Festival Focus: Global Dance Festival Colorado
July 20, 2017
July 20, 2017
For only being it’s second year, Phoenix Lights 2016 blew it out of the water. Even prior to the festival, several media outlets were posting articles about the magnitude of this upcoming festival building up the excitement; for example YourEDM proclaimed that, “Phoenix Lights Festival is about to own Arizona’s festival scene.” Day 1 of the festival went off without a hitch, closing out the night with an all the feels set from dance music legend Kaskade.
As a basshead, YES OF COURSE I was excited for day 1 of Phoenix Lights, but nothing compared to day 2! Getting into the festival MUCH earlier than the first time around, day 2 started off with hometown heroes, and most definitely both a DJ to Watch: DREZO, followed by Ghastly aboard the Mothership. Drezo got the crowd jumping and packed out the Mothership with a beautiful turnt up mainstage crowd ready for Ghastly by the time it was 5:30pm.
Day 2 of Phoenix Lights took us completely out of this world, with a bass heavy lineup full of DJs who were ready to Rock The Party. There were many highlights of Ghastly’s set, including how he began it ever so perfectly with a remix of System Of A Down’s B.Y.O.B.: “Everybody’s going to the party, have a real good time. Dancing in the desert, blowing up the sunshine.”
With quite possibly one of the cutest moments in EDM, Ghastly brought his adorable 6-year-old nephew on stage for “his first festival ever,” and gave him a once in a lifetime experience he’ll surely never forget! Lifting up the young boy so that he is now standing on the DJ booth, Ghastly shares a real moment with everyone, asking the crowd to say, “Hi Cruz!” to the mini Ghastly ghoul. The crowd enthusiastically obliges to which Ghastly responds back with a “Thank You Guys I Love You So Much!” and a big old smile ear to ear, with a matching one on the little cutie Cruz. It’s truly moments like these that make the dance music community such a unique and special one.
After getting down to Ghastly “Crank It”, we mobbed over to the Invasion Stage to catch some of Dr. Fresch. Since David and Tony are really close friends, I had assumed during one of their sets, one would bring out the other as a transition into the other DJ’s set by surprising the beautifully crazy Phoenix Lights crowd with some Ghastly B2B Dr. Fresch action; however, to my dismay they were not only scheduled at separate stages, but they were also scheduled to play at the exact same time. Luckily with the way the venue was set up, we were able to quickly maneuver through the crowd and catch a good amount of both sets.
Next, Datsik and Bais Haus took control of the Mothership under their partner project alias: EPHWURD. If you haven’t heard of this you can check out my RB Exclusive Interview with EPHWURD. With the sun setting ever-so-perfectly during their set as they played Kill The Noise’s “I Do Coke” with Feed Me, the entire crowd had their W’s UP. Datsik took to the microphone to let the crowd know that even still they were ready to Rock The Party and that, “We just want to play a super dope set for you guys … Can we do that please?”
YES – you may certainly can; and YES – they most certainly did!
Tritonal was up next on the mainstage. Much like the beautiful color maps that accompanied Eric Prydz’ magical set on night 1, Tritonal’s set was lit up with an array of beautifully brilliant colors that shined bright throughout the crowd of happy Tritonians. When Tritonal manned the Mothership, they transported us through a wave of angelic lights and sounds to Planet Tritonia. Although I was only able to catch a glimpse of what I know was an entirely fantastic all-the-feels type of set, I managed to see Tritonal play one of my favorite tracks by them, “Anchor.” After videotaping this moment, we jetted to the Invasion Stage for TroyBoi.
TroyBoi packed out the second stage completely during his set; it was clear that he had some true fans here in AZ. Seeing him live for the first time, it was an extra special treat for me! Not only was he DJing up on that stage, but he was also working the microphone, being his own personal MC. Not only this, but TroyBoi was most definitely getting it on stage throughout the entirety of his set: dancing across the stage with such conviction when he dropped “Deep Down Low” – I could tell that he could tell he knew he was killing it.
After TroyBoi, the Invasion stage emptied out; everybody there apparently had the same plan to go lose their minds at Excision. I have seen Excision in all different situations, venues, and locations; and yet he’s the one and only DJ where time and time again he just continues to absolutely flabbergast me: completely blow my mind altogether. I was worried the speakers wouldn’t be able to handle that 150,000 WATTS of BASS pumping through them from Excision, but the sound system redeemed itself completely, supporting the thunderous 150,000 wondrous watts of BASS in yo face!
The massive amount of lasers piercing through the night sky alongside the roaring sub woofers is the type of beautiful perfection that Excision does so good consistently, much like the way he expertly and precisely cuts up tracks, remixes songs, and gingerly weaves through them in his sets – Excision blows up the stereotype of a DJ just simply “pressing play” on stage. Let’s put it this way – Phoenix Lights Day 2: I lost my face [and mind] somewhere in the grass at Margaret T. Hance Park during Excision’s set. I had to contact the venue the next day to see if the clean up crew found it, but unfortunately they said my face had completely melted off and couldn’t be recovered.
To end what was a perfect day and night at day 2 of Phoenix Lights Festival, DJ Snake took control of the Mothership and kept the crowd hyped and happy, which to be honest was not an easy feat following Excision. But much like DJ Snake’s EDC Vegas Cosmic Meadow set from 2014, he totally rocked it, playing a skillfully curated mix that truly had me Spinnin’ with my Hands Up!Between all the streamers and confetti, fireworks and pyrotechnics, ravers and artists, there was a universal sense of peace, unity, love, and pure joy filled throughout the air as the finale of Phoenix Lights Festival brought us all back home, with DJ Snake closing out the night with a personal favorite of mine, his own classic single, “Middle.”