I came back from North America’s largest electronic music festival frustrated and inspired. EDC markets itself as a “one of a kind, full entertainment experience”, but from my observation this year, more effort was put into the size of the stages and the number of lights, and less on booking innovative, forward-thinking artists. The first strange call by EDC, was booking Michael Woods first on the main stage, from 7:00-7:30pm. Festival goers were not able to enter the festival until a little after 7, so everyone missed most of Woods’ set. With huge tracks such as “I Said (Michael Woods Remix)” and “Oyster (Michael Woods Remix)”, I was disappointed to see him placed at the very start of Day One.
After wandering around the grounds, my wonderful crew and I got to the main stage early to see Hardwell (Knife Party was playing right after). After listening through his set, I noted a bland delivery and songs with such similar drops, some of them sounded almost identical. The crowd enjoyed it, but the set was incredibly underwhelming in my opinion, a big step down from the sets I saw last year at EDC Las Vegas. One of the most anticipated artists of the festival this year, Knife Party played next, and I was so hyped to see what they came up with. Unfortunately, it appeared that Knife Party didn’t plan their set out at all, with several sloppy mixes and an overall presentation that was forgettable. Big letdown..I do have faith that they just had a bad night and will arrive at Paradiso Festival this weekend with a stellar set.
Just when my buddies and I were getting pissed about the mediocre sets we were experiencing, Afrojack takes the stage. Last year I had crazy memories of Afrojack’s 2 sets; I was in an elevated state and imagined Afrojack’s set killing audiences and opening up another reality. Ha. Now in 2012, he showed why he’s one of the top DJ’s on the lineup. An epic intro teased the crowd with bits and pieces of his biggest tracks, and from there out, we were hit hard. A solid vision held the set together, with productions that came through fuller than many of the other artists performing on the main stage. One small note to MC’s and DJ’s, talk less, your music speaks loudly on its own. After he finished, many of my frustrations from Day One subsided, Afrojack had delivered. I didn’t feel like I was going broke on this festival for nothing.
On Day Two, I caught Digitalism’s DJ set. Had a distinct groove throughout, and I was refreshed to hear something different. The most memorable performance though was hands down, FEED ME. The stage set-up featured his trademark “teeth” rig, which lit up in perfect sync with his thrilling productions. The crowd was rabid during “One Click Headshot”..I had fingers guns pointed at me from all directions, with friends screaming the words “..I mean my heart’s beating, my heart’s beating My hands are shaking, my hands are shaking but I’m still shooting, and I’m still getting the headshots. It’s like BOOM headshot, BOOM headshot BOOM HEADSHOT!”. Fucking cheers to Feed Me, you were everything I hoped you would be and so much more!
An epic bummer for Day Two happened when all the music in the festival suddenly stopped. We soon found out that because of high winds, the stages were shut down for fan safety. Due to this event, I missed Richie Hawtin, and was very sad. Part of me understands the dangers of stages collapsing, people have died in the past. But this is the biggest electronic festival around, generating millions of dollars, and they can’t invest more in securing their stages? After standing around for a while, wondering if the music would come back on, one set of Funktion-One speakers turned on. A massive crowd was treated to a spacey, dubbed out set from a mysterious DJ, it was quite magical.
The energy on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Day Three was electric to say the least. After losing half a night of the festival, everyone seemed ready to go out with a bang. No one solidified this idea more powerfully than Porter Robinson, who played from 3:00-4:00am. This 19 year old spanked so many DJ’s on this years lineup with ease. The visuals were some of the raddest, most trippy displays I’ve ever seen, and he played a staggering number of genres (including 2 hardstyle influenced tracks). He had the crowd entranced, and confidently delivered a godly set. Porter Robinson is what an event like EDC is all about, and I just wished I saw such effort from more of the other performers.
Huge numbers of fans spent every cent they had to attend this festival (like my friends and I), and they deserve to have something innovative and utterly mind-blowing. The lowest point of EDC Las Vegas was the Q-dance hardstyle stage. Complete joke. EDC invested so much into that stage, giving it a monstrous look, and had DJ’s play some of the most under-produced, shitty dance music I’ve ever heard.
I normally spend my time writing about things I like on Disco Droppings, but was so shocked by some elements of EDC Las Vegas 2012, and felt someone should present some constructive criticism. I also wanted to congratulate those who brought their A game. If you have the cash and want to do something nuts this August, head down to LA for HARD Summer, the lineup is everything EDC Las Vegas failed to deliver.
- Jimi Jaxon