Electric Zoo 2011 Roundup!
Well, it was that time of year again. I’m talking about New York’s own, major electronic music festival, the EDC of the East: Electric Zoo. Yes, it took me this long to finally get around to writing about it because I’ve been recovering. Let’s just say three days is a long time to be raging, and I barely made it through. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, my Days 2 and 3 were cut short, therefore this write-up isn’t exactly complete, as in honest to who, in my opinion were the best performers simply because I could not see nearly all of them. From what I did see however, EZOO was back, bigger, and better than ever. From the organization of the actual event (remember those terrible bus lines last year?), to the actual acts, the Zoo fucking brought it. My Day 1 started off strong, arriving just in time to catch some of Bart B More’s set. This Dutch kid didn’t care that his was spinning for a meager crowd, he still gave us plenty of bass to soak up. He dropped his popular tunes like Listen to This with Harvard Bass and also featured some of his new tracks off of his and Harvard Bass’ upcoming EP, The Ones, dropping next week.
Next, I was excited to see Feed Me, but after a few minutes I grew bored and headed over to the Main Stage to catch Rusko. Rusko churned out much of the same that he did for IDentity Festival last month, but I still enjoyed it. Afterwards I mulled around the crowds and grass areas, enjoying watching all drugged out ravers and bridge and tunnel bros dance like retards (not saying I wasn’t either, the dancing part I mean). I thought I’d check out SebastiAn since I am in love with his remix of the Kills’ Cheep & Cheerful. Unfortunately, he mostly just stood there with a cigarette in his mouth and doing some weird shit with one of his arms in the air. No SebastiAn, I will not bow down or salute you unless you deserve it. I then went “set surfing” as I like to call it because so many acts I wanted to see were playing at the same time. As the sun set, I headed once again back to the main stage to electronic super legend, Moby. Wow is all I gotta say. I had no idea Moby went that hard. Let’s be real, when I picture Moby all I see is his calm facial expression, his lack of any facial hair, and those glasses; oh and also Porcelain is playing in my head. But then when you think about, Moby has been making electronic music since I was born, changing, improving, and adapting his style to current tastes and such. I didn’t really recognize any of the songs, but he did play tracks by some today’s big names like Avicii, AC Slater, Tommy Trash, and Afrojack. I was sad to leave his set early, but the festival must go on.
I scurried off to MSTRKRFT next, oh my god, they popped shit off. Although I can’t really tell you what the fuck they played, I can assure you it was banging in there. The lights and visuals inside Hilltop Arena were insane, like for much the festival, and they were as much of a part of the experience as the acts themselves. After that, I headed over to the Red Bull Riverside tent, where Martin Solveig was scheduled to play, but he was ill so Dirty South picked up slack. I dunno if I can say that I was happy or upset about this because quite frankly I don’t know if Martin could have thrown down as hard as Dirty South did. Anyways, at this rate I’ll be going on for pages, so I’ll skip ahead to Tiesto. Here’s the deal, I don’t really like Tiesto very much as of recently, but I think he just renewed my faith in him after his set. He just kept bringing it, with really unique song choices, like one of my favorites of the night, Futurecop!’s remix of The Naked and Famous’ Young Blood and opening with the awesome Las Vegas and an Imogen Heap remix.
Then there was Saturday…I got there at around 12 pm and left around 3 pm. That’s all I can say. Disappointing and unimaginable I know, but it is what it is. After the fact, I was really only upset that I missed my boy, Skrillex. In those three hours I managed to catch SBTRKT, and Daedelus. I was really excited for SBTRKT and disappointed at the amount of love, or lack thereof the early-bird crowd was giving him. His set was really British, pretty funky, and of course he was rocking the tribal mask. Afterwards, I went to Daedelus which was dead. I mean, I love Daedelus, but not midday when I’m trying to rage.
Finally, Day 3, I was back and ready to make up for what I had I missed the day before. I’ll just give you the quick minutes, because this has already been more extensive that I had planned. Calvin Harris was the first act I was really excited for, but to be honest he’s not the best technical DJ, so I was really just excited to hear him play his own songs. The act that was on right before me was the one that impressed me, John Dahlback. The part that didn’t impress me is that he ran 15 minutes over time and Calvin himself had to give him the signal. The other acts I enjoyed that day included Fake Blood and Jack Beats, who played my favorite La Roux remix of I’m Not Your Toy. Infected Mushroom looked awesome from afar, as I had to sit out most the nighttime acts because I was just incredibly beat.
Overall, Electric Zoo’s third year was a success. I feel like they are still finding their feet as NEw York’s premier EDM music festival, but I’m excited for what the future holds. I feel like next year they’ll have a l0t of unique names like the ones I saw this year. Here’s to booking some of my experimental favorites like James Blake, Hudson Mohawke, Nosaj Thing!
Over the three days, the songs that I heard the most were Avicii’s Levels, James Blake’s Limit to Your Love, weirdly, Benny Benassi’s old-ish remix of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ Otherside, and Martin Solveig’s summer anthem, Hello (nothing can beat Swedish House Mafia’s One though, that’s a fact).