Ultra 2016 is officially wrap, and the biggest story out of the weekend is the closing performance from Knife Party / Pendulum on the Main Stage. Before anything is said, the Ultra team deserves major recognition for booking a live drum ‘n’ bass act as the final performance of the entire festival. If you weren’t there to experience Pendulum’s long-anticipated reunion, we’ve got you covered on everything you missed.
Pendulum re-launches their official website
Prior to the Australian group’s performance from Sunday at UMF, the group reinstated their official website with a brand new section devoted to 2016 reading ‘Pendulum Returns.’ Aside from their Ultra performance, the relaunched site portends further Pendulum appearances to come later in the year.
Knife Party kick things off
The first half of the group’s performance was dedicated to Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen’s explosive side project, Knife Party. Dropping a plethora of new edits and VIPs, the pair put on a riveting DJ performance complete with new versions of tracks like “404” and “LRAD.”
Photo Credit: Rukes
Tom Morello performs Knife Party collaboration
The first surprise guest of the night was Tom Morello, the legendary guitarist of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave fame. Morello joined Rob and Gareth on stage to perform his new track “Battle Sirens”: a collaboration with Knife Party as part of Morello’s new project, Atlas Underground. Morello further lent his abilities to Knife Party’s “Bonfire,” performing the lead from the track with expert precision before disappearing behind stage.
Pendulum arrive with “The Island”
Halfway through the set, Rob and Gareth disappeared from the DJ booth, giving way to a long, cinematic interlude. Suddenly, Swire’s vocals took center stage, belting the iconic hook from “The Island.” Backed by live drums and the unforgettable synth line, “The Island” erupted over the massive Main Stage crowd.
Following some proper Pendulum cuts like “Salt in the Wounds” and “Slam,” Pendulum performed fan-favorite “Witchcraft.” It was impossible not to relish in nostalgia as the emotional intro gave way to the song’s thrashing progression.
Photo Credit: EDMPHOTOS
Deadmau5 makes a surprise appearance
Deadmau5 capped off his two performances of the weekend by joining Pendulum on stage for a special live version of his monster hit, “Ghosts n Stuff.” Toying with the electro-friendly lead from the song’s VIP counterpart “Moar Ghosts n Stuff,” deadmau5 twisted and re-textured the instrumental while Rob Swire contributed vocals on top. Ultimately, it was an altogether rare occurrence, with the pair having last performed the single together at Ultra 2011.
The night ended on a triumphant note with Knife Party’s “Begin Again.” While many were holding out for Pendulum’s “Hold Your Colour,” it’s hard to ignore the symbolism behind the final track title. Coupled with the re-launch of the official website, we can’t help but believe this is the beginning of an exciting year for Pendulum, which, aside from some unannounced performances, will hopefully include the release of some new music as well.
Watch the full set here: