When the first announcements about Ocean Club’s Summer lineup started rolling out I carefully scanned the list and immediately circled Sunday June 10. Sure, there were some huge names announced for other dates such as opening weekend’s Skrillex and Nicky Romero shows, or June 24th’s A-Trak and Congorock madness, but nothing spoke to me quite like Fedde le Grand (FLG) and Zedd on the same bill on the same night. There are a couple reasons for this: 1.) I had never seen either DJ live before 2.) Fedde le Grand is a legend, an awesome producer of exactly the kind of House music I like, and loves to play both underground tracks and big room bangers 3.) Zedd is quickly becoming one of my favorite producers and is being highly praised in the EDM community for his work. Not only that, but I’ve heard a couple of his live sets and he quickly transitions from one banger into the next, often keeping with tunes in the Electro-House realm. Well, I set high expectations and I’m pleased to say they were met this past Sunday.
Click through to read more about the evening, to see a video, and to hear a couple selected tracks.
Sometimes it’s really frustrating trying to “sell” a concert to your friends, especially when you shouldn’t have to. Anyone who enjoys dance music, especially House and Electro-House should be able to look at the night’s lineup and say “Yeah. I have to be there.” Unfortunately it wasn’t until the day of the show I finalized the group of friends I arrived to Ocean Club with. To my surprise there wasn’t much of a line at our 10pm entry, but I did notice I could hear the music a lot more clearly from the outside of the venue. This was a good sign. Zedd was already on stage and he was playing some Wolfgang Gartner (I believe it was “Undertaker” or “Illmerica”) – this was another good sign.
Once inside, it was time to party. I immediately got into the music as Zedd didn’t leave much time to breathe, going from the drop of one song into the next and not allowing his crowd to stop moving. Using a laptop with Traktor and the S4 controller, which I use myself, Zedd transitioned smoothly from one song to the next (yes he was using the sync button but he has no problem admitting that) and kept the crowd hyped with songs he familiarized me with during his Ultra 2012 set. Songs like Sandro Silva & Quintino’s “Epic”, the Bloody Beetroots’ “Warp 2.0”, and of course Zedd’s new track “Spectrum” cycled their way through his hour-long set. He also threw in Klaas’ remix of “I Like to Move It” by Reel 2 Reel, which I loved from his Ultra set and I’ve thrown in a couple of my own sets. All in all Zedd did an awesome job of setting the tone for Fedde le Grand’s 2-hour set coming up. I would like to see Zedd with more of a stage presence, as he seemed to just stand there and not really move his body to the beat much…
Anyways, next came Fedde le Grand and let me just say wow. Note to self – make sure you see him live whenever possible. He opened up his set with his unreleased bootleg of Madonna’s track “Music” and this version goes hard (harder than the Double Masters remix I tend to play live). I mean if you’re going to open up a show with a bang, this certainly is a great way to do it – a song the masses know with a drop that makes them go crazy. As I danced around in the crowd for the first couple songs, I eventually worked my way to the stage where I saw FLG in motion: dancing, clapping, whistling, moving his hands to the beat, and twisting knobs and tapping on cue buttons with the speed of lightning. He was already drenched in sweat, often reaching for a towel, taking sips of his drink, and focused on creating a highly energetic set that allowed his crowd to party hard. Unlike Zedd, FLG allowed for the natural progression of ebbs and flows in his set, making sure to include breaks in songs that led to massive build-ups and bass-heavy drops. We had the pleasure of hearing some of his bigger tracks like “So Much Love”, his remix of Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You” and his remix of Coldplay’s “Paradise” as well as other bombs such as Laidback Luke’s remix of Benny Benassi’s “Cinema” as well as Benassi’s bomb “House Music”. And what better way to end the show than to play Zombie Nation’s “Kernkraft 400” (the Laidback Luke bootleg which I’d never heard before but holy shit may be the coolest version), which is essentially the theme song of the Boston Bruins.
Overall this night ousted Skrillex and Nicky Romero for me (sorry guys) and will remain among my favorite Sunday [Funday] nights in recent memory. I should mention there was a definite improvement in the sound, as it was noticeably louder and left some of my friends’ ears ringing. I still think it could be louder given the open-air environment, but anything is better than what we dealt with opening weekend. Thanks to the management of Ocean Club for the access and props to FLG and Zedd for being such kind individuals (offering photo opps, chatting casually with fans, etc). As always, thanks to Mass EDMC and NV Concepts for the awesome bookings and cross-collaboration. Keep your eyes locked online for more show announcements!