The world’s largest rave got even bigger this year, and with it, our list of favorite memories. From TV star cameos to stunning theatrics and jaw-dropping stages, Insomniac definitely brought out the big guns for Electric Daisy Carnival 2015. Here are LessThan3’s 15 favorite bull’s eyes popped off by the dead-eyed funslingers of raving.
1. When Walter White “Pushed The Button” During Above & Beyond
Bryan Cranston aka Walter White Pushes The Button at EDC Las Vegas 2015
Say My Name! Bryan Cranston a.k.a Walter White pushes the button for us at Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Las Vegas.
Posted by Above & Beyond on Sunday, June 21, 2015
“Say my name!” was the introductory line from Bryan Cranston, aka Walter White from Breaking Bad, who showed up during Above & Beyond’s mainstage set to “push the button” on the track A&B named after him. As seen (and heard) from the above video, there wasn’t a fan out there who didn’t know exactly who he was.
2. Kaskade’s Surprise Redux Set On The Mayan Warrior Art Car
Kaskade is a G. Not only did he make all the “EDM-ers” happy with his kineticFIELD set Friday night, he played a multi-hour Redux set starting at 2 a.m, which he announced hours before via his Twitter. As any Kaskade fan knows, Redux sets are when Kaskade dives into the deeper side of house music, playing much different sounds than what you would expect from a typical Kaskade set. He continued to play ’til the sun came up, declaring “Only p*ssies go home before sunrise!” Head over to Beatport News for some select tracks from the set.
3. When Louis B Turned Out To Be Brodinski
Perhaps due to the current rifts between HARD and EDC, the man known as Louis Brodinski chose to use the (slightly) disguised name of Louis B when the final lineup announcements came out, placing him at 3:30 a.m. on cosmicMEADOW stage. The name change didn’t have much of an effect on the set, however–it was still the classic electro-techno sounds sprinkled with trap 808s that we have come to know and love from the brooding French producer.
4. When AWE Scored A Win For His Teenage Self
AWE is one of LA’s most lucrative new bass music exports, and the young producer reunited with a fellow native over the weekend–EDC itself–for the first time in five years. Except back then, it was held at the Memorial Coliseum, and he was only a guest. AWE returned to EDC June 20, 2015 to make his performance debut to a rowdy 9 p.m. Stage 7 crowd who devoured his mix of everything from trap and future to clubby house and all-new originals like a buffet of bass.
“I never thought I’d get to play EDC,” Zack Urman, aka AWE, told LessThan3, “but five years later, and I’m here. I’m not just a fan anymore; I’m in it… it’s kinda cosmic.”
5. G House Pioneers Amine Edge & DANCE Bring The Sound To circuitGROUNDS
Typically reserved for the cream of the big room and trance crop, circuitGROUNDS played host to the forefathers of today’s influential G and funk-house sound Saturday in a coming-of-age moment for the genre. Approaching the milestone with reverence, AE&D eased into their debut EDC Las Vegas set like it was their first… “time.” The duo’s set churned forward like a slow train from the funk station, only reaching their bread-and-butter 120-BPM region after about 15 minutes or more, all while wooing the rapidly growing crowd with their sweet, sweet G love.
6. Carnage And Diplo’s Dystopian Twerk Party
The man behind Major Lazer made himself the Where’s Waldo of EDC 2015, popping up everywhere from Stage 7 to the wasteLAND, the hardstyle HQ by Basscon. After popping his head into the scrapped Statue of Liberty stage next to pal Carnage, the two infused a boatload of booty into their post-apocalyptic twerk party, moving across the natural link between trap and hard dance around 140 BPM with ease and riotous reaction from the crowd.
7. When Excision Made The bassPOD “X”s His Personal Minions
The Kelowna-born robo-dinosaur Excision made good use of the largest PK Sound system ever constructed during his bassPOD set Saturday, which was one of the heaviest of the weekend. The same goes for the pyro-spewing satellites surrounding the menacing robot-spider stage, which just so happened to be in the shape of his favorite letter. The booming, visually reactive, X-shaped sub-spiders bowed to his will, wearing his logo proudly and lending a hand to his beatdown on the massive bassPOD crowd.
8. When We Heard The Piano House Of Duke Dumont Performed By A Real Pianist
This is the performance Duke Dumont conceptualized for his live European tour and augmented for his mainstream US breakout performance at Coachella just a few months prior. If you haven’t had the chance to experience it–and judging by the crowd’s reaction, many hadn’t–take our word for it. Hearing the first three chords of Won’t Look Back belted out by a real set of hands on real keys is something magical.
9. When Disco Got Its Own Stage
Nu disco, funk-house, and other soul-tinged dance sounds got a home of their own at EDC this year after having increasingly dominated digital airwaves for nearly half the current decade. Not only were fans treated to a homebase for their disco needs, but a proper house at that–funkHOUSE welcomed its groove-craving guests in through a small curtained door that led to a completely enclosed, carpeted environment covered in art and filled to the brim with funky goodness. Here’s hoping this becomes an annual fixture at The Speedway.
10. When Habstrakt and Eptic Combined Their Bass-Bro Powers
A compatibility that goes beyond their massive collabs, Habstrakt and Eptic’s b2b set was a highlight of Sunday, June 21–even Habstrakt himself called the experience “life-changing.” Maybe not outright life-changing from the crowd’s perspective, but considering the energy and raw fun that came out of the collaborative performance, it definitely qualifies as weekend-changing.
11. When That One Guy Controlled Lightning With His Hands
photo: LA WEEKLY
In sync with the music and menacing to the tune of Emperor Palpatine, our electrokinetic costumed performer was hands-down the most eye-catching side-show of the weekend. He compelled bolts of lightning to link with his in-hand metal rods and lunged around a central Tesla coil coaxing it out and giving new meaning to the term “conductor.”
12. When We Boarded The New UFO-Terrarium Pyramid aka neonGARDEN
All the stages, excluding the brand-new ones, got grandiose upgrades. One such notable makeover was neonGARDEN’s outer-space plant habitat pyramid, which offered a central LED-made willow tree around which to gather, converse, or just stare blankly into while pondering the sounds of Art Department or Eats Everything.
13. Infinite Dapps
The #1 track of EDC 2015 was hands-down the Dapp Retwerk of Valentino Khan’s Deep Down Low. Everyone–and we mean everyone–dropped this body-mover at some point, from Eptic and Habstrakt to Martin Solveig, who prefaced by saying that although we’ve heard it “like a hundred times already” that day alone, he couldn’t resist. Props to V. Khan and Dapp for that one.
14. When Bassnectar Had cosmicMEADOW Looking Like The United Nations
Nobody filled the cosmicMEADOW quite like Bassnectar did around midnight on Sunday, June 21. The longtime legend of dubstep left many of the other stages relatively empty as the grassy, stadium-facing stage turned into a sea of bodies and flags on par with an Olympic opening ceremony. Points to Flosstradamus for keeping virtually all of that staggering crowd turning up through their set as well.
15. When Insomniac Set The Standard (Yet Again)
Insomniac’s biggest adversary now is not having one. With the lack of a realistic rival to outpace, complacency can breed–but likely not, knowing this team. From mind-blowing installations and theatrics to immersive stages that reinvent the very term itself, Insomniac has raised the bar on themselves once more–and further out of the reach of their competitors, who had better revisit the drawing board before 2016 rolls around.