Pasadena, California. 750,000 pounds of steel. 700 tons of snow. A 150 foot ramp. 2 stages. But was it worth $5 million out of superstar Shaun White’s pocket? We think so, do you?

Held outside of the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, the event took place on Feb. 21-22, 2015. The Austrian Snow and Music Festival production brought fans it’s first US installment after making stops in Bejing and Innsbruck, Austria. With fake snow, a mega ramp 150 feet high, and world class snowboarders/skiers intertwined with music talent, #AirStyleLA was the final round of this epic tour.

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Shaun White thanking the attendees. Photo: Adam Maresca

We were in it for the music. With performances from the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Diplo, Portugal. The Man, Phantogram, The Black and The White Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s but ended up loving the competition itself more than anything. With olympian & X-Games snowboarders and skiers busting record breaking tricks, we could’t take our eyes off the ramp. Example below:
Yuki Kadono doing the first ever switch backside 1620 triple cork.

Day 1:

As we entered the festival on Day 1 and walked out onto the beautiful Los Angeles California grass, we were frankly astonished by the size of the ramp. Considering we arrived a few hours late, it appeared everyone there had already taken in the size of the thing. Just casually scattered about, they gazed in astonishment at the snowboarders – run after run. It was truly mind boggling.

Considering it was almost four o’clock, we had to run over to the main stage in order to get our places for Phantogram’s set. Snagging a nice nook just to the right, we had maximum dancing space, while “Have You Ever Had a Dream” played over the speakers (as per usual) and the band took the stage.

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Sarah, lead singer of Phantogram, and her sweet cheetah print pants. Photo: Adam Maresca

Sarah rolled out in sequence cheetah pants and some pretty steep high heels as she gently said “Let’s have some fucking fun”. If you’ve seen Phantogram live, you know exactly how Sarah sounds on the microphone. It’s a voice you’d marry. They of course dropped their classics like “Black Out Days,” “Mouthful of Diamonds,” and “Dont Move” while Sarah played keyboard and Josh slammed the guitar. After seeing this man play his guitar in South Lake Tahoe during Snowglobe’s extremely cold weather, I have a new found respect for him. With no pushing or shoving, and ample dancing space, the performance left us extremely satisfied.

Since the Ski Jam was cancelled, we grabbed some chicken and biscuits from one of the kiosks, as the food trucks had lines over an hour long. We munched on the grass and waited for Diplo to take the stage. Unfortunately this was not Diplo’s only set of the day, and he really left us wanting more. Starting off with his new Missy Elliot remix off the recently released premiere Jack U album and a predictable next few songs, his set was no #24HoursofJackU. He did throw in a few crowd favorites like PBJ Time, A$AP Fergs Work and his collab with Waka and Yellow Claw, Techno. He then proceeded to drop a few Drake tracks and Floss’s Mosh Pit.

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Wes James (Diplo), wondering what time his flight to Vegas is tonight. Photo: Adam Maresca

Taking a break from the busiest man in the world (Diplo), we made our way over to Portugal. The Man., who happened to be covering a rendition of Mac and Charlie’s (Always Sunny in Philadelphia) Day Man, which could not be more epic. John Gourley hopped on the mic and told us they had recorded most of their music a few miles from where we were. It was touching, and so was their performance. But nothing could prepare us for what Kendrick Lamar was about to do.

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Kendrick Lamar. Photo: Adam Maresca

After appearing 10 minutes late, he graced us with a full live band and an epic video to go along with his set. Starting off with Money Trees, the crowd was excited but couldn’t even hear the music. We were probably about mid-way back, just to the left, and Kendrick sounded muffled. We don’t know who is to blame for this, but he wasn’t happy and neither was the crowd. After yelling “Turn up the music,” (directed towards the sound booth) he continued. Dropping his Backset Freestyle, Bitch, don’t Kill my Vibe, & Poetic Justice, Kendrick had tons of energy – but the crowd didn’t. I didn’t. We just couldn’t get into due to the simple fact that we couldn’t hear him. Kendrick Lamar realized this, so he stopped just after the drop of m.A.A.d city and tried to get the crowd more involved. He dropped it a second time. Still not loud enough. He stopped again and his manager comes out to tell him that “he is going to be shut down to being too loud,” so what does Kendrick do? He drops m.A.A.d city one last time, full volume. The crowd (most who had left) went wild! Finishing the track, he said “I’ll be back,” and never came back…

Luckily for us we still had to watch the Snowboarding Final before the night was over. As you can imagine, it left us in awe. Be sure to catch World of X Games on ABC, for the full coverage of the event.

After a personal thank you from Shaun White and a ride down the landing of the mega ramp with Sarah of Phantogram, his recent girlfriend, we left the event extremely satisfied and filled with adrenaline.

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Shaun White & Sarah (Phantogram), acting “cool” after sliding down the mega ramp. Photo: Adam Maresca

Day 2 (Erika):

Despite the frigid temperatures and rainy weather, we could hardly contain our excitement for day 2. Walking into the festival and seeing skiers on the ramp was almost even more exciting. Considering they can go down backwards, and perform far more inversions it was extremely exhilarating standing right against the ramp watching these pro athletes land these insane tricks after flying so high through the air.

The first we managed to catch is a band you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for: The Black and The White. They recently toured with Cage The Elephant and these dudes definitely know how to put on a hell of a performance. They started off their set with a smooth guitar duel which lead into energetic vocals lead by Julio Tavarez. They had the crowd grooving away as soon as they yelled, “GET WILD, GOSH DAMN IT!” The band continued their performance with funky, pop rock tunes, wild facial expressions and eccentric dance moves. I have to say, this is one of the most entertaining bands I have seen live.

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Edward Sharp nip slippin’ in the rain. Photo: Adam Maresca

After The Black and The White wrapped up their set, we immediately headed over to the main stage. We arrived roughly 40 minutes before Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zero’s performance started, which was a bitter sweet decision at first. After waiting for about 10 minutes, the rain aggressively started pouring down. By the time Edward Sharpe & TMZ came on stage we were soaked from head to toe, but it was well worth every raindrop. The 12-member hippie band came on stage with a nonchalant attitude and grungy attire to put on a phenomenal performance. The band started off with Up From Below while the lead vocalist Alex Ebert freely danced around in all the rain puddles. Kicking up rain with his shoes.

They continued their performance with raw and beautiful melodies that had the crowd singing and dancing their hearts out, meanwhile getting entirely drenched by the downpour. Alex is a storyteller and loved sharing his memories and interacting with the crowd during the performance. About half way through the song I Don’t Want to Pray, Alex decided to hand the mic off to the crowd so a few fans could sing or freestyle.

The band obviously ended their set with one of everyone’s favorite songs, Home. Alex encouraged everyone to sing along and of course the crowd followed. Considering Home is based on a love story, Alex NATURALLY wanted to have story time and once again handed the mic off to the crowd. Allowing people to share their stories with the crowd, alongside the melodic tunes. In my opinion, it was easily the most beautiful and best set of the weekend. Let’s be real, what’s better than kissing, dancing and singing in the rain?

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Madeline Follin – Cults, lead singer. Photo: Adam Maresca

Unfortunately, due to the poor weather conditions we did not stay much longer after Edward Sharpe & TMZ. Before we left we wanted to catch a few songs from Cults. We arrived just as they started You Know What I Mean. After we swayed away to a few songs, we decided that it was time to leave. The rain was still pouring down hard and we were beyond soaked. Due to the torrential down pour, even the skiing finals had to be cancelled.

We would like to congratulate Yuki Kadono for taking home gold in the Snowboarding Finals and Gus Kenworthy for taking the win in the Skiing Finals! In the end, Air and Style Los Angeles ended up being one of the most unique and entertaining weekends ever experienced. Thanks for having us.

Co-Author: Erika Maccani. Cover Photo Credit: Air+Style:LA

Make sure to check out the rest of the pictures on the Electric Sloth Facebook by our awesome photographer, Adam Maresca.