Electric Zoo Time Capsule: 10 nostalgic sets from the past 5 years
Electric Zoo Time Capsule: 10 historic sets
As Electric Zoo turns 6 years old, we look back on New York’s pre-eminent dance music festival with a sense of nostalgia and heartfelt love for the 3-day event on Randall’s Island. A send off to New York’s summer, EZOO has come to represent the East Coast dance scene since its inception back in 2009. Nearly every DJ on the planet has graced the sprawling island in the East River, sending soundwaves bouncing throughout the busy Manhattan streets. We’ve attended every day of every year and have selected our favorite sets from the history books to create the perfect Time Capsule for any newly indoctrinated dance fans eager to see what it was like “back in the day.”
David Guetta - 2009
Even in 2009 David Guetta had already established himself as a dance music icon, but back then his presence on a main stage lineup was celebrated, instead of scoffed at, by the majority. There were no cries of “sell-out” or “main stream” back when Electric Zoo got its start, and Guetta’s 2009 set holds up today just as it did 5-years ago.
Deadmau5 - 2009
Before the cube, before the social media angst, and before the Purrari there was Joel Zimmerman. Donning just the mau5head in 2009, deadmau5 grabbed the crowd’s attention and refused to let go. For any in attendance this was a set that aided in the conversion of thousands of new fans to the mau5-side. Classic deadmau5, through and through, this hour long trip down memory lane comes complete with “I Remember,” “Strobe” and more.
Dirty South - 2010
Maybe its just that pop songs aren’t quite as good as they used to be, but its the power behind “Sweet Disposition” that kicks off Dirty South’s 2010 performance and sets the tone for the remaining hour. During his popular run 4 years ago, Dragan Raganovic’s Electric Zoo set remains one of our favorites to this day. It’s classic uplifting progressive house, the type the main stage has been sorely missing for the last two years.
Avicii - 2010
Who can deny Avicii’s indomitable presence 4 years ago? If you miss the Swede’s classic style, without the twangy country influences of TRUE, Tim Berg’s 2010 is a trip back in time to a better time. Let the nostalgia ooze out of your speakers as classics like “Hang With Me,” “Bromance” and “Tweet It” spin a web of timeless progressive in your ears.
Afrojack - 2010
Say what you will about Afrojack’s current incarnation, but Nick van de Wall didn’t become the presence he is without one hell-of-a-start. His 2010 set embodies all that is great about Afrojack music, opening with the then unnamed “Bangduck” before kicking you in the teeth with an hour of amphetamine-laced Dutch house ANTHEMS. No one did it better than Afrojack in 2010, and no one has come close to evoking that same level of energy in any of the years that followed.
Carl Cox - 2011
Electric Zoo wouldn’t be complete without Carl Cox’s presence behind the decks. In 2011, just as the main stream began to explode, it was Cox who took control of the Zoo that year, hosting his own tent and embracing the darker side of New York City’s emerging dance music contingent.
Moby - 2011
It’s Moby so it’s understandably unpredictable. One of the most esteemed presences in dance music today, Moby was crossing over before many of his contemporaries were making music. His talent for crafting engaging sets no matter what the occasion was most apparent during his 2011 set. A true trip from start to finish, let Moby take you for a ride through all of the highs and lows of a proper main stage performance.
Skrillex - 2012
A set so powerful we wrote a love letter to Sonny Moore afterwards, Skrillex’s 2012 main stage closing set was a high water mark for the dubstep and Sonny’s sound. Literally laying waste to Randall’s Island on Sunday night of the festival, Sonny unveiled his mothership and the rest is quite simply, history.
Hardwell - 2011
Back in 2011, Hardwell was just an understudy to Tiesto, hot off the release of “Zero 76” and slowly scaling the DJ Mag list. Stationed earlier in the day at the Riverside Stage, Hardwell’s Electric Zoo premiere was a sure sign of things to come. Then a cutting edge producer who was leading the charge for big room electro house, the Revealed labelhead crafted a set that acted as a warning shot and a nitrous injection to his explosive dance music domination.
Guy Gerber - 2011
While throngs of body’s packed out Electric Zoo’s Main Stage in 2011, it was Guy Gerber who held it down for sensual dance music at the opposite end of the festival. Swinging riffs and Balearic vibes dominated his sunset set and undoubtedly converted countless fans who had wandered away from the main stage’s Swedish styling. Listen closely as he closes out with 11 11’s “Tourist Trap” well before it had a name or we knew of Diddy’s involvement.