After one of the premier hotel nights and ensuing pool days I can remember, not to mention 80 degrees and sunshine all day, we headed back to the Coliseum and Exposition Center for Round 2 of EDC. While I anticipated a more raucous crowd than the previous night, I truly had no idea what would be waiting in store for Day 2. What I did know was the Kinetic Field would be full of huge trance/techno/house DJs from start to finish, highlighted by Groove Armada, Kaskade and headliner Paul Van Dyk. For those of you reading this that are into electronic music, surely quite a few of you will have had some of your first electronic experiences with the likes of Paul Van Dyk, Crystal Method, Mark Farina and Roger Sanchez (all who also played Saturday night). For others who caught onto electronic sonic hues a little later, Day 2 also boasted Infected Mushroom live, DJ AM, Major Lazer (like whoa!), Diplo (with a special lady friend to be mentioned later) and Simian Mobile Disco, amongst many other performers. If you'd made it through Friday and the controlled chaos that it was, Saturday was taking the leap to the big leagues.
|Electric Daisy Carnival 2009 by Rukes|
You had better come prepared.
Luckily for us, there were only four in my crew, and we maintained a group philosophy throughout the duration of EDC's festivities; a logistical and rational means to a greater end of not getting lost and no one losing their shit. Well thankfully, upon arriving on the Coliseum grounds at about 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, we stayed true to sticking together. Put simply, the place was a mad house on Saturday - exponentially crazier, more intense, more people and more nuttiness that Friday seemed to hold in check. Whereas Friday was making it to first base, Saturday was hitting a Grand Slam. But still, EDC and its inhabitants remained in a controlled frenzy. There weren't cops running around (other than choking out one of about a dozen or so kids we saw sneak in), there weren't teenage kids falling out everywhere and there certainly weren't any problems that any of us saw. For all the negative press "raves" get, this event certainly wasn't on par with any of those expectations. Authority and control were there just enough to keep everyone in check and with ample places to rest your legs, hit the bathrooms and get some alcohol, food and water, and any major fall out was avoided.
Upon entering Day 2 of EDC, we first attempted to wander over to LTJ Bukem - not by my choice. Drum 'n' bass was never my thing and if you throw a MC into the mix, my opinion continues to deteriorate. But alas, we decided to head straight to the Neon Garden for Philly bred DJ AM. I love DJ AM. I loved him before he miraculously survived a small plane crash with Travis Barker of Blink 182 and I love him even more after the set he played at EDC. Whether it was his scorching electro remix of Guns N' Roses' "Paradise City," his remix of Caspa's "Where's My Money" or the endless energy throughout his hour set, DJ AM came with his game face on and left the stage with way more people around then when he started. As the crowd rushed towards the front of the stage, AM's production coupled with the startlingly crisp sound and out-of-this-world visuals were one of the defining moments of the festival. If you don't know DJ AM, well, you probably should.
|Electric Daisy Carnival 2009 by Rukes|
After DJ AM finished making all the young ladies shed whatever clothing they still had on, we headed over to the Kinetic Field for a rather back-in-the-day performance. I had first heard Groove Armada back with "4 Tune Cookie" when I first started seeing Phish in the mid-'90s and it was quite odd but enjoyable to see them perform in front of 50,000 people. Just to sit on the third level of the bleachers towards the back of the stadium and watch as the heaping mass of colors swayed to and fro to some drums-driven electronic was an absolutely amazing sight. It was then that all four of us got the timely opportunity to relax, sit on the bleachers and watch as tens of thousands of people lost their shit to "Get Down." There was something so eerily soothing about that moment, a serene picture with 50,000 people at a heavy electronic show in a massive stadium.
After a short stint at the main stage, we navigated our way through the ever-exploding crowd to what was possibly the most anticipated set of the festival - Major Lazer. Arriving a little early, we had the chance to catch what was the worst DJ name of the weekend, Bass Weazal. Thankfully, a name doesn't necessarily translate into a person or sound. Bass Weazel was actually mastering the increasingly swelling crowd, enticing the audience with a healthy dose of big bass with a slice of grime. Now, I'm not fully convinced I'd go see him in San Francisco, but hey, he was there, so was I, and we worked it out.
|Major Lazer :: EDC 2009 by Sebastian|
Major Lazer just may have stolen the show. The combination of Switch and Diplo together raging a 90-minute set of all sorts of electronic tones, from dubstep to electro to heart-pounding, was a complete mind-wobbling killing. This was one of those festival sets where you don't even care or think about all the other acts that are playing - you tune in and you get down. With a new album out to support, the duo made their way through choice original cuts like "Pon De Dancefloor" and "Hold the Line" while also sifting through their massive catalogues for a delectable taste of Rusko and even threw a little Michael Jackson in there just for fun. Looking around, it was apparent my face wasn't the only one that was blown by Major Lazer. Everywhere you looked there were sweaty faces, ruffled hair, dirty shins and even a little bit of drool. That's how you can tell it was a good festival set. Before leaving for Crystal Method at the Circuit Grounds, we stuck around for Le Castle Vania, another sleeper set of the festival. I didn't know who this guy was but their Daft Punk suite of "Around the World," "Robot Rock" and "Technologic" had everyone freaking out. Or maybe that was all the consumption.
Regardless, the festival was almost over, but not before a quick stop over at the massively loud, color-filled stage of Crystal Method, where everyone seemed to be dancing and partying even harder (I have no idea how that's possible). A quick glance over at Mark Farina was all that was needed before heading over to the man of the night, the Mad Decent man, Diplo. All I will say about his set is this: It was about as heavy, bass-driven and wild as anything I've seen in a while. Even seeing him on New Year's in San Francisco didn't quite compare. Oh yeah, this recently minted mother that goes by the name of M.I.A. made not one but two appearances alongside a guy who's already impressive production credits are just beginning. Dropping "Paper Planes" as M.I.A. made her night-capping appearance, the crowd roared about as loud as it got all weekend, then, as Justice's "Phantom" hit the speakers, Diplo left and other than a few weird minutes of Simian Mobile Disco, our time at the Electric Daisy Carnival was over.
EDC was not only successful at throwing the biggest party I've seen in this country, but also the most well thought-out, put together and executed gathering I've ever experienced. Even if you aren't that into electronic music you would've had quite the time.
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