Electric Zoo 2013: First impressions, major improvements, and dominating DJs of day one
The first day of Electric Zoo 2013 is officially wrapped up and Made Event has once again outdone itself with this year’s host of improvements. For one, there was Main Stage East, set back from much of the festival in a self contained area as large as the space for it’s sibling Main Stage West. The stages’ designs also received some much needed make overs, resulting in a fresh take on the Hillside Arena, Riverside Stage, and LED walls on Main Stage West. It also appears that the Electric Zoo animals have had a busy year, multiplying at an alarming rate and populating all corners of the festival grounds. As always, Electric Zoo’s lineup was it’s most impressive attribute with sets from Bondax, Above & Beyond, Dog Blood and Avicii setting the stage for a memorable first day back on Randall’s Island.
Baauer does the Harlem Shake with the crowd at Hilltop Arena.
Even without festival-provided visuals, the city’s skyline serves as the perfect backdrop for a day filled with electronic music. But, despite an already impressive visual provided by a riverside view of Manhattan, Electric Zoo pulled out all the visual stops for day one. While music varies in genres and comes blaring from every stage, last night’s premier production value came in the form of visuals. Per usual, there’s the line of yellow school buses at Sunday School Grove. Meters away is a brand new, revamped Hilltop Arena, which features its DJ booth in the middle of the tent opposed to a standard layout. The booth comes as a rotating circle below a rotating circle dedicated to video portrayals; here Jack Beats boasted an artsy Keith Haring display and Ferry Corsten offered direction with words.
Avicii dances amongst the sparks.
Then there’s Riverside, which had been hosted by Boysnoize Records and OWSLA with Dog Blood at the helm. Here was a multi-dimensional setting that appeared to replicate an electronic skyline. Skrillex and Boys Noize’s collaborative set required 3D glasses, coming to life in a haze of fiery three-dimensional brimstone. By now the only stages that remain are each of the main stages. Lights, fireworks, and confetti came as the usual chaos expected from Zoo, but artists such as Avicii and Above & Beyond brought an independent visual flare that blew minds.
Dannic ignites the crowd.
The M Machine bring their unique style and new energy to the main stage.
Main Stage East:
The thought of two main stages may sound gimmicky, but there is nothing faux about Electric Zoo’s latest addition. The Main Stage East comes equally as large as the Main Stage West, formally just known as Main Stage as an iconic edifice in New York over the past four years. The second main stage also makes the festival a whole lot larger, helping to add a hefty amount of real estate to the grounds and using the most of Randall’s Island.
Martin Solveig prepares the crowd for a massive, neon, unified jump.
Orjan Nilsen electrifies the crowd at Main Stage East.
Located closer to Icahn Stadium, the Main Stage East doesn’t interfere with any of the sounds, sights, or attendance from any of the other stages or vendors. In fact, it takes some searching to even find this massive stage; almost as if it were a hidden venue of its own within the festival. Without making the most of stage five on year five, we’re waiting for the headliners that await Saturday and Sunday to take advantage.
Day One All-Stars:
Friday of Electric Zoo started early; 11:40 to be exact, but the crowd was already storming the gates before the doors officially opened. The likes of Audien and Dannic took control of the Main Stage early on while Bondax shifted Sunday Schoolers into high gear before Cyril Hahn took the reins.
Bondax bring their UK garage tastes to the earliest moments of Sunday School.
Though energy hadn’t stumbled at either stage, bass fans were also in for a treat during the sunny hours with Delta Heavy and Kill Paris both starting and completing Zoo sets before fans could even digest breakfast.
Flux Pavilion brings his heavy beats to the Main Stage West.
Showtek get pumped up for a massive crowd.
Perhaps the biggest battle between Main Stage titans took place between the hours of four and five o’clock. Showtek manned the Main Stage West while Otto Knows did the same at its Eastern counterpart, supplying top-notch festival music at polar ends of Randall’s Island.
Otto Knows conducts the crowd.
While Avicii flaunted some fresh, fun, and artistic visuals to accompany the newest tunes from his upcoming True, Dog Blood was last night’s unanimous favorite set. Winners by a landslide, Skrillex and Boys Noize proved their chemistry within their own 3D arena; and four or five brand new tracks including their Middle Finger sequel didn’t hurt either.
Alesso represents Sweden with ease for his late afternoon performance.