After taking two trains and a bus from New York City, I finally arrived at MetLife Stadium to what looked like a rather small gathering. After quickly going through check-in and security, I was released onto the festival grounds which was absolutely massive. The layout of the grounds quickly brought me back to when Electric Daisy Carnival was located in Los Angeles: the multiple stages located outside the stadium with one enormous stage located on the actual field! The event organizers, Insomniac and Pacha, had expected almost 100,000 fans in attendance over three days but they had anticipated Friday being on the lighter side due to the way tickets were sold this year. I decided to quickly canvas the ground to do a quick comparison to both Los Angeles and Las Vegas and what I saw was satisfying: there would be pyrotechnics, hundreds of costumed theatrical performers, interactive art installations, carnival rides, special effects galore and of course, world-class talent! At this point, I realized that once again Insomniac has cloned one of North America’s best music festivals and delivered it to the Northeast!
We at IMF recently had the opportunity to work with the beautiful and talented Hattie Watson. We were invited by one of the most talented photographers we have the pleasure in knowing, Isaac Joel Torres. Isaac has a truly unique vision when it comes to who he shoots and what the final outcome should be. We decided to get some thoughts from the visionary himself. Hit the jump to see how it all came together…
Last Saturday Above & Beyond made their way across the Atlantic for the second portion of their Group Therapy North America Tour, stopping through Chicago to perform at the Congress Theater alongside Matt Zo and Cosmic Gate. After DJ Magazine named them “a genuine phenomenon… the biggest electronic DJing and production collective the UK has ever produced”, I had to go see what their live show was all about. Being a fan of their work and their TATW series, I was excited for what I was about to witness firsthand.
We hit Congress Theater just before 11 which made for perfect timing because Mat Zo opened (who I wanted to see but missed sadly), Above & Beyond took the stage at 11, and Cosmic Gate was the closer. After getting through security, we made our way inside to see Mat Zo finishing up his set. I will say this, if you don’t know who Mat Zo is and have never listening to his music, do so. He’s making some serious headway in the EDM industry and he’s one of my “must-watch” artists of 2012.
The lights went dim, the crowd screamed, and Above & Beyond made their way to the DJ booth, hands raised in the air as they waved to the crowd. It was only Tony and Jono though which left me wondering where Paavo was. Regardless, the show started and the crowd proceeded to dance for another two straight hours. The production of their show was an intricate part of their whole set. While it wasn’t the best light show I’ve ever seen, it took a minimalist approach but still left me saying “whoa”. Their backdrop displayed positive messages like “remember to fall in love” while including motion graphics of a globe of the world and an astronaut floating through space to their records like “Sun & Moon” and the club mix of “On My Way To Heaven”.
After their set, Tony made his way to the front row to greet fans and sign a few autographs – something we don’t see very often from the artists who come through Chicago. I think it adds a nice little touch and since Trance is all about love and caring for one another, it was a perfect cap to their set. All in all, amazing show, amazing music, and I will definitely be seeing Above & Beyond again when I have the opportunity. I recommend you do the same. You can check out the rest of their North American tour dates after the jump and enjoy the visuals above!
This past Saturday we had the amazing opportunity to hit up Studio Paris here in Chicago to catch a special intimate set from Joel, aka. Deadmau5. For those of you who may not be familiar with Studio Paris, it’s a very small venue (I use that term loosely) that gets some pretty big names throughout the year. Tiesto played Friday night so needless to say, it was quite a big weekend for the club. Audrey Napoleon was set to open for Deadmau5 from 9:30-12:30, but when we made it to Studio Paris around 11 she wasn’t on much to our dismay. She’s going to be someone you’ll want to be paying attention to this year, mark our words.
As 12:30 approached, Deadmau5 hopped up on stage in a black leather jacket sans any Puma like he typically does, but a shirt that read 9:30. The jacket came off, he downed a corona, and the night began. He played a great mix of old and new including his new record “The Veldt” which we heard two separate versions of – the original and one I had never heard yet. As he slipped into some serious Dub, Joel jumped around on stage getting the crown hyped and then he dropped Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name” and I thought Studio Paris was going to burn to the ground. Everyone had such a high level of energy and it was amazing to see the crowd react to him playing that record.
Fans were also blessed with a little surprise when the Studio Paris staff hit their roof and hoisted down the carbon fiber Deadmau5 head to Joel as he was playing. Once he got it unhooked, the head went on and everyone started screaming. Definitely one of the highlights of the night. It’s cool seeing him unhooked, but when he rocks the mau5 head it brings a certain aura to the environment that isn’t matched with a lot of other producers/DJs. The night quickly approached 3am and everyone knew he would be exiting soon. He threw back on his leather jacket, waved to everyone, and promptly hopped off stage. Fans clapped and rejoiced at what they just witnessed, and we followed suit. An absolutely amazing night that I will never forget. Thanks to Deadmau5, John Ochoa, MSO, and Studio Paris! Hit the jump to check out some photos we snapped and head over to our Facebook page to see the full-res versions!
This past Saturday our schedule was packed with shows to attend (not that it’s a bad thing). We hit Enclave to see BT lay down some new material before heading over to The Mid to see what was a ridiculous performance from none other than Dutch producer Sander Van Doorn. The place was packed, everyone was dancing, and Sander had a smile on his face with his hand in the air for a good few hours. I’ve never had the opportunity to see Sander, but after the buzz of his set at Ultra, I knew I had to go see him. Thanks to our friends at React Presents, we were able to snap a few pics from the rowdy evening. Hit the jump to see Sander in all his glory.
If you have been anywhere near a radio in Chicago the past few weeks then you’re probably already familiar with Chance The Rapper. From WGCI to Power 92 Chance has made his rounds. The young emcee has been on quite a ride leading up to, and in the days following the release of his debut project 10 Day. Chance recently made a visit to the IMF Offices to chop it up with us about various topics such as his beginnings as an artist, his inspiration for the project, the experience of actually creating a full-length album & much more!
Interview performed by Reggie & Justyn
Executive Produced by Zach
Earlier this month Chicago Bassheads were treated with what will go down as one the most memorable shows to ever pass through Congress Theater. Not once, but twice. With Saturday’s show being sold out within 6 hours (which has only been done once before at Congress), and Sunday’s sold out as well, fans were treated with love in the form of brilliant lazers, colossal bass, extended sets and some of the best vibes we’ve ever experienced. Here’s our version of went down…
Almost two weeks ago California-based Electronic artist Bassnectar stormed through Chicago playing back-to-back sold out shows at Congress Theater. His Saturday night appearance sold out in less than 24 hours and due to the demand they added an additional day, having him play Sunday night too. If was my first time seeing him at an indoor venue – the other times have been outdoors at music festivals. I knew what to expect but at the same time I was curious as to how the show would feel being inside instead of out. The difference, night and day.
If you haven’t seen Bassnectar before it may be hard to visualize this, but it was a very intimate setting with his show indoors. When you’re outside there’s a lot to look at, various things happening at the same time so it’s very easy to get distracted. When you’re indoors, it’s Bassnectar, his lights, and the 4500 people you’re dancing with for a good 3 hours. No distractions, no way to avoid any of it unless you exit the venue. This made the show compared to my previous experiences that much better.
Despite having amazing music and a light show to match, the one thing that sets Bassnectar apart from a lot of his EDM peers is his positive message. Throughout the show he can be heard on the mic interacting with the crowd, spreading positive messages of love and ultimately enjoying life. His AmBASSador Program was in full effect, which accepts applications from devoted fans to serve as volunteers who are responsible for welcoming the crowd prior to the event, keeping audience members hydrated and happy throughout the show, and organizing projects that will engage fans in creative ways. He also lightened up the security level from TSA-style to a more friendlier style, allowing fans to bring in sealed water, toys, blow up items, backpacks, and more.
To sum this little rant up and let you view some of the photo-goodness before we release the video, I just wanted to say let out some of my thoughts. I HIGHLY recommend going to see him if you get the chance, you won’t be disappointed. At all. More DJ’s and producers should take notes on Bassnectar and how he does things – the scene and other shows may be a little friendlier. Shouts to our friends at React Presents for giving us the opportunity as always. Now hit the jump Bassheads!