing, the low volume levels and some faults in execution disrupted the flow of the set.

Big Wild’s performance really amped up the crowd, and the venue was clearly more packed than it had been all night. Between his vibey, jazzy sound and killer stage presence, the crowd couldn’t get enough. He definitely read the mood of the crowd impeccably. The dance floor didn’t stop moving for a second, and his own energy onstage further propelled the crowd’s. He played all of his biggest hits, including For the Love, his collaboration with Griz and Talib Kweli. Truly, the whole set was a mass of feel-good vibes.

Of course, the main event, Illenium, didn’t disappoint. The expansiveness of his own production and sound was especially clear when set in contrast with head banging crowd favorites like Throwin’ Elbows. His live edits of tracks like Crawl Outta Love were completely fulfilling, and rounded out the set. Illenium ran the gambit with this performance, providing plenty of vibes and more than enough heavy moments to make any headbanger happy.

The highlight of the night was his final track. He played his new collaboration with Excision, which the two artists teased over social media just days prior. The track planned to premiere at EDC, but luckily he gave the Eugene crowd a sneak peak that closed the night on just the right note.

What was your favorite part of the show? Let us know in the comments below!

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