So that’s it, another summer festival season has come to an end. I’d say I had a pretty good run, attending three EDM festivals in Ultra Music Festival, Identity Festival, and Electric Zoo. Each one has its highlights, its low lights, and stories tied to it, but I’ll leave those for another time.
Electric Zoo was pretty spectacular this year. Although I attended last year, I did not have a full appreciation of the artists who were there at the time (including Wolfgang Gartner, Axwell, Chuckie, Avicii, Pete Tong, Chris Lake, Funkagenda, etc). So I could definitely sense some missing acts this year after a full year of daily EDM under my belt. And that’s not to say EZoo ’11 didn’t have its fair share of awesome acts – I was kept busy over the three days and constantly had to make choices like who should I see at which particular time and what kind of mood I was in as far as EDM sub-genres go. I’ll try to keep this post brief and post the highlights from each day as well as 5 tracks to take away from the weekend.
Day 1 highlights: Bart B More (my first time seeing him, he played bangers as expected), Joris Voorn & Nic Fanciulli (got my dose of minimal/tech-house), Feed Me, Rusko, Moby, Tiesto. Moby was the biggest surprise, Rusko was exactly as awesome as expected, and Tiesto disappointed (relatively speaking – I had high hopes for him, but he stuck to his Tiesto roots). Not to say his light show and over-all DJ set wasn’t amazing, but I was hoping to hear more of the tracks he drops during club shows or his increasingly awesome Podcasts. For me house music usually trumps Trance, but I did enjoy his new songs such as “Maximal Crazy.”
Day 2 highlights: Day 2 was a little thin and there were some acts I wish I got to see, like Sub Focus, Sander Van Doorn, Mat Zo, and Beardyman, but this was all solved by 19-year-old Porter Robinson, who I think was the MVP of the whole weekend (and many others agreed). He played nothing but bangers and his DJ skills have improved immensely. Skrillex and Above & Beyond were other notable performances, but Skrillex’s sound was way too quiet for the first half of the set and his mic was too loud. I finally gave David Guetta a chance and although his lights and overall set were impressive, I chose to leave and see ATB/Joachim Garraud as closing sets.
Day 3 highlights: this was the mother load of the three days and due to a slight setback with the NYPD, we missed a lot of the sets we wanted to see. For the ones we DID get to, highlights include Calvin Harris, Fake Blood, Michael Woods, Jack Beats, Diplo (chose to see him instead of Afrojack), Boys Noize, and the last half hour of an epic Armin Van Buuren set. Boys Noize killed it as usual, dropping his unique blend of Acid House, Techno, and straight up bangers (Gecko –> Lemonade –> Yeah) as well as a throw back to The Prodigy by playing “Smack My Bitch Up”. Diplo played everything from Dubstep to House to Moombahton to hip hop (Beastie Boys’ “Intergalactic” among others). Jack Beats were straight up hyphy and I wish more people had an appreciation for the bombs they drop on the crowd. Needless to say the Hilltop Tent was the place to be on Sunday.
The song of the weekend was easily “The Calling” by Sebastian Ingrosso & Alesso – those fucking Swedes, making hit after hit. Here are some of the key take-aways from the weekend: