I am going to talk about my own personal experience of EDC Las Vegas, this can be considered my official review of the festival. Hopefully the other two admins can put their experiences in as well.
Getting to EDC:
We took the shuttle and stayed at the MGM grand on the strip. The MGM Grand was a magnificent hotel (first time) and I would highly recommend it to anyone going to Las Vegas. The shuttle is clutch, I would almost say it is necessary if you are going to EDC. The shuttle is cheap, has a bathroom, and best of all you can drink while you wait for your destination. The traffic is quite rough and if you do not leave early or late you may be sitting in traffic for up to 3 hours. Leaving Early was the best for us, our bus rides ended up being 45 minutes, which goes by real quick.
After the bus ride the next obstacle is the ID check point, then the search check point, and finally the ticket check point. The first day we arrived in the thick of things and this took us about 1.5 hours to get completely through, however, when arriving early it only takes about 30 minutes.
Ok, so we finally made it into EDC, Hell yeah!! First thing you see walking down the stadium seating is a massive adult playground, complete with seven huge stages, carnival rides, concessions, and a couple of porta potty farms.
For the first day of the show I saw Knife Party, Datsik, Benny Benassi, Excision, Kaskade, Alesso, High Contrast, and Adventure Club.
Knife Party – Played a mediocre set (6/10). This is most likely because it was my first show of the night and I was really really looking forward to seeing them. Their set was good, don’t get me wrong, but I was expecting something amazing.
Datsik – Played a great set (9/10). It was Datsik‘s birthday and he definitely stepped it up. Came up with some awesome mixes that I hadn’t heard before and got the crowd going. I saw Datsik for the first time a few weeks earlier at Red Rocks and thought he did a great job. This says a lot too considering I am not that in to dub step, well at least not yet…
Benny Benassi – Played a good set (7/10). Benny is one of my all time favorites from long ago and I have seen him in concert a few times, but this set was nothing special. I had never seen him play live with his new dubby sound, but I did enjoy it as he threw down his cinema song along with some epic bangers as always.
Excision – Played an amazing set (9/10). I did not like this man’s music going into EDC. However I went to his set to meet up with some friends and then he dropped an epic Rage Against the Machine remix, which hooked me for the rest of his show. I raged his hard dub-step style and it was awesome, he mixes it in so well with all sorts of songs. His versatility really made it for me and it was by no means your typical *WOMP *WOMP dub-step set. My only complaint is his dumbo song, not a huge fan of “do your ears hang low” at a techno concert.
Kaskade – Played a not so good set (4/10). I had heard great things of Kaskade and was really expecting a lot out of him. His set was very slow and predictable. He threw a couple great songs of his own, but it was his standard performance. I personally was unimpressed and couldn’t wait for Alesso to get on. It could have been my mindset or the fact that I just saw Excision, but either way the set was no good for me.
Alesso – Played an amazing set (9/10). I was looking forward to Alesso all night, hell all month before EDC. I think I listened to his essential mix and his EDC NY set the day before going to Vegas. He absolutely crushed it playing a great feel good set. He rocks the newer house style very similar to Swedish House Mafia, but with his own taste. Alesso is young and eager to prove himself and that is why he is playing better sets than anyone else in his genre right now.
-LOW AUDIO QUALITY-
High Contrast – Played an amazing set (8/10). I only was able to catch the back half of his set due to Alesso, but man did this guy kill it. Started off with one of Netsky‘s new songs and raged some awesome drum and bass. I didn’t think I would have any energy at 4AM, but this guy brought me back to life!
Adventure Club – Played a great set (8/10). The sun was up and these guys were the only ones left charging the bassPOD. These guys know how to get a crowd going, they started off hot with some of their epic dub-step songs and were crushing it all the way up until I left. I left their set a little early to try and beat the crowds a little, but I was still very impressed with their show.
For the second day of the show I saw VisionQuest, Seth Troxler, Andy C: Alive, Digitalism, Bassnectar, Calvin Harris, and Zeds Dead.
VisionQuest – Played a solid set (6/10). I had never seen nor heard of VisionQuest before, but a good friend loves them so we had to check them out. Seth Troxler is part of VisionQuest, but he was not playing with them because his set was directly after, on the same stage. VisionQuest has a really great techno sound that just keeps you moving, almost getting straight tribal. They rock a lot of the minimal beats, which can create for a very fun live environment! If they can reel you into their music, you will find yourself in somewhat of a trance, getting dirty to the basic yet tantalizing beat!
Seth Troxler – Played a good set (7/10). First time seeing and hearing Seth Troxler, I was surprised as his set was really fun and unique! He plays a similar style to VisionQuest, but he definitely brings his own heat to the mix. A really great way to start off the night, his music is clean and funky! I would classify his music as minimal funk! I had an absolute blast dancing to his set, it was a great precursor to the heavy Drum&Bass/DubStep set of Andy C.
Andy C: Alive – Played a great set (9/10). Another First for me, Andy C came out hot, exploding with some filthy drum & bass. I saw High Contrast the night before, but Andy C plays a much heavier style of drum&bass mixing in quite a bit of dubstep, which goes very well with drum&bass. He also had his own stage setup, which had some great light shows! This was probably my favorite set of the night and Andy C really stepped up, playing a very fun and energetic show!
Digitalism – Played a good set (7/10). Digitalism kept the energy alive from Andy C‘s set, giving us some great electro beats to get down to. This electric duo was a great complement to Andy C‘s set.. They had some great feel good tunes with a comfortable tempo. I don’t remember too many specifics and unfortunately their set was not recorded, so I cannot go back to that moment. I do however remember them playing a couple epic songs, getting the crowd going with the hand wave, and really getting into their set! (I was legitimately concerned for the bigger DJ)
Bassnectar – Played a turd of a set (1/10). Now some people think I may be crazy because this was the first time I had ever even listened to a Bassnectar song let alone whole set. Almost everyone I had spoken to had only good things to say about Bassnectar and his music, so of course I block off an hour to go check him out as he apparently puts on “great” shows. Oh how I was dissapointed…. His set sounded like a giant turd making its way through Jaba the Hutt’s enormous intestinal track. To go along with that we were lucky enough to have 90 mph winds, which basically is the equivalent of listening to his set at half volume. This was the worst set of the whole show and a big dissapointment.
Calvin Harris – Played a good set (5/10). This could have been a much better set, but unfortunately we had the same 90 mph winds that Bassnectar had to play through. Calvin Harris played, what sounded like, an amazing set, but we could really only hear it at about 50% Volume. I grade Calvin Harris 5 versus Bassnectar‘s 1 because I could actually dance/enjoy Calvin‘s set minus not being able to hear it all the way. I was really upset with the weather for this set as I was looking forward to Calvin Harris he was one of the few artists that I had to see.
Zeds Dead – Played one song (N/A). They literally played one song and then had to stop due to Insomniac cancelling the rest of the show for that evening/morning. Surprisingly, I was not too upset given the weather and my exhaustion of the second day. I was somewhat relieved when they cancelled the show. With the wind at such high speeds you could barely hear any of the sets anyways and with the sand flying into your eyes, I was ready to wrap it up. Fortunately we were able to stay together all night as a group, but the second they cancelled the show we were split up getting drinks/bathroom. I ended up going right back to the hotel and finished up my partying there. I know a few of us stayed to try and wait out the weather, but I don’t think they got anything going until about 5AM.