Ultra Europe 2013: Fan favorites and new music span all genres and stages
As the second day of Ultra Europe comes to a close, those lucky enough to purchase a pass to the festival’s third day set their sights on the island of Hvar. While Day 1 was defined by the high energy sets of Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Avicii, Art Department and Luciano, Day 2 brought a heavier atmosphere to Poljud Stadium. Chase & Status and Krewella lit up the Croatian soccer stadium with drum and bass and pop-friendly dubstep while Afrojack and Hardwell unleashed an assault of Dutch electro that would stir the crowd into a frenzy. Over at the Carl Cox tent, Jamie Jones, Marco Carola and Cox himself curated 9 hours worth of the best that techno had to offer for a crowd unphased by the modest size and location of Cox’s tent.
Chase & Status took the main stage just as the sun began to set on Poljud Stadium, like many of the duos at Ultra Europe, only fifty percent of the drum and bass outfit were in attendance. Although shorthanded, the set lacked in neither drums nor bass as Status delivered a set that acted as the spark that would ignite day 2 at Ultra Europe. The Prodigy’s “No Good” worked the crowd into a frenzy and “Forever Cloudburn” reminded us of a time when Drake was actually kind of good, even though Feed Me’s masterpiece is the centerpiece of that mashup.
After (one half of) Chase & Status closed out his mega drum and bass display, another group with all intentions to deliver four-on-the-floor took the main stage. The trio that’s taken pop culture this year, Krewella, set out to pay testament to their international allure. Eager to witness the encounter between the Krew and European crowd, we came to little surprise to see their celebrity status translate across the pond. Not only did Jahan, Yasmine, and Rain Man offer up their usual arrangement of energy, but they came equipped with a slew of new material.
On the heels of their latest release, “Live For The Night,” the squad offered insight into upcoming collaborations. Most notably were “Lights and Thunder” with Gareth Emery and “United Kids of the World” with Headhunterz,” both of which push the Krewella vocal treatment through the trance and hardstyle genres, respectively.
Next came a Bingo Player, only one half of the duo, before Afrojack too would bring animation and new music to Croatia. Offering a completely up-to-date set, Afrojack incorporated a balance of his newest records, older ones, and big room gems that rarely escape his festival sets. To great delight, Nick pulled the trigger on his remix of “Sovereign Light Cafe,” one of his biggest yet underrated tracks, a drop we had yet to witness live until that very moment. Running through the book and pulling out all the stops amidst flames and CO2 bursts, Afrojack brought his set to a close with an unreleased remix, on similar to the aforementioned Keane record, Stephen Wrabel’s “Ten Feet Tall.”
Following up Jamie Jones, Marco Carola’s peak time set did well to warm up the Carl Cox tent for its main event as the techno maestro weaved an intricate tapestry of mechanical hisses and syncopated drum patterns. Just as Luciano did the night before, Carola packed out the Cox arena to the point that the crowd enveloped the nearby bars and food vendors with techno faithfuls desperate to get closer to Carola’s hypnotic display of techno prowess.
Closing out the evening Carl Cox’s charismatic grin and unparalleled presence behind the decks set the festival into a frenzy as the night began to wind down. Showing little regard for the weary ears and legs of the crowd that had amassed beneath his tent, the man who needs no introduction took listeners on an energetic journey through the best that tech house has to offer. As Hardwell performed his high octane closing set inside the stadium, Cox reinvigorated the crowd outside and caused us to quickly lose track of the time (and one another) in his endless barrage of sixteen bar bliss.
Andrew Spada and Dylan Farella contributed to this post.