Everyone made it back from the 2012 Electric Forest Music Festival alive and well. That’s not to say that there weren’t a few hiccups along the way, but we survived as did our cameras. Moving forward, our schedules are so packed and we’re about to embark on a journey to Denver later today, we decided to make a little trailer with our friends at Wava Media to tie you over until next week. Sad I know, but at least you get this sneak peek. Without further ado, a brief look into what you may have missed at this year’s Electric Forest.
After hearing that Foster The People sold out Congress Theater back-to-back nights a few weeks ago, we had to go see what all the hype was about. I’m someone who isn’t too versed in the art of the indie band, being quite the EDM and Hip-Hop head, but our good friends at React Presents let us step in and see what it was all about. So I took my camera, a few ladies, and we embarked on our journey to Congress Theater for what was sure to be a night of the complete opposite from our norm. The norm being a bunch of kids running around head-to-toe in Neon, tutu’s, and some pretty wild lights.
We hit the venue at 8:15, snagged our tickets, and headed in. This is typically the part where you encounter the TSA as I refer to them, or Congress security to the average show-goer. We went through with a breeze despite it being a sold out show. I’ve been to a few sold out shows at Congress and if there’s one thing you expect to see, it’s organized chaos. Foster The People clearly brings a different crowd and I should have expected this but I was still a little surprised considering it was sold out.
The band hit the stage at 8:30 so I squeezed my way through the somber crowd to the front so I could snap a few photos before slipping back into the masses to enjoy the show. The venue was packed to the brim, the entire balcony’s seats were filled, but the people were sitting down (the entire time). Shocking, I know. I don’t know if it was because of the heat (you sweat just standing still), or that’s how Foster The People shows are meant to be enjoyed. Either way, everyone seemed to be loving every song they went through from their debut studio album Torches. Can you guess what the encore was? You probably did, but in case you didn’t it was “Pumped Up Kicks” and the crowd went crazy.
If I came out of this show with one suggestion for you, the average concert goer, it’s to step outside the box and go see a show or something you wouldn’t typically go to. While it may not be your cup to tea, go into it with a positive attitude and experience something new. Who knows, you may come out of it a new fan or at the very least, happy you tried something new. Hit the jump to see the rest of our photos and then head over to our Facebook page for a few exclusives!
The first days anticipation was at an all time high as the blue line approached Jackson so we could hop onto the Red to our final destination and enter the mother ship at Soldier Field. Being that it was my first actual festival that I got in legitimately I was mad hyped that I didn’t even notice the hordes of scantily clad neon bodies filling the train and roads leading to the Spring Awakening Music Festival. I couldn’t register or even start to comprehend that I was going to rage out to sounds of Bart B More, A-Trak, Dillon Francis and Skrillex all in one day; then come back the next day to rebuild and then destroy myself once again to the incredible sounds of Will Joy, Diplo, Shermanology, Felix Cartal, DIPLO and Moby! What a feeling. As Soldier Field peeked out from behind the Field Museum, literally looking like a space ship had landed on the lake front, sending out messages to the thousands making the pilgrimage to SAMF.
The aftermath of what was the Spring Awakening Music Festival still reverberates within my collective EDM soul. As I close my eyes the bass kicks, the treble spits, bright and shiny sun rays pound down on thousands of neon clad bodies, love mixed with a few other herbal essences in the air and the absolute grandness and uniqueness of the venue made for an experience like no other. Yes you can go to Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, and the countless other outdoor events in Chicago this summer but who can say they raged out to Skrillex in the rain on the 50th yard line of Soldier Field… well I know of a few thousand that did and we all got a story to tell, so sit back as you part take on my journey through my words and the visuals of Zach into the house of EDM at the Spring Awakening Music Festival.
Last week we had the pleasure of checking out the uncapped series from vitaminwater and FADER Magazine. The Chicago stop was held in a small warehouse in the west loop and guests were greeted with an open bar and all the vitaminwater they could handle. After some tunes courtesy of De La Soul’s Maseo, Santigold made her way on stage with her band and dancers following close behind. Her set was composed of bright floral outfits, dancers included, a horse, and a few wardrobe changes to compliment her music.
After a short break in sets, the energetic crowd anxiously awaited Maybach Music Group’s Wale to hit the stage. His DJ appeared and began to ask the crowd if they were ready for Wale in the midst of playing “Mercy”. The crowd promptly began shouting “Lamborghini Mercy”, the DJ wrapped it up, and Wale hit the stage dropping some of his early records like “Pretty Girls” and then moving along to some of his new material like the Ross infused “Fuck Em”.
After a great evening it left me thinking, wow, this was so much better than last year’s uncapped event and I know I wasn’t the only one who left thinking that. If you missed out this year, you have next year to look forward. Be a little more swift on that RSVP and you won’t get left behind. In case you did, we have some photo-goodness after the jump!
Photos By Andre Velez
Summer Camp held a number of unanswered questions as we traveled our way through the cornfields of Central Illinois towards our home for the next 4 days, Chillicothe, Illinois. Having virtually traded in my piles of Phish, Moe., and Umphrey’s albums and compilations after years of high school and college jam sessions for a more electronic-based library a few years ago, I knew Summer Camp would be a trip down memory lane, and hopefully one that I would still enjoy. What I found at Summer Camp were the people, sounds, and adventures that made me fall for music and especially music festivals in the first place. While I still spent a majority of my time hunting down my bass music fix, the jam-based festival as a whole was an excellent one that combined about as many elements of the fantastic culture as it could. Here were just some of the highlights.
The man who “ruined” Dubstep, or so they say, made his way to Chicago to perform at Enclave a few weeks ago and we had the opportunity to catch up with him before his set. We’re talking about none other than Borgore of course. The Israeli producer has made quite a name for himself within the EDM community this last year and he’s only going to get bigger thanks to his unforgiving sounds infused with his Hip-Hop influences including Waka Flocka. Watch as he talks a new stage setup he’s introducing at EDC Vegas this weekend, the album he’s currently working on, and much more.
I woke up from a much needed ten-hour sleep to find myself feeling surprisingly well. Today was the third and final day of the festival, and I was ready to get going. We decided to leave a little later today and took the 2 PM. The train wasn’t nearly as crowded as Saturday, but I wasn’t worried; I knew it would still be busy. We strolled right through check-in this time around, with no wait. It looked like we were the early arrivers but I was wrong. The place was packed already, possibly even more so than Saturday.
We immediately danced on over to the cicruitGROUNDS tent, which today was hosted by JACKED. Bobby Burns had already begun spinnin’ his tracks, and the tent was packed. I had never seen him before but you could instantly tell that his style and mannerisms were similar to Afrojack’s, since they’ve spent a lot of time together producing their signature track “Ghettoblaster”. His 90-minute set started off the day with a bang, and it was only about to get better.
Hit the break for the rest of Day 3!
Saturday began with waking up early and and getting a backpack full of festival essentials including a towel, extra t-shirt and a handful of other things. Arriving at Penn Station on Saturday was unlike I’ve ever seen it before, there were more people there than a season opener for a Jets or Giants game. It was packed full of fellow ravers, guys decked out in neon clothing, sunglasses, and catchy t-shirts while the girls appeared to be wearing as little clothing as possible, mostly bathing suit tops and booty shorts, which i always entertaining. Once the track was announced, the rush to the train was like a stampede of people swarming into BestBuy on Black Friday; the madness was insane.
Once all the seats were taken, the isles began to fill in until there was no more room. After a 30-minute ride to the stadium, everyone ran off of the train like it was on fire. We ran up to the entrance only to be greeted by a sea of people already waiting in line. You could feel the bass from each one of the four stages, pounding the parking lot concrete, where the majority of the festival took place. The rumble sounded like it was an earthquake, but it’s NY and we don’t get earthquakes, except for the one last summer. The line to enter only took about 20 minutes, but felt like hours. Once we passed through the security, we were free to run within the confines of the stadium and its parking lots. The smiles on people’s faces are unforgettable; it was a surreal feeling walking into the heart of the festival; something I’ll never forget.
We began our day meeting up with friends at the “Snoopy Statue”, which is MetLife’s mascot. It was a great central meeting point, located in between the parking lot and MetLife Stadium. It was also one of the only places you had cell phone service, so finding people proved almost impossible anywhere else.