Recap: Electric Zoo @ Randall’s Island Park (NYC)

Published on September 10th, 2011

From September 2nd to 4th, Randall’s Island was invaded by a slew of neon-clad electro enthusiasts from all over the world. Unfortunately, The New Philadelphia wasn’t able to make it to this year’s Electric Zoo Festival in New York City; however, two of our good friends (Lauren Stieff and Ty Persons) had the privilege of attending Sunday’s mayhem.

The dance marathon began at the Main Stage with Alesso, who made jaws drop and pupils dilate. His flawless transitions and eclectic song selection surprised us as we were unaware of his serious skill level. The crowd went wild for his remix of “Pressure” as well as “Calling,” his collaboration with Sebastian Ingrosso. But what really made our hearts drop out of our asses was his mix of vocals from Florence + the Machine’s “You’ve Got the Love” and Avicii’s “Fade into Darkness.” Insane. Alesso proved himself to be a mix master who truly showed the crowd that he loves what he does.

Photo thanks to DancingAstronaut

With an enormous following, Calvin Harris rocked the Main Stage, playing original tracks such as “You Used to Hold Me” and “Flashback.” One of the most beautiful parts of the day occurred during the finale of his set, when thousands of fans sang along to his most recent track “Feel So Close.” It was an epic ending to a crowd-pleasing set…. We might have cried a little.

You Used To Hold Me (Laidback Luke Remix) – Calvin Harris

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One of our most anticipated sets of the day was by Michael Woods, whose tent exceeded capacity. People went wild for his remix of Calvin Harris’ “Bounce” and his original track “First Aid.” We struggled to stay within the confines of the tent, and ultimately gravitated towards the back so we could hear more clearly. We were somewhat jealous of the people dancing in the front who could comprehend the insanity that is Michael Woods.

What do we say about Jack Beats? Where to begin? Well, to start, we would like to thank Zoo for placing them in the Hilltop Tent, where there was ample room to rage…which everyone did. Their song selection ranged from their trademark wobble to bass heavy dubstep to dutch house. Wolfgang Gartner’s “Space Junk” and “Menage a Trois” made special appearances within their set, followed by the tropical bass banger by French Fries, “Bust ‘Em Up.” Their original track “Up All Night” was met with screams of ecstasy from the adoring crowd. We were especially surprised, and pleased, by the selection of dubstep tracks that they seamlessly threw into their set. They killed it.

All Night ft John B (Skream Remix) by Jack Beats

Philly’s own Diplo threw down one of his best sets, in our opinion. He played a ridiculously vast range of music, much of which we did not expect. Mixing “Pon De Floor” and “Banana Boat” (the Beetlejuice song… look it up) sparked laughter followed by admiration and serious dancing. He touched upon a large selection of genres, such as Moombahton (Bill the Gent’s hit “Vibrate”), hip-hop (Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now”), and dubstep (Doctor P’s “Tetris”). Per usual, he proudly represented Major Lazer, playing “Jump Up” and “When You Hear the Bassline.” Philadelphia was surely represented in NYC this weekend.

And now, what we really paid the $120 for… BOYS NOIZE. Alex Ridha changed our lives forever. He opened his set with “Ecstasy One For Me” with the word “ACID” flashing on enormous LED screens behind him. It was the epitome of perfection in terms of what to expect from the rest of his set. Considering how obsessed (to say it lightly) we are with him, we were surprised by the amount of unknown heavy progressive that he incorporated. But regardless of familiarity, he created a tidal wave of flawless intensity that gave us chills. There truly aren’t enough positive adjectives in the English language to describe the beauty of the 90 minutes he performed. Ridha played his original tracks “Lemonade” and “Oh!” as well as Bart B More’s monster track “Brap.” Overall, what put us on the verge of vomiting (in the best way) was his finale: a mix of his own “Yeah” and “Swoon.” Oy vey. In the end, what really did make us vomit was his leap into the crowd and walk down the barricaded center aisle of the tent. WE TOUCHED HIS HAND. We’re sad to say we’ve been forced to wash ours since. It was the ideal way to end the day, to say the least.

Yeah – Boys Noize

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Electric Zoo truly stepped up its game this year with a severe upgrade in lighting, ground maintenance, and sound quality. Each stage had its own distinct visual display that allowed a particular identity for the area. Those attending genuinely felt the effects of these improvements, which heightened their perception of each artist’s set. Sincere thanks to Electric Zoo and its creators, Laura de Palma and Mike Bindra (whom we stood next to during Boys Noize… just sayin’).

— Written by Lauren Stieff and Ty Persons


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