EDC NY Recap: Harris Teases, Prydz Redeems, Knife Party Catches Fire on Day Two
Oh, the many ways an EDC festival tops the standard run of mainstream variety-fests out there. The nation’s most high-profile showcases of big-name dance music and culture, the Electric Daisy Carnival continues its expansion from the Las Vegas centerpiece with its New York incarnation (even though it actually takes place in New Jersey). Now in its fourth year, the carnival of neon insanities has expanded to a jaw-dropping lineup that drew over 100,000 fans to New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium. Decked out in a wild display of stage beauty and incredible light shows, the weekend provided ample escape to all walks of life, and a platform of discovery for countless artists one fan couldn’t possibly know completely on their own.
For the fluent diehards and aficionados, the rabbithole of talent goes to impossibly deep levels, with a wide range of stages offering a staggering variety of hugely respected options. For the less enlightened dabblers, well, frankly the entire experience can feel like waking up in a bass-blasting neon wonderland on acid. Or is that the goal overall? It’s hard to say, given the amount of curated psychedelia in constant play.
While Gina Turner broke up the boys’ club trend of the weekend with wild tribal beats and house on the circuitGROUNDS stage, headliners Knife Party was setting fires on their own – literally. After opening with a maniacally celebrated “Resistance” and leading a crusher set, their accompanying pyrotechnics took on a life of their own and the setup began to burn.
Across the way at circuitGROUNDS, one of the world’s most recognizable names in music Calvin Harris was having fun teasing the crowd. Refusing to play his smash Rihanna collaboration “We Found Love,” he instead flirted with a remix of her new “Bitch Better Have My Money” track. This, of course, was only a snowflake in the adrenaline blizzard of instantly recognizable tracks including ”Sweet Nothing,” “Bounce,” “Summer” and “Feel So Close,” as well as remixes of Capital Cities’ “Safe and Sound” and Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You.”
High respect must be paid to Eric Prydz, who in addition to having the misfortune of scheduling across from Kaskade, faced early technical issues. While the hurdles could have easily sent his entire set off the rails, Prydz leaned into the moment by premiering a brand new song “Generate” (to hysterical enthusiasm), and playing only one previously released track in its original form. The fans ate it up entirely, roaring at the conclusion of each track.
With a little luck and a lot of planning, perhaps Insomnia can move EDC NY to a place actually in New York. Granted, the idea of attending a parking-lot festival called EDC New Jersey is a pretty gross concept (no offense to my former homeland, but the state doesn’t exactly have a warm reputation these days). Even better would be to find a way to put it in a place where pavement isn’t the singular surface throughout the venue, to enable quite a bit more relaxation and calm in the sea of beats. But for now, we’ll take it as it is, because EDC is an experience worth celebrating, no matter where it is.
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