REVIEW | ELECTRIC ZOO DAY 1 w/ sets & interviews

By Ravi in Dance Music, Glow Washington DC, Show Reviews
Saturday, September 11, 2010, 4:50pm. (Updated: 10/24/13 at 10:06pm) Add comments

Review by Ravi Bayanker | Photos by Jacqui Palumbo

you can find all the pictures from Electric Zoo Day 1 and 2 at Glow Washington DC on Facebook

Driving into Manhattan and seeing the outline of skyscrapers in the distance will give anyone goose bumps, no matter how many times they’ve done it. Photos can’t capture the feeling of seeing everything from the Upper West Side all the way down to the Financial District in one view. There’s nothing like it. The magic, hype, build up and prestige surrounding Electric Zoo 2010 was surreal.

The excitement grew exponentially in the months leading up to the east coast’s largest outdoor dance music festival. As Made Event slowly leaked name after name, online forums buzzed, music publications scrambled to get the scoop and electronic dance music fans across the country waited to see who the next name added to the line up would be. When all was said and done, some 70+ DJs including 1/5 of the DJ Mag Top 100 (five of the top 10) were on the billing.

Whether you drove, took a cab, bus or the ferry to Randall’s Island, once you arrived you were in a world completely separated from anything remotely normal. Riding in on Day 1, seeing the tents from a distance, hearing the bass thump as you waited to get in, it was the definition of boiling point. Yet the temperature continued to rise.

The Red Bull Arena was reserved for dubstep, electro, chill-out and for lack of a better term, ‘hipster’ house. Guys like Erol Alken, Rusko, Fake Blood, Diplo, Pretty Lights and Bassnectar (who received the best reviews) highlighted this tent. Unfortunately, our interview schedule and desire to see our friends spin prevented us from experiencing too much of the Red Bull tent. Although on Jon Deke’s recommendation, we did happen to catch some of Fake Blood’s set and were rather intrigued.

The Sunday School Grove was techno. Plain and Simple. There were no lush chords or progressive melodies here; just thundering bass lines and EDM stripped to the bare essentials. Boasting a stage adorned with trees, ivy, boulders, and two roughly cut, primitive tables for the DJs, the Sunday School Grove brought about an organic, hedonistic, native atmosphere. Glow arrived roughly ten minutes into Bullitt Bookings artist Joris Voorn’s set. Although scheduled in the noon time-slot, the Dutch techno/tech-house maestro had a rather large crowd before him. His swinging style of funky tech set the tone for the entire day. When all was said and done 11 hours later, people were still talking about how great Joris was. Although we weren’t on his schedule, he was more than happy to spend a few minutes chatting.

Other highlights from Day 1 at the Sunday School Grove included Detroit native and head of Dirtybird Claude von Stroke, who’s infamous ‘Who’s Afraid of Detroit,’ caused mayhem; also throwing down one of the most talked about sets of the day was Paco Osuna. Even fans who swear by uplifting trance could not stop talking about Paco’s bang out performance.

The Sunday School Day 1 headliner was the infamous head of M-nus, DJ Mag #28 Richie Hawtin. His headlining set last year at Electric Zoo was one of the best of both days and this year was no different. His skills with Traktor Scratch Pro are unmatched. There is no one better at utilizing DJ software than Richie. He runs four tracks at once and manipulates effects like a Japanese chef preparing blowfish. His set was supposed to be from 8:45-10:15. He spun ‘til 11!!! He doesn’t come to DC often and we jumped at the opportunity to see as much of Richie’s set as we could. It was at the same time as Axwell… but we’ve got Axwell at Fur on Thanksgiving Eve!!!

If any stage captured the essence of Club Glow, it was the Hilltop Arena on Day 1. Seven of the eight DJs have spun Glow within the last year. Comprised of the best in trance and house, the Hilltop, many might argue, was more popular than the main stage throughout the weekend.

Taking over at 12:30 was DJ Mag #9 Gareth Emery (at Fur Saturday October 9). Even though he spun for just over an hour (ending at 1:50) his set was without question the most talked about set of the day amongst trance fans. To play so early and to bang out so hard… Gareth, like Joris, helped set the overall tone of Electric Zoo 2010. Highlights included ‘On a Metropolis Day,’ Gareth Emery vs. Motorcycle – As the Exposure Comes (Gareth Emery Mashup), Nenes & Pascal Feliz – Platinum (Ben Gold Remix) and Dustin Zahn – Stranger to Stablility (Len Faki Podium Mix).

Not many artists could follow a bang-out set by a top 10 DJ… unless of course they’re in the top 10 themselves!! Taking the decks after Gareth Emery was one of DC’s favorites, DJ Mag #8 Markus Schulz (this December at Glow). Prior to his set at Electric Zoo he was gracious enough to sit down with Club Glow and chat about everything from music festivals and trance in the US, to his appreciation of DC fans, and his ridiculous 2006 remix of ‘Your Loving Arms,’ (which he made specifically for the sound system at Space). Markus is a class act all the way. His set was all substance, no fluff. He is friendly, humble, and truly grateful for his success. At the end of the day all he really wants to do is crank up the volume and destroy dance floors (much to the dismay of sound tech’s everywhere!). Highlights of his set included opening with Moguai – Oyster (Michael Woods Remix), PvD f/ Hemstock & Jennings – Nothing But You (Super8 & Tab Remix), Markus Schulz f/ Justine Suissa – Perception (Super8 & Tab Remix) and Markus Schulz f/ Dauby – Perfect (Agnelli & Nelson Remix/Markus Schulz Big Room Reconstruction). Once again, we cannot say enough about Markus’ class, style, friendly demeanor and amazing artistic prowess. He is without question in a class by himself.

As Markus finished, Afrojack prepared to slay Electric Zoo with his wildly appealing brand of Dutch house. As he took over he grabbed the mic and announced to the crowd “I’m glad you guys like trance, but I don’t play that shit!!” He wasn’t hating. He was just letting everyone know what time it was. As people flocked to the Hilltop, Nick banged out with ‘Bangduck.’ His set was exactly what the people wanted… primarily his productions and remixes, tons of mash ups, and insane energy!! We don’t need to tell you guys how great it was, DC had him the Thursday before the festival!!

As we made our way over to the Main Stage for ATB (whom we had interviewed a couple hours earlier) and Dirty South (whom we interviewed a couple hours later), we nearly got caught in the stampede! As word spread that ATB had taken the Main Stage, herds of people began sprinting across the grounds. It was like something out of Planet Earth! The highlight of ATB’s set was easily the moment he cut the music and dropped Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name Of. That in itself was tight, but hearing Andre’s German accent shouting, “And ya do what they told ya!!!!” over and over… that really showed the kind of energy Electric Zoo elicits from its performers.

Dirty South’s Main Stage performance (at Lima this November) exceeded all expectations, which is just the way he likes it. We discovered in our interview that Dragan prefers to keep the hype around him at a minimum, that way no one expects too much. Although… after that remix of Sweet Disposition and the release of Phazing, we’re not too sure he can ever calm the storm! Besides, when you’re DJ Mag #59 and your best friends are Swedish House Mafia, there’s nothing low key about you!! His set was ridiculous and included a Sweet Disposition a capella to start things off. He dropped Luke’s ‘My GOD,’ ‘Conscindo,’ Tiesto’s remix of ‘Phazing,’ ‘Where’s Your Head At,’ MANDY and Booka Shade’s ‘Body Language,’ and a ridic mash up of ‘Let it Go’ with Steve Angello’s latest production ‘Knas.’ One person in the crowd was like, “Yo!! Who is this guy??!?! He’s dirty!!!” We couldn’t make this up… When he found out the DJ’s name was Dirty South… lol. Gotta love the characters you meet at festivals.

From the Main Stage we made our way back across the field, past the food vendors, through all the freaky freakies, past the giant statue, around the lines at the water fountains and back to the Hilltop Arena to witness the triple threat of Chuckie, Kaskade (November 27 at Fur) and Axwell (November 24 at Fur).

If you remember the energy Chuckie brought to Lima… multiply it by about 100. With a stage that large, massive LED’s behind him, and thousands of people packed into that tent… WHOA!! He looked like a bobble head he was shaking so much!! Chuckie is just as entertaining to watch as he is to listen to. He banged out with Dirty Dutch using tracks like Chuckie & LMFAO – I’m DJ Chuckie Bitch (Edit), Chris Kaeser – Who’s In the House (Chuckie Remix) and a triple mash up of Lil Jon vs. [Robin S vs. Steve Angello] vs. David Guetta. It was a brilliant display of technically sound DJing and completely insane! We’re pretty sure we even heard the a capella from Modjo – Lady in there somewhere!! The best part of his set was when he got the entire crowd to crouch to their knees then explode into the air, wildly pumping their fists. That happened twice!!!

Due to our interview schedule, we were only able to catch the end of Kaskade’s set. From what everyone was saying, Ryan was off the charts!! Thank god Sirius XM was there to record every set!! Kaskade’s set culminated (as we got there) with a mash up of Wolfgang Gartner – Undertaker vs. Kaskade – Steppin’ Out and then he blended Tristan Garner & Gregori Klosman – Fuckin Down and Steve Angello – Knas. ‘Knas’ will be everywhere in the coming months.

Club Glow ended the first day at Electric Zoo running back and forth between Richie Hawtin and Axwell. It’s always a tough decision when you’ve got two amazing DJs spinning at the same time. Luckily, Hilltop and Sunday School were right next to each other, and thank God Moutso booked Axwell at Fur for Thanksgiving!!! And speaking of… Axwell came out of the gates with Marco V – Reaver (Save the Robot Remix). He then grabbed the microphone and gave some background on how everything for him started in NY. He then proceeded to craft a set marked by all the new SHM hotness mashed up with everything from Daft Punk to Supermode and Bittersweet Symphony. We caught a glimpse of Dirty South backstage and low and behold, the two closed things out together with their remix of Sweet Disposition. They really do love that song!!! So do we.

11 hours after we had arrived on Randall’s Island, Day 1 of Electric Zoo had finished. We caught a couple DJs we’d never seen, saw a ton of our friends spin, got five great interviews, found out we lost the audio on one (sorry Markus!!) and regretted not bringing ear plugs and a dust mask!! Our photographer Jacqui took some amazing shots!! There’s no question, the best part of Electric Zoo Day 1 was the people. No doubt about it. It’s the people, their attitudes and the positive energy they exude which makes a festival truly great. Everyone that was there on Saturday should be proud of themselves for contributing to the furtherance of electronic dance music. That goes for the DJs as well. A smile and some fist pumps go a long way!! After getting back to the apartment, leaving our filthy shoes outside and taking a nice warm shower, Glow was ready for some much-needed sleep. Day 2 would prove to be even bigger!

3 Responses to “REVIEW | ELECTRIC ZOO DAY 1 w/ sets & interviews”

Pingbacks (3)
  1. […] Get ready DC Nightlife!!! DJ Magazine #9 Gareth Emery has had a crazy 2010. He runs one of the best podcasts around, did multiple world tours, found the time to drop his debut artist album, and completely ripped Electric Zoo apart!! […]

  2. […] We attended both days of the first and second Electric Zoos. A word to the wise… the line up will be ridiculous, the ticket prices will rise and you will no doubt want to go. So do yourself a favor and take advantage of this deal while you can. Tweet […]

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