Alessandro Lindblad, more commonly known as Alesso made his way to Chicago this past weekend to perform in front of a ‘sold out’ crowd at Congress Theater. After being name ‘one of 2011′s hottest artists, it was enough for MTV to name him an EDM artist to watch in 2012. With 2013 fully kicked off and as festival has just begun, Alesso is proving himself to be one of the finest progressive house DJ’s – just ask any of his fans. With his most recent hits “Years” featuring Matthew Koma as well as his remix to One Republic’s “If I Lose Myself”, Alesso is solidifying his presence in the dance music world and he’s only going to become bigger thanks to the love he’s constantly shown by other DJ’s including Avicii, members of Swedish House Mafia, Tiesto, and many more.
After a long hiatus from Congress, the crew was rounded up and the birthday of one of our good homies was celebrated properly with a trip to see Alesso on Friday April 12th. We arrived around 10:30pm, just in time to catch Adventure Club and witness the madness that has become all too common outside of Congress. With a line wrapping around the corner and people shivering due to the cold April weather, we made our way inside. A huge rush of nostalgia hit me as I walked in, with waves of flashbacks from previous shows littering my brain. It was good to be back. Another plus side to the Congress hiatus is that over the course of however many months, they’ve been doing some renovations and I must say, things are starting to look better and that includes security. Don’t get my wrong, it’s still security, but I didn’t feel as though I was dealing with the TSA when I got there.
The 15th anniversary of the Ultra Music Festival has sadly come to a close but with every new beginning comes an end – that end happens to be the most successful Ultra year to date. Spanning over 2 weekends, Bayfront Park in Miami was graced by over 300,000 visitors from across the world and over 10,000,000 fans tuned in online to catch the excitement. Yes, you read that correctly – 10 million people. It’s a great feeling to know I was able to experience it all firsthand but now that I’ve popped my Ultra cherry, I know what I would do differently next year and I’m here to pass those tips along to you. So without further delay, lets take a look at what made this years Ultra so special.
If you’ve never been to Ultra you have no idea, even the slightest idea what it’s like. 7 stages all going at one time, hundreds of thousands of EDM fans wandering around from stage to stage enjoying the worlds best DJ’s and an atmosphere like no other. The word organized chaos comes to mind. Due to the million different things happening at any given time in Miami, our Ultra experience kicked off around 6pm every day. We opted to take advantage of the various pool parties happening on South Beach during the day which consisted of multiple visits to the invite-only Redbull Guest House. The Guest House featured performances each day from John Talabot, Jamie XX, and an OWSLA Records party which boasted performances from Skrillex, Alvin Risk, Blood Diamond and a few others. Keep this is mind when you decide to plan a trip to Miami. It’s very overwhelming at times and schedule conflicts are bound to occur.
This past Saturday, February 23rd to be exact, Denis Jasarevic aka Gramatik hit Chicago’s Riviera Theater for an intimate night of lights and some of the best music to grace the electronic music scene. To be completely honest, I have several friends who have been into Gramatik for some time now, but I had never really explored his work – until now. After being signed to the Pretty Lights Music label, he’s continued to give out his music to his fans for free.
“As an artist that based his entire career on the platform of free file sharing, I’m dedicating it to the fight against severe internet censorship bills we’ve been hearing about so much in the past months. Bastards have been trying to cripple the internet on a global scale with bills like ACTA/SOPA/PIPA and I’m sure there’s more of them coming, so this one goes out for spreading awareness! Reject them all, they will never stop the sharing, the Internet is our realm, digital freedom!” – Gramatik
He couldn’t have said it any better. For someone who gives away record after record for free, he has quite a huge fan base and it shows. The Riviera Theater was packed and everyone, I mean everyone, had a smile from ear to ear during the whole thing. People genuinely seemed to be there for the music vs. some other artists sets I’ve seen here in Chicago.
The LONGLIVEA$AP Tour stormed through Chicago last Thursday at the infamous Congress Theater with guest appearances from the A$AP Mob, chipped-tooth Danny Brown, Qunicy Hanley, better known as Schoolboy Q, and about 20 of their friends who bopped around on stage like a scene out of E-40′s “Tell Me When To Go” video. After releasing his debut mixtape LiveLoveA$AP almost a year ago this October 31st, Rocky began to receive heavy acclaim due to it’s southern feel, production featuring woozy soundscapes, low and mid-tempo beats, and chopped and screwed choruses.
With it being my first time catching Rocky live, I was curious as to how the show would go. Considering myself a Hip-Hop show veteran, I’ve become accustomed to rappers and their “stage presence” which typically includes a DJ stand, maybe some sort of backdrop, and then it’s all topped off with a bunch of random people standing on stage looking into the crowd. Would this be any different I wondered? The answer: not really. Do keep in mind that these are the opinions of myself and not necessarily those of IMF, but we can get into the details behind my opinion further into this review. Now, lets paint a picture of what went down for those of you who may happened to have missed A$AP Rocky and the Mob live at Congress Theater.
Four years ago Electric Zoo was just an idea. Now it’s been named the “Best Electronic Dance Music Festival in the United States” by Billboard.com. You don’t have to be a genius to realize that’s an astronomical feat, considering the competition. Labor Day weekend has since come and gone, but not without leaving some people saying “That was the best weekend of my life.” Electric Zoo 2012 was a massive success, thanks to Made Event and Plexi PR, the two largest organizations assigned with the daunting task of organizing a party that is New York’s largest electronic music festival.
With so many festivals all around the world, I can’t help but scrutinize over the tiniest details. It’s not just about the music anymore; it’s about the whole experience, at least for some people. The experience not only includes events and attractions during the festival, but everything surrounding the festival a few days before and a few days after. So as I write this review I tell myself to think BIG. Think about everything that goes into the preparation and coordination of a music festival, and sum it up as best as possible, while still providing insight from all possible points of view.
The Calm Before The Storm
Electric Zoo comes at a perfect time of the year. Labor Day weekend is for some the unofficial closing weekend of the summer, while for others is a time where school starts back up and football season commences. Some are just happy because Monday is a public holiday and most businesses are closed. Whatever the reason, EDM fans around the country only had one thing on their minds: The Zoo. It seemed to take forever to arrive, but the weekend finally came, and everyone was ready. Hit the jump to check out our complete recap.
North Coast Music Festival in one word: AMAZING! No lie, this was the best weekend of my life, so far. Music, people, location, weather, family, and friends! Couldn’t have been any better. No introductions necessary. Let’s get after it! With some great early performances and a beautiful night ahead, I must say that Yelawolf truly kicked off this festival. He was feelin’ the crowd and throwin’ down some serious southern Hip-Hop. Stage presence, yes. He got the crowd going and highlighted the music variety that North Coast offers. If you missed his performance, try to catch him at a city near you on his Slumerican Tour.
Midnight Conspiracy, thank you for throwing down hard! I couldn’t leave. A little Mord Fustang followed and he kept the beats flowing and the entire crowd jumpin’. After the rowdiness, we knew we needed to chill before raging to Knife Party. We set out to get the always-enchanting EOTO in our lives. They flooded us with great vibes and originality. After EOTO, it was time for a little Knife Party. Follow us as we recap the rest of the 2012 North Coast Music Festival after the jump!
For it’s first year, all companies involved in planning the festival did quite well. Having React Presents and their experience in the mix obviously helped pave the way for another successful music event. While the turnout could have been larger, it was nice to actually have room to dance and enjoy the music for a change. No complaints on the lineup either, for it’s first year they attracted some great headliners as well as supporting acts. Overall, the was one hell of a way to wrap up our summer or begin our fall with! We’re excited to see how much this festival grows over the next year and we’ll see you at Summer Set 2013! Check out more pictures after the jump!
Unfortunately we got another late start on Saturday causing our crew to miss rock-band Tea Leaf Green and dubstep-priducer NiT GriT. Lucky for enough us, we got there in time to catch one of the most anticipated acts of the weekend, Dominic Lalli. Better known by his moniker GRiZ, this electro-dub producer from Michigan now resides in Colorado. After watching GRiZ non-stop perform at Electric Forest, we knew what laid ahead for us on day two. Lalli took over the hokey rink with confidence and demonstrated his unique sound of funk, glitch-hop and dubstep blended together.