REVIEW | Electric Zoo Day 2 w/ Sets and Interviews

By Ravi in Glow Washington DC, Show Reviews
Monday, September 13, 2010, 11:43am. (Updated: 10/24/13 at 10:05pm) Add comments

You mean we get to do this all over again??!!? As if one day wasn’t enough, Day 2 of Electric Zoo 2010 would prove to be even more reckless than the first!! Forget taking notes, screw using your laptop (if you want to actually experience any music) and aim your focus on having a blast.

We arrived on Randall’s Island for day 2 of Made Event’s festival with a light interview schedule, which meant it was time to dance! With Cosmic Gate, Avicii, Above & Beyond and Sander van Doorn right in a row at the Hilltop, we carved out some space, sat back, and enjoyed the music. The only problem was that Laidback Luke was on The Main Stage at the same time Avicii was on the Hill!! Decisions, decisions… the hardest part of any festival is choosing between 2 acts. We saw them both!

As we caught the end of D. Ramirez’s (Toolroom) set, we were pleasantly surprised to hear him close with his 2007 hit ‘Columbian Soul’ with Mark Knight. That was the perfect way for us to start the day… an ’07 classic we hadn’t heard out in years!!

Claus and Stefan AKA Nic Chagall and Bossi took to the decks in the Hilltop tent at 130. For an hour and a half they dazzled us with gorgeous vocals, lush synths, and a few of their greatest hits. It was all we could have asked for and more. Their antics, included dancing, tipping their Heinekins to the crowd and of course, returning the beach balls every time they landed on stage!! Nothing says Electric Zoo like DJ Bossi batting an oversized beach ball into the audience!! Their set was highlighted by ‘Man on the Run,’ ‘Barra,’ ‘100,’ and a tracks by up and coming producer Arty. Of course, nothing could hold a candle to when they dropped Fire Wire and Exploration of Space 2010 back to back to close things out. WOW!!! That pretty much made our day right there, after one act!! Being the troopers Cosmic Gate are, they had their luggage packed and waiting backstage. As soon as they finished their set it was off to the airport to catch a flight to Texas for Nocturnal. Now THAT, is dedication!

While CG was pounding the crowd with Exploration of Space, Tim Bergling AKA Avicii quietly made his way on stage and began setting up. Nic and Bossi took a moment to introduce themselves to the young Swedish upstart and then brought him up to the decks. The initial look on Avicii’s face as he looked out across the thousands upon thousands of fans said it all. It was a smile that said, “Holy Shit!! NY loves ME!!” And love him they did. One fan commented, “Damn, you were right!! Avicii means business!!!” It could not have been easy following Cosmic Gate’s set, yet Avicii came out thundering. He dropped some amazing tracks including Dennis Ferrer – Hey Hey vs. System F & Laidback Luke – Super Hey Hey (Tristan Garner Bootleg), Pocket808 ft. Nathan Hudson vs. Eurythmics – Sweet Ghostship, his track Alcoholic, and a host of others.

About halfway through Avicii’s set we sprinted over to the main stage to catch the second half of Laidback Luke’s dynamite set. And when we say dynamite, we’re talking giant explosions, bro. Definitely one of the best sets of the weekend. Luke really banged out. He spun everything under the sun, house, electro, big room beats and he mixed the hip-hop element better than anyone that day or in general for that matter. He blended ‘Café del Mar’ with ‘Heartbreaker,’ dropped ‘Pump up the Jam,’ killed it with the Wolfgang Gartner edit of his Nas – Made You Look bootleg, it was unbelievable. Laidback Luke truly is one of the most unique, mass appealing, utterly dirty DJs in the world! He even had John Mendelsohn perform ‘Till Tonight’ live!! It’s almost as if words can’t capture the moment, but that’s ok, we’ve got his set right here!!

On our way back over to catch Above & Beyond, we were stopped dead in our tracks as Moby took over for Laidback Luke. We weren’t really sure what to expect from Moby, as he sometimes performs live, sometimes DJs and has close to 30 years worth of music under his belt. Well, for the record… Moby banged out with fury!! When we came back to interview Avicii, he was just finishing up and had the crowd going completely insane! (we were also stopped in our tracks by this motley crew, lol… the people at the Zoo were awesome!! Nothing says EDM like sugar coated candy all-stars!!)

The photos tell the story of Above & Beyond. Their ‘trance in your pants’ style was exactly what you would expect from the boys of A&B (Tony and Paavo – the day we see all 3 in the same room is the day we drop down and thank the Lord); airy trance, some vocals, big hits, etc. Their opening track, Mat Zo’s ‘A Thing Called Love,’ was amazing!! They also spun a track by DC’s prodigal son, Breakfast!! The true litmus test for most acts throughout the weekend was how much dirt the crowd could kick up while dancing. Let’s just say that about 20 minutes into Above & Beyond’s set, the bandanas and surgical masks came out!! Unfortunately we could only find about 30 mintues of their set on Sirius XM. If anyone has it in its entirety please let us know!

From Above & Beyond right into Sander van Doorn. Wow! Made Event certainly outdid themselves with the Hilltop Arena line up on both days!! Sander probably received more positive reviews than any trance DJ on Day 2. But hey, this is Sander van Doorn we’re talking about!! Being that he just released his Dusk Til Doorn mix series, we’re not surprised. Sander was on fire the entire time. It was that hard, techier style of trance that made him famous. There was not one dull moment and of course, that smile never left his face!! He spun hard, strong, fast and relentless. He spun as Sander van Doorn should!!! We can’t say enough about the musical prowess of SvD!

As Sander closed things out, we received the text of all texts. “Come to the Media Tent NOW for your Armin van Buuren interview.” Excited? Of course. Nervous? Not really. Goosebumps? You bet your fucking ass!!

While waiting to speak with Armin (who had caused quite a ruckus simply by walking from doing autographs over to Sirius XM for an interview, we were lucky enough to catch the last half hour of DJ Mag #68 Boys Noize. His fusion of techno, electro and house was more than enjoyable. Between him and Moby, they were easily the surprise sets of the weekend for us.

By all accounts, Fedde Le Grand was unbelievable. Glow was backstage in the artist VIP area waiting to interview Armin, so we missed a large chunk of Fedde’s set ☹ Judging by his track list and fan comments, we can easily see why he was a crowd favorite. He mashed up Walking on a Dream with Amplifier, dropped Funkerman’s 2010 bootleg of Red Hot Chili Peppers – Otherside, and closed with Laidback Luke’s bootleg of Kernkraft 400.

And now… #1 DJ in the world three years running, Armin van Buuren. Let’s be honest, do you really need to ask how Armin was? We met some girls from Syracuse University who are used to hearing Benassi and Guetta. They were experiencing their first EDM event of any kind… and they thought Armin was the best!! That’s the sort of power that trance has when in the hands of AvB. He can show anyone the light. Trance purists were under the assumption that Armin would play nothing but tracks from his new album, vocal mainstream ‘cheese’ as they call it. They couldn’t have been further from the truth. All we had to do was consult the local NY talent.

“Absolute highlight of the day. I didn’t have huge expectations but they were really blown away. I’ve seen him a good 9 times or so and this probably has to be my favorite. Within 30 minutes of his intro, he was already (at) 141BPM. That’s what I call a trance set. Minus 2 or 3 commercial tracks, his set was full of energy and very forward-thinking .” – DJ Eco

“Duuude, best Armin set in a while. I thought it was gonna be a whole lot of vocal stuff. But then he kept on nailing these instrumentals!” – Mike Saint-Jules

Coming from those two, who have both spun at Glow, should tell you something… Armin had it, still has it, and never lost it. Anyone who thinks otherwise is… um… wrong. Our personal highlights of his set included Armin van Buuren vs. Ferry Corsten – Minack, Gareth Emery ft. Lucy Saunders -Sanctuary (Sean Tyas Remix), Nenes & Pascal Feliz – Platinum (Ben Gold Remix) and Push – Universal Nation.

After two days, 70+ DJs and a ton of dust in our lungs, Electric Zoo was over. How does one summarize something like that? Set reviews, track lists and photos are all good and well, but how does one capture the essence of a music display of this magnitude. The answer is simple, you can’t. The only way to truly experience Electric Zoo is to be there next year, where there’s no doubt in it’s third year it will be bigger, better and improved in every area. We take our hats off to Mike and Laura of Made event and Betty and Nikola at Plexi PR for pulling off this truly amazing experience. See you guys next year!!

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