What you need to know from Ultra Music Festival Day 2
With the second day of Ultra over and another beautiful day in Miami in the rear view, the festival’s momentum continues to pulse forward. Day 2 was filled with unforgettable sets and unlikely moments; from Hardwell’s continued dominance over main stages to Zedd’s appearance on stage for deadmau5’s closing set, Day 2 was not short on surprises. OWSLA’s UMF Radio Stage showcased the new wave of bass music while Disclosure made their UMF debut at the Live Stage, bringing the future garage scene into the spotlight. Kaskade opened with a brand new track before losing power and Carl Cox and Richie Hawtin closed out the day with a 5-hour set for the history books.
Hardwell impresses with unanimous best set of day two
Hardwell took over the main stage with a slew of unreleased Hardwell and Revealed Recordings originals, playing what he later reflected upon as his favorite set of his life. Towards the end of his set, Dyro came onstage for the world premier of Hardwell and Dyro’s new progressive house single, “Never Say Goodbye,” featuring vocals from Heather Bright. Hardwell even found time to drop a heavy moombahton ID before his stadium-sized set came to a wrap.
Editors Note: During his set, Hardwell’s Twitter account was using 20% of Twitter’s overall bandwidth. Twitter had to shut down the account. Yes, he broke Twitter.
OWSLA takes over UMF Radio stage, showcases the best of modern bass music
Dubstep may be “dead,” but bass music is alive and kicking. Skrillex’s OWSLA label took over the UMF Radio stage on Day 2 and despite the stage’s smaller crowds, OWSLA A&R managed to prove its worth. Kill Paris, Alex Metric, Seven Lions, KOAN Sound, and Birdy Nam Nam were diverse and interesting highlights and a reminder that even the stages tucked away in the corners of festivals can hold a trove of musical treasures.
Kaskade opens his main stage set with a brand new, unreleased track dubbed “Atmosphere” with himself on vocals
As Kaskade set was just barely warming up, fire shot from the top of the stage and seemed to cause a power surge at the Main Stage — leaving the entire structure powerless for about ten minutes. Once the crews got it working, Kaskade did well salvaging the crowd’s and his own energy, playing a much more electro set than what we usually see out of Ryan.
Opening with the much anticipated “Power Glove,” Knife Party proceeded to drop countless peak hour electro house tracks before segueing into dubstep and trap with their VIP of “Internet Friends.” Things got real funky with Diplo & GTA’s “Boy Oh Boy” and Alex Metric’s “Prophecies,” while countless Knife Party IDs pervaded the set.
Disclosure plays first show in Miami at Live Stage, play slew of new tracks from forthcoming LP
Guy and Howard Lawrence stepped onto the Live Stage for their 3:00 p.m. set; ready in their young age to take Miami by storm. Guy began on vocals and the pair spent much of their afternoon set introducing tracks off their forthcoming debut artist album. The set up was modest — with the brothers using their arsenal of drum pads, live instruments, and mixers on two small tables — but the results were powerful.
Carl Cox and Richie Hawtin close out the Mega Structure for a combined five hours
In many ways Carl Cox is cemented as the king of Ultra, this year taking over the Mega Structure both Day 1 and 2. He packed in a three hour set on Day 2 — taking over between 7 and 10 p.m. and providing those irresistible grooves that have a way of drawing you in even if just walking by his stage. Hawtin took over at 10 p.m., where things got a little darker but undoubtedly still kicking. Visually, the Mega Structure is one of the most impressive constructions at the festival this year (outside of the Main Stage of course) and paired with Cox and Hawtin’s certain brand of purer techno makes for one of our highlights for Day 2.
Zedd runs around main stage in skirt and bow tie during Deadmau5’s set
Yesterday afternoon Zedd and Deadmau5 were heating up Twitter with rumblings of Zedd pulling some shenanigans during Deadmau5’s set, and much to everyone’s delight he actually followed through on the dare. “Zedd the Wussy” was transformed to “Zedd the Invicible” by Deadmau5.
Despite a bit of typical Deadmau5 drama leading up to the Ultra headliner lineup announcement, mau5 took the Main Stage at 10:45 p.m. on Saturday. If the Main Stage looked large before his set, it was absolutely titanic once the Canadian DJ’s full set of custom visuals had been worked into the structure. Lots of old school video game animations and mau5 running through the Ultra logo like little Marios. Mau5 played exclusively his own tracks and although it was a bit of a greatest hits showcase, he certainly fit the bill for a huge closing set for Day 2. “Raise Your Weapon” was paired with huge displays of pyrotechnics and a heavy dubstep drop while his “The Veldt” original turned into Tommy Trash’s remix — one of the largest moments of UMF thus far.
Photo Credit: Dan Sozanski