What you need to know from Ultra Music Festival Day 1
Day 1 of the 15th annual Ultra Music Festival has come and gone, and Dancing Astronaut was on the scene to give you the scoop. We present some of our favorite sets including Fatboy Slim and Boys Noize, the ins and outs of the festival as experienced from the ground, along with tracks from the likes of Fedde Le Grand and Afrojack that made an Ultra debut. We bounced around between the Main Stage, Live Stage, Ultra Worldwide, UMF Radio, and we have the highlights to prove it. If you were able to be at Bayfront Park and even if you were not — let’s relive the best of Friday of Weekend 1 of UMF.
From the stages…
Modestep utilizing the Live Stage
The Live Stage was overwhelmed with energy early in the night, and by the time Modestep took the reigns at 7 p.m., the crowd was fully warmed for the rock-ier tendencies of the band. They played a good number of tracks from their recently released Evolution Theory LP — sprinkling in dubstep, drum and bass, grungy rock, and Josh Friend’s live vocals. “Satisfaction” into “Smack My Bitch Up,” Nero into Rusko, Flux Pavilion into Rage Against The Machine — rounding it out with their own “Sunlight” to make for a high octane performance fit for some rock and roll representation at Ultra.
New music from Nicky Romero
Nicky Romero took the Main Stage moments after the sun had set and played the festival set that he has become known for. Through “Like Home” and other Protocol released, we’ve caught three unreleased tracks that made an Ultra debut. The sound alone of the first made it instantly apparent as a premiere and Nicky later revealed that it is the follow up to “Flash.” Next was his forthcoming “Symphonica,” but not the original, Bare’s rendition. As for the final ID, Nicky is keeping his lips sealed.
Boys Noize from atop his skull
Alex Ridha has been doing things differently this year, so it wasn’t totally clear how his set would go down at Ultra. For fans of the Boys Noize of yesteryear, circa 2009, the set was nothing more than true Boys Noize flavor. He maintained control of the crowd, managing to play hands up, feel-good German techno. “Oh!,” “XTC,” and “Ich R U” all fit the bill and his set was most definitely a DA highlight this year.
New music from Fedde Le Grand
When Romero finished his set and the sky went dark, Fedde Le Grand took the reigns of the Main Stage and wasted no time dropping brand new material. Fedde premiered an unreleased original production as his opener, a track that hits heavier than most of his outings. About 15 minutes deep, he unleashed his collaboration with Sultan and Ned Shepard, “Long Way From Home,” which will be released this Monday. Fedde debuted another record mid-way through his set, but insists on keeping details under wraps.
Fatboy Slim closes out Carl Cox’s cocoon
It’s tough competing with Swedish House Mafia for a closing set time, but Norman closed out Day 1 in proper rave form. The Mega Structure is warm and inviting to its attendees and Fatboy’s massive builds and breaks fit the venue to a tee. He played Baauer, “Ya Mama (Push The Tempo), and even Nicky Romero’s new track “Still The Same Man.”
New music from Afrojack
While Afrojack commanded Ultra from the Main Stage, he had experienced sound outages — but that wouldn’t interrupt him from doing what he does best. He brought “the new shit” per usual and presumably unveiled a decent sized portion of his new album. “As Your Friend,” the album’s lead single with Chris Brown, went over well with the crowd as sandwiched between premieres of edgier material. As Afrojack was bringing his set to a close he shouted, “I don’t give a fuck about technical difficulties, but who is ready for some new Afrojack music!,” and continued to debut a a future anthem.
From the ground...
Despite the endless advertisements and hype, free water was not supplied. It’s been said that “they never bothered to test the water they planned on using, and it was deemed ‘unsafe for consumption.'”
Ultra announced that they would supply festival-goers with free wi-fi last week. While they followed through with this promise, many in attendance were confused. To clarify for the remainder of the festival, the password is “ultra2013” and access is disabled after five minutes of inactivity to avoid server issues.