Ah, raving at The Great Saltair. There’s nothing quite like it. Whether you’re a dedicated EDM fan or just a fun-loving bro there’s something for everyone whenever a big V2 production rolls around. For this years’ Das Energi Festival, V2 promised to deliver their biggest production to date—which they did—complete with a crowd bigger than any show I’ve seen in the past. I managed to get there before the masses, but I could tell by the now $10.00 parking fee that they were expecting more people than usual. The event had three stages: The Bass Chamber inside of the building, the Energi Field just outside that acted as the main stage (where Bassnectar and Bingo Players would perform later that night), and Near The Beach—a small stage and group of art installments on the beach of The Great Salt Lake.
I arrived to the event around 8 p.m., just as Audien was stepping onstage outside at the Energi Field to begin his set. The U.S.-based electro producer delivered a set full of energy as the sun was setting and more people arrived at the event. The artist dropped a mix of the biggest EDM hits of the summer as well as some of his own original singles like “Leaving You” and others released on Anjunabeats and Spinnin’ Records. Meanwhile inside the building, drum and bass was going strong as the acts switched from Fury + MC Dino to Bee’s Knees to open the show that would later consist of acts like Brillz, Datsik, and 12th Planet. Though the beach stage wasn’t as elaborate as it’s been in the past, with stage features supplied by Burning Man sound camps, it was still a great addition to the atmosphere of the festival. The next artist I saw on the Energi Field main stage was 3LAU, who delivered a high-energy electro set with more of the hit EDM bangers of the summer. I always say a DJ set is a DJ set, but my DJ friends I went with taught me otherwise by pointing out elements of each set that made them memorable.
As 3LAU finished up his last song, the amphitheater blared the sounds of a remixed Michael Jackson song as Bassnectar took the stage for his two-hour set. The now famed bass music producer mixed a combination of his old and new music as well as remixes of various rap and hip-hop songs. I personally had a bit of a conniption when I saw images of Azealia Banks appear on the LED screens behind the stage as he dropped a remix of her biggest song, “212,” screaming at my friends that they needed to love her music as much as I do. Highlights of the artist’s performance were his older tracks, but that’s just because I personally didn’t think his new album was his best work. The final act I saw that night was Bingo Players, who played an hour and a half of the signature Dutch electro house sound the group is famous for.
Overall, this years’ Das Energi marked the beginning of the now festival like event with only a few flaws (lines for water, bathroom, ATM, breathing). The next large scale V2 event will be Get Freaky, the now two-day Halloween celebration that will take place over Halloween weekend at The Great Saltair. For more information go to http://getfreakyslc.com.