EDC NY Recap: Day One’s Dance Kaleidoscope Brings Out Garrix, Hardwell, Bassnectar & More

Over the run of the long Memorial Day weekend, New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium was witness to a carnival of pyrotechnics, fuzzy boots, gigantic psychedelic owls, tripped-out clowns, a kaleidoscope of lasers and oh, roughly 100,000 people dancing their chemically-enhanced asses off. What may have seemed to some like the oncoming of neon armageddon was actually the 4th annual EDC NY festival – a bacchanalian celebration of dance music following in the footsteps of its big sister EDC Vegas, the centerpiece of EDM celebration.

It didn’t take any mysterious white powder to tell who the clear standouts were on the talent side, and if EDC were an incarnation of the Olympics, the Dutch would’ve won gold virtually across the board. Massive sets from Tiësto, Hardwell, Armin Van Buuren, Oliver Helden and more repped their homeland in wildly celebrated style. Undeterred, American stalwart Bassnectar, Aussie drumstep duo Knife Party, French trap rapper DJ Snake, German house DJ Dixon and more repped the rest of the globe in celebrated fashion.

Highlights of Day One at EDC NY included a devastating house set from UK bass killer Jack Beats, who followed Martin Solveig’s pristine spot with a determination to break out of the box. Armin van Buuren faced some serious scheduling competition on the circuitGROUNDS stage, but with an ever-increasing BPM rate and a few weirdo tricks up his sleeve (including a strangely awesome remix of John Lennon’s “Imagine”) he managed to outshine Hardwell, Carl Cox and more vying for fan attention.

Gone are the days of rigid genre wars and divisive styles. The boundaries have fully blurred in 2015, and with dubstep weaving through house, hip-hop, trance and beyond, all sound is now fair game as long as the spirit moves the dilated pupils down below. With one exception: nobody needed to hear Krewella’s version of Hozier’s “Take Me to Church”. Seriously. What the hell? They redeemed it with a scream-along version of Blur’s “Song 2,” bringing balance to the weirdo force.

While Hardwell may be considered the top DJ in the world by some notables, undeniably, the Day One MVP at EDC NY was Hardwell’s precursor, Martin Garrix. With cosigns from EDM’s top names, the 20 year-old made a clear case as to why he’s on track to lead the next generation of DJ superstars. Thanks to his omnipresent electro-dance single “Animals” (which has garnered over 500 million YouTube views since being released last June), as well as major mentoring support from Tiësto, the young Garrix is entrenched in the upper echelons of dance music’s most adored figures. He stepped up to the EDC plate in glorious fashion, dropping a handful of unreleased tracks to the maniacally enraptured crowds. The new stuff was fascinatingly more melodic and breezier than his older material, and we’re heavily looking forward to hearing those sounds again.