By: Terrance Pryor
"Weak line up. I dont care if the unknown DJs on the line up are decent or great. I paid to see TOP DJS/ World's best DJs, not DJs trying to make a name for themselves.... You guys fucked us over real good."
"Who are all these B and C list line-up? Where's all the A-listers???!!!"
"I'm glad Afro is gonna be there to attract all the kids to his stage, so I have room to rock out with some real djs."
Those were some of the unflattering comments posted on the Electric Daisy Carnival's Facebook page when they finally revealed the New York lineup in early April. Last year's EDC debut in the NY/NJ area didn't suffer the same kind of backlash; it managed to sell out in three hours, which resulted in an additional third date. This year, however, was full of fans fuming mad because the lineup wasn't as packed like the Electric Zoo Festival, a NYC-based electronic music festival celebrating its 5th year anniversary. The lack of, no offense to those named, radio-friendly acts like David Guetta, Avicii and Krewella obviously brought some heated words from both sides of the fence.
While Saturday's lineup featured some amazing talent (Seven Lions, Rebecca & Fiona, The Bloody Beetroots) and the legendary Carl Cox, Friday's lineup wasn't anything to scoff at with acts like Richie Hawtin, Steve Angello and ATB holding it down. The carnival aspect of EDC was very prominent with a handful of amusement rides present including a monstrous Ferris wheel. Numerous costumed characters were scattered around Citi Field, making for some eye-popping moments. Speaking of eye-popping, there was enough eye candy, mainly from the ladies, to go around which could have been an accidental distraction at times. There weren't any unnecessary catcalls or inappropriate behavior, though. Everybody was respectful to one another and very cheerful. Unlike a recent show that I attended, security was very friendly towards the animated crowd of mostly 20-something year olds. I even saw some security trade Kandi bracelets with several people.
Unfortunately, the Wide Awake Art Car didn't draw the same type of crowds like the other stages. That didn't discourage any of the DJs from spinning the tunes to make the people groove. The stage, which looked like an old horse carriage filled with dancers, was properly placed between the Neon Garden and Bass Pod stages to give passersby a quick shot of some new talent. My time spent at the stage was enriched by NY/ LA DJ Kromo and LA DJ Burn Unit. Kromo kept the party going with some house flavor while Burn Unit concocted a palatable mix of multiple genres with some Dr. Dre and Craig David remixes thrown in for good measure.
UK producer Wilkinson was pretty silent during his set at the Bass Pod stage,2 but a certain zestful fellow with a microphone kept things in line. The unnamed individual, who practically hung out by the Bass Pod stage all day, felt more like a hypeman with random raps over "the sounds of the Wilkinson" and leaping across stage speakers. A group of ladies dressed in pink Harley Quinn outfits capped off Wilkinson's set but it was the microphone wielding gentleman who really hit it home about the impact of EDC: "Hip hop. Rock. Drum and bass. I don't give a fuck what you listen to. We are unified right here right now."
"My name is 12th Planet. Happy raging, bitches." Just like that, California dubstep maestro 12th Planet sent the already hyperactive crowd into full blast. It's no shock that he had one of the biggest crowds on the Bass Pod stage. The dynamic DJ got everyone flowing with energy during cuts like "Burst" and Heroes x Villains' remixes of Major Lazer/Flux Pavilion collaboration "Jah No Partial" and Ace Hood's "Buggati". He also dropped Kennedy Jones's remix of Elvis Crespo's "Suavemente", which got one of the biggest reactions of his set.
"I know you're all fucked. I know." said La Roux vocalist Elly Jackson after opening with "In For The Kill". It's uncertain if the Grammy award-winning band are used to performing in front of drunk college students, but they certainly tried made the best of the situation. The audience seemed almost lifeless during songs like "Fascination" and "Colourless Colour". That didn't phase Elly who hopped around onstage wearing a sleek white trench coat trying to make conversation with the crowd ("There's a lot of neon going on out there"). It wasn't until La Roux ended their set with "Bulletproof" when the entire crowd went chaotic with hands and drinks waving in the air. After confetti burst onto the crowd, you could see Elly laughing to herself possibly startled at how everyone went from 0-60 in a split second.
Another comment on the EDC Facebook page pretty much summed up how I personally felt about the event:
"There's some dope ass talent on this lineup. Everyone shut the fuck up and enjoy the music."