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Insomniac Events made history last weekend with the largest electronic music event ever held in North America, Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas. The sold out event was even greater this time around with more rides, better decorations, and dozens of parading floats and performance artists around to liven up the party. The days prior to the festival also saw tons of action with the first ever EDMbiz conference that brought together much of the industry’s leading names, as well as an incredible pre-party in the Orleans Arena called Bassrush Massive. The lineup included some of the baddest bass titans like Bassnectar, Excision, Knife Party, and Noisia.
The first day of the festival revealed the sheer scale of production to the 110,000 Friday attendees. Insomniac maximized the enormous amount of space they had to use with major stage upgrades. kineticFIELD (pictured), the main stage, was arranged into the shape of a stadium that actually gave a bit of nostalgia to EDC 2010 attendees. The stage saw such big names as Fedde le Grand, Kaskade, and Alesso, the latter of which threw down a bevy of his famous big room melodies, including his recent remix of Silenced By The Night by Keane. Another impressive construction was circuitGROUNDS, which hosted a special Group Therapy lineup by Above & Beyond and delivered some of the cleanest sound and most vibrant lighting. Mat Zo got perhaps the greatest amount of buzz that night; his track The Sky truly captivated the crowd. Arty himself later raved about The Sky to us, calling it “one of the most unique tracks to come out this year. Only producers as talented as Mat could do a song like that.” One of the heaviest sets laid down Friday was by Canada’s Excision who absolutely destroyed the neonGARDEN stage with one brutal banger after another. Steve Angello also had an impressive turnout for his Size Matters show at cosmicMEADOW.
Dutch producer Hardwell is having a grand slam of a year. Coming out red hot into the summer festival season with a wide range of hits, he surely did not disappoint at EDC Las Vegas on Friday. With energy levels turned up all the way throughout his entire set, Hardwell opened with a dynamite mashup of his track Spaceman along with Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know .The crazy synth sounds of Tommy Trash’s rendition of deadmau5’ The Veldt emptied into the stadium shortly thereafter; as soon as the drop hit, the crowd went wild. Hardwell showed his versatility mashing up his own track Encoded with that of the new Tiesto and Showtek stormer, Hell Yeah, which brought the raw and hard bass sound to the mainstage crowd. To end the set with as much energy as the opening, Hardwell dropped his new bombing electro track That’s How We Do mashed up with Plastik Funk’s Let Me See Those Hands. For those wanting to check out Hardwell, he will be headlining the Identity Tour in Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, and Southern California–for ticket information go here. All upcoming Hardwell tour dates can be found here.
With the tagline “Like Basslines From London,” Modestep offered that and more at the Electric Daisy Carnival. With keyboard, guitar, and drums in tow, this was not your usual DJ set but rather a live performance. Performing on Friday, Modestep put on an energetic and lively show to captivate the early crowds who gathered at the neonGARDEN as the sun set on the Las Vegas desert. Some highlights of their set included Doctor P’s Tetris and their own smashing hit To The Stars .
The crazy, wild, and visually stunning Q –Dance Stage held host to a bevy of hardstyle acts on Friday night, the most well-known of which being UK DJ Coone. His set opened with a deep voice over the PA stating, “As we all gather here underneath the desert sky, take a moment and look around and realize where you are,” which then dropped into the sweet melancholy vocals of Forever Young. As always with hardstyle, Coone’s set was full of energy and jaw-wrenching 150+ BPMs. For more information on Coone and upcoming tour dates, check here.
EDC Saturday saw the likes of Jenese Moelle and Ismail Tufecki, the two men who make up the DJ team of Digitalism . This duo rocked the neonGARDEN stage amidst the glowing dusk of the desert sky. The Germans relied on their ever-popular melodic basslines and pumping rhythms to make the crowd jump and rave. The guys closed with their upbeat classic Pogo, which the crowd totally ate up. Also playing to the early Saturday crowds were the dubstep tandem and Never Say Die label-heads Dodge & Fuski who put hard bass on display on the bassPOD stage. Track of note during the UK dub duo’s set? Their own smasher, Pornstep.
Around midnight on Saturday the weather took a turn for the worse when a sandstorm hit with 40mph winds and forced an unfortunate closure of EDC for safety reasons. All was not lost, however; as attendees evacuated into the grandstands of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Insomniac brought over one of the mobile stages to keep the party going. Markus Schulz was first to hit the decks, Eager to continue his set that was cut short at circuitGROUNDS. Keeping up the positive vibe, Steve Aoki made a surprise appearance at the improvised stage in the early morning hours (see video below).
To make up for the cancellation, Saturday single-day ticket holders were given free admission to the Sunday event and some set times were adjusted, including sticking Avicii in between Armin van Buuren and David Guetta. As Guetta stepped off the stage, Avicii got on the decks to thunderous applause and opened with Deniz Koyu’s new single Bong , which was then followed by the Swede’s newest banger in collaboration with rocker Lenny Kravitz, Superlove. Even though the set was shortened, Avicii was able to fit in many of his chart topping singles including Bromance , Fade into Darkness , and of course Levels . If you missed out on brief EDC showing or simply want more Avicii, make sure to check out his Le7els Summer Tour with stops in Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Toronto. For tickets, go here.
A staple of the Electric Daisy Carnival, Chuckie didn’t hold anything back as he performed to packed crowd at kineticField on Sunday. Highlights of his set include three separate but equally awesome bootlegs, Swedish House Mafia & Knife Party – Antidote (Chuckie Bumpy Ride EDC Edit), Knife Party – Internet Friends (Chuckie Tetris Rapture EDC Edit), and Wamdue Project – King Of My Castle (Chuckie Mutfakta EDC Edit). Chuckie has kindly given these bootlegs out as a free download via his Souncloud, all of which are linked above. For more information on Chuckie’s upcoming performance, check his tour dates.
Sunday kineticFIELD highlights included Arty, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, and most of all Porter Robinson, who proved with remix after mashup after death-defying drop why he is at the top of his game. David Guetta also threw down a heavily electro-tinged set, including a few new records that leaned more toward the electronic side of things rather than the pop side that has been his main concentration for the last few years. Just before his set, David told us “I’m focusing more on electronic beats both tonight and in my overall production because I’ve done so many crossover records lately. This is a very important show, so I tested some of these records yesterday in Montreal to see what the reaction would be and it was great, so now I think I can play them here.”