The EDC Headliners This Year Are Terrible
Big isn't always better. The fourth installment of Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas was expected to draw 140,000 people last night. And that's just day one of three.
The challenge facing its L.A.-based promoter, Insomniac, is how to balance the largesse of what has now become radio pop, with electronic dance music's underground roots.
In order to live so large, with one of the biggest festival stages in North America, the music has to be over-the-top. We're talking Steve Angello, Armin van Buuren, Martin Garrix, Hardwell, Afrojack. Unfortunately this is often ...
... just horrific music.
It's just the most base, push-button, finger-in-the-air tripe. What's worse, a lot of the main-stage acts you'll hear at contemporary EDM festivals try to pass themselves off as house DJs, which is an insult to house music.
With endless build-ups and temple-piercing synths, this bro-raver tunage is really just warmed-over trance with radio-friendly vocals.
Dennis Romero The good news is that we spotted ravers streaming away from the stages when both Hardwell and Martin Garrix were playing. (By the way, of all the DJs who would make you want to have your ears filled with cement, Garrix is the one.)
There was plenty of solid, soulful dance music to be had and, despite the ultra-young demographic, the ravers were having it. Booka Shade electrified with a live set that included electronic drums. Luciano rode some seriously thick grooves.
Dubfire lived up to his name and played a smoldering, minimal take on Janet Jackson's "Go Deep." ("We be up all night. Until the early light. We go deep. And we don't get no sleep.")
Diplo was the star of the first night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this year. The L.A.-based cut-and-paste artist dazzled with his blend of hip-hop, bass, and ragga influences. Ice Cube's "Check Yo Self" even made an appearance.