Good Morning Mix: Indulge bigroom nostalgia with Hardwell’s championship round at Ultra 2013
“This is by far the best gig I’ve ever done in my life…Ultra, we’re making history right here.”
Hardwell was right on both accounts, but boiling down his bigroom marathon to just “historic” as the sun dropped beyond Bayfront Park in 2013 would be a disservice to how significant that Ultra evening was to his legacy, the festival, and the dance music landscape thereafter. There were few—if any—names other than Hardwell that were more trusted that year with Saturday sundown responsibilities on the genre’s biggest podium, and the Revealed Recordings boss bagged a championship round that we labeled the “unanimous [Ultra] favorite” back then. It’s one that remains top of mind 35 million YouTube views later, even as Hardwell remains on his much-deserved recess.
Those 56 minutes felt more like 56 seconds on March 16, 2013, regardless of where you located in the world, but every passing moment added more weight to what would ultimately be hailed as Hardwell’s magnum opus and career-defining act. Plain and simple, Hardwell gave bigroom an international platform that night. Although the sound was already in its heyday in the year or so ahead of Ultra 2013, the bigroom king cemented an irrevocable notch for the subgenre on the multi-decade electronic dance music timeline, inspiring a generational wave of producers that would ripen in the years to follow and eventually appear under his label’s banner.
We wouldn’t be fooling anyone if we sat here and wrote out a handful of citable parts from the sunset showing because, let’s be honest, we’d be spelling out the complete tracklist. We’d be remiss if we didn’t at least point out a couple of favorite moments, though. Between clashing “Spaceman” and Above & Beyond’s “Thing Called Love” in the opening minutes, seamlessly weaving in Showtek and Justin Prime’s “Cannonball” on top of Linkin Park’s “Numb,” dropping “Reload,” and summoning Dyro for the grand unveiling of “Never Say Goodbye,” Hardwell (the only other acceptable answer here is Swedish House Mafia’s 2013 set) arguably still retains the title for the number-one performance from Ultra’s undisputed number-one iteration.
Dancing Astronaut celebrates the lead-up to what would have been Ultra Music Festival’s 2021 iteration with two weeks’ worth of Good Morning Mixes. Follow the series here.
Featured image: Rukes