Nero take fans on a musical journey with futuristic set at EDC NY
Little was known of Nero‘s whereabouts until they returned to the social media forefront in November 2013, reaching trending status across all communication platforms after announcing the construction of a second album. The trio once again shocked fans in March when they performed alongside Feed Me, Kill the Noise and others at a secret party in San Francisco. Perhaps their most earth-shattering act to date, however, was premiering the first track off of their forthcoming sophomore album, “Satisfy,” a breathtaking ballad featuring Alana Watson’s luscious vocals and the immaculate technique that defines the group’s essence. Much has changed since their 2012 EDC NY debut, and with a new collection of music on the way, Nero set the tone for the next chapter of their career with a liberating set that fled from the conventional big room ambiance.
Photo Courtesy of Doug Van Sant
Housed within MetLife Stadium was cosmicMEADOW, a stage curated by HARD and one that was secluded from the festival’s primary hotspots. Reigning supreme as the closing act, Nero performed at the very stage that counterparts such as Boys Noize, 2ManyDJS and Rudimental had taken to just hours prior. Opening their set in similar fashion to past performances with the robotic slogan, “Control, power, authority, force,” fans were mesmerized by a multitude of rapidly fluttering lights across the stage, followed by CO2 blasts appropriately timed with the track’s monumental drop. With more than enough headbanging room – often a rarity at bass-heavy shows – fans received Alana with open arms as she belted out her first song of the night, “Guilt.”
Though Nero are less interactive than other artists, their true fan base understands the raw power of their music and needs little encouragement to channel its enthusiasm. Whereas performers at kineticFIELD and circuitGROUNDS occasionally relied on special effects such as pyro and fireworks to preserve the momentum, Daniel, Joe and Alana required no such visuals to complement their show. The energy, rather, was stored in the scintillating towers of lights and the ground-breaking bass, which was not only felt from the ground up, but also from within each individual body in the stadium. For Nero, being serenaded by an already-animated crowd is nearly second nature because their music moves and inspires the creativity of the electronic sphere. This might explain why, when the group played old familiars like “Doomsday,” “My Eyes,” “Promises” and “Fugue State,” the crowd was readily eager to soak in the accelerated beats and charging vibrations with every step they took.
Photo Courtesy of Doug Van Sant
While the majority of the trio’s set revolved around Welcome Reality, standouts included The White Stripes’ “Icky Thump” and their latest single, “Satisfy,” of which Alana’s pristine vocals matched the clarity and quality of its recorded version. Yet it wasn’t until “Reaching Out” that the LED wall behind Daniel and Joe took a futuristic perspective, allowing the crowd to enter a blue, pink and purple-ombre’d galaxy. Soft magentas gave the crowd a colorful hue as it bobbed to the track’s pulsating drums as one unified wave.
Setting Nero apart from all other EDC NY acts was the simplicity of their stage setup and their innate ability to engage the crowd without superficial visuals or excessive interaction with their fans. The influence of their music reciprocates for the trio’s tendency of remaining quiet, and the liveliness emanating from both the stage and the crowd was at its peak not in sporadic phases, but from the moment they entered the stage until their final farewell. The experience had been genuine, the music was felt and the bittersweet feelings toward the conclusion of yet another festival were mutual.