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Electric Daisy Carnival - Las Vegas 2011 Festival Review (2 of 2)


EDC - Vegas 2011 Firworks Display

Here is the second individual festival review for EDC Las Vegas 2011. This is Empy’s experience:


EDC - Vegas Attraction

Overall, Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas 2011 was an amazing, wonderful, and ultimately euphoric experience. The lines were organized and well handled, security was plentiful and friendly, the stages had great sound, lights, and crowd control, the bathrooms weren’t awful, and most importantly, I never felt like I was stuck in an endless sea of people - I was always able to find a nice open spot when I needed to rest.

My EDC started friday at noon. My 110 track playlist was ready for the drive; Nero - Promises was the first track to play. With 265 miles to go, I was ready! As the freeways started to converge onto the 15, I began seeing cars painted with “Going to EDC!” and seeing kandi passengers. I made a connection with 15 or 20 cars and their passengers during the first three hours of the drive. Once the traffic kicked in, people fell alseep, and the excitement went into hibernation, but there was definitely an energy in the traffic. Even moreso, the last three or four miles of the 15 were just packed with car after car of loud music, scantily clad inhabitants, and excited individuals.

My ears still burn a week later, even having worn earplugs the entire time. The music was loud and wonderful (my car has been quiet for the past week and a half). The fireworks this past fourth of July paled in comparison to the spectacle that occured every 2AM. Going back to work, I get disillusioned at the cookie cutter clothes that normal society wears; I miss the exciting outfits and camaraderic smiles.

Did I forget to mention Vegas? World class DJs graced the night and day clubs, for those who could still stand after the festival concluded. I decided to take my few waking day hours to tour the strip, this having been my first visit.

Roni Size
Wolfgang Gartner
Steve Angello
Sub Focus
Steve Aoki

The first stage we walked up to had Roni Size tearing it up with some classic 2002-2007 drum and bass. Roni Size is a legend and he started the festival off with a bang (which by 5am, certainly took its toll). We poked our heads into the start of Wolfgang Gartner‘s set after hearing an excited group rush over proclaiming “Wolfgang’s set is going to be epic!” We decided to head over to the Cosmic

EDC - Vegas Full LED Suit

Meadow after hearing his three most overplayed tracks. We were waiting for Royksopp, the Norwegian contempory electronic group. They’re definitely on the mellower side of electronic music and we thought their show would be a great opportunity to recover from Roni Size (hey! Drum and Bass is fast! Dancing at 180 bpm is exhausting!). I really enjoyed their first album when it came out almost a decade ago and kind of lost track of them since. Their show was wonderful and goofy. They came out wearing trashbags over their head and the percussionist seemed to always change into a goofy helmet or jacket. The last 15 minutes of their show seemed to be a neat electronic jam. Best of all, we had no problem getting right up to the front (take that friend of mine who was 300 feet away when they played in Hollywood!).

I wanted to see Calvin Harris, but having never seen Tiesto (his popularity was the deciding factor), we went to Tiesto‘s headlining show. He started out fairly strong with some great progressive and electro house. Then the exhaustion kicked in and his sound became fairly repetitive. Steve Angello had one of my favorite sets at Coachella 2011, so we waited around for him. We managed to sneak right up to the front fence for his set, but his first 30 minutes also ended up being familiar and repetitive. A break was in order! We filled up our water, hit the restrooms, and headed towards the cool rest areas. Not as AC’ed as we would have liked, but our feet enjoyed the break. Next, we cruised over to Steve Aoki to luckily run into him playing his new single with Afrojack, No Beef (amazing electro tune that’s taken them over a year to release!). As 4AM rolled around, we headed back to the Basspod to Dieselboy tearing it up! I had a blast running around raving to Marky, and as much as I love TC, my exhausted group was ready to go. As I’m driving back, the sun crested over the mountains, bringing in the new day, and ending the first of three amazing nights.

Martin Solveig
Empire of the Sun

On Saturday, we rushed back to the speedway after a quick trip to the strip and only a few sunlit hours awake. The lines to get in were a bit longer, but certainly better managed than Friday. Our first stop was the already crowded Cosmic Meadow. Word must have gotten out about Sweden’s new progressive house star, Alesso. He played an energetic hour, finishing off with his new remix Pressure (which topped at #2 on the beatport download chart). Then we headed over to the main stage to see the man who “just came to say hello,” Martin Solveig. He definitely wanted to be a crowd pleaser, playing all sorts of genres. He opened with his own tracks Ready To Go (a personal favorite), We Came To Smash, and the already pretty old, massively overplayed, Hello. His set continued with crowdpleaser house, some Top 40 pop, and even some dubstep. Hearing Skrillex‘s Reptile was a pleasant surprise and actually fit quite well into his set. As his set winded down, the main stage crowded up and people began cheering the Dirty Dutch wonder, Afrojack.

EDC - Vegas Dancers

Afrojack came out onto the stage (surprisingly not wearing his usual hoodie) and proclaimed he had just arrived via helicopter, erupting the crowd in cheers. He started with his usual Bangduck / Polka Dots intro and play a solid set of “Afrojack Music!” Some of his newer singles, like Doing It Right and Amanda, were surprisingly absent, but he did treat the crowd to a slew of new tracks, including an unknown vocal banger that we hope to see more of in the future. Mid-set, he announces to the crowd, and to all his listeners on Sirius/XM, that his EDC broadcast marks the beginning of a his new partnership with Electric Area on Sirius/XM radio.

The end of an Afrojack set, for me, means that it’s time to rest. We took a ride on the Kinetic Field ferris wheel, visited the misting daisies and the fire breathing metal things, and finished with a stroll through a tunnel of lights. This art stroll put us in the field at the back end of the Cosmic Meadow filled with large insect sculptures that have been around many of the recent festivals (Coachella, Lightning in a Bottle). We laid in the grass, closed our eyes, and listened to the tail end of Empire of the Sun.

Suddenly, “are you f*cking reading Vegas? Where’s my LA crew?!” screamed Chuckie. For the next hour and a half, Chuckie played the hardest hitting electro. Instantly my feet started moving and I magically gained the energy to dance. The crowd was graced with another epic fireworks show partway through the set and we had fun dancing on a circular stage behind the main crowd in the grass. As our feet began cursing us, our eyes refused to stay open, and our ear drums just shut down, we decided to leave. This was almost a tragedy for me, because it marks the third occassion where I run out of steam before getting to see Dada Life. We poked our head in at Skrillex‘s set, but the Neon Garden was packed - we couldn’t even get close enough to hear the speakers clearly. As we leave the speedway and look down upon the venue, it’s clear that he’s come a long way from being completely unknown last October.

Swedish House Mafia
Laidback Luke

Sunday started at 3PM. We didn’t even get to the strip until close to 5 despite wanting to see Avicii at Marquee. Not to worry, we got to the main stage right as Paul Oakenfold finished his set to hear Avicii debut his new monster anthem, unofficially titled “Enough Is Enough (Don’t Give Up On Us).” Avicii is, without a doubt, the new master of vocal, piano, euphoric progressive house. Every track was nothing short of absolutely massive. I kept thinking to myself “where does he find all these amazing tracks?” He doesn’t find them, he makes them. Avicii quickly disappeared after his set, and before I even noticed he was gone, my friend mentions “Hey! It’s Alesso again.” Alesso squeezed in a 30 minute mini-mix between Avicii and the giant Swedish House Mafia. This was truely planned as a Swedish talent takeover. 4 hours, 5 incredible Swedish producers and djs.

We managed to find a great spot along the center railing, stage right, about 50 feet from the stage for our time in the Kinectic Field. And

EDC - Vegas Main Stage

our location certainly paid off when the three white dots appeared. Swedish House Mafia started their set hiding behind a giant white curtain that showcased an intro projection. When the curtain fell, confetti shot up, the crowd went ballistic, and thus began an epic two-hour house journey. The lighting for their performance was easily the most impressive we had seen all weekend. Our highlight of the weekend was, hands-down, no questions asked, when the played the Thomas Gold remix of Lady Gaga’s Judas (yes, I’m serious). An epic display of fireworks had been erupting for over five minutes, and suddenly, the epic synth build up and massive display of lasers, strobes, and smoke, practically took my breath away. To be surrounded on all sides by such sight and sound was an experience I cannot quite explain. Watch this:, and imagine being 250 feet closer (there was plenty of room up there too!). And as “Leave The World Behind” plays and their amazing 2 hour journey comes to a close, another dutch dynamo hits the stage: Laidback Luke. He started with nothing but the best big room electro, quickly mixing from drop to drop. Then he gets a bit wild, throwing in some dubstep, and, to my pleasant surprise, some Dave Nada / Dillon Francis style Moombahton. We decided to let our feet rest right as the end of his set got weird (hip-hop and heavy metal?). As we head back to the Basspod, I hear a familiar rumble: the Flux Pavillion and Doctor P remix of DJ Fresh’s Louder. I immediately bounce at top speed and scream my heart out (this is almost 5AM, mind you). Shimon’s mixing was on point and the bass was pounding. The only thing in the way: the obnoxious MC. The sun finally rises over the mountains and begins to shine while I’m dancing my heart out and consuming every last drop of energy I have to Nu:Tone. His track “Shine In” (“let the lights shine in”) brings in the new day and marks the end of an amazing time in Vegas. Fourteen hours later, I wake up, shower, and drive back to reality.

Check out Kobra’s EDC Vegas 2011 experience here.

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