Concerts

Identity Festival at Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion, 8/19/12

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That certainly wasn't the case over on the Rockstar Energy Drink stage in the Pavilion's east parking lot, featuring artists who specialize in more of a harder-edged and grittier sound, including British dubstep wunderkind Doctor P. The 26-year-old induced movements and a unhinged party atmosphere with his signature tracks like "Tetris" and "Watch Out." Mohawked songstress Eva Simons also joined him at one point, lending her sultry vocals to a few of the good doctor's songs.

Dancing on hot asphalt was like an endurance test for the crowd, seeing how long they could shuck and jive with their fists pumping up a storm in the sweltering heat. (Or as one spaced-out dude, who was likely rolling hard based on the size of his pupils, told me to write after watching me scribble away in my notepad, "It's like a costume party with a hodgepodge of old school ravers and new people.")

The dance party got even bigger after dark. As with any music festival or tour during the spring and summer, there's a certain jubilation that ensues when after the sun drifts below the horizon, either because temperatures drop or attendees celebrate surviving the day. Such was the case at the Identity Fest, where -- like at Coachella or the Electric Daisy Carnival -- the crowd size increased as the pansies who didn't dare come out during daylight hours showed up for the headliners, including folks who aren't quite in EDM's typical 18 to 35 demographic.

If one of Identity Festival's goals was to expand interest in the world of electronica, DJs, and dance music, it most certainly succeeded in that respect, as there were many people in attendance that you wouldn't normally see at either a rave or a club night. It wasn't just housewives and moms who drove their kids out to the West Valley (although they were there too) and included 40somethings dressed in furry boots and fishnets, as well as a variety of bearded biker-looking dudes and weekend warriors in the house.

But while they may not be in EDM's target demographic or were as energetic as the illuminated masses wrapped in glowing plastic, who took on the appearance of extras from the latest Tron remake after nightfall, they certainly seemed to have an enjoyable time during the festival's evening hours as the biggest names hit either stage.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.