Concert Review

Didn’t make it to ULTRA? Neither did I…

After a 12-hour driving marathon from Raleigh to Miami, my heart was broken to find that due to forces beyond my control, I wasn’t going to make it to Ultra. What is Ultra? Ultra is one of the biggest electronic music festivals in the world. Attracting huge names like Benny Benassi, Crystal Method, Infected Mushroom, Tiesto, Paul Oakenfold, ATB, Groove Armada, Eric Prydz, Orbital, LMFAO, and more. Needless to say, I was pretty bummed about not being able to go. Well, not for long…

You see, when you get hundreds of great DJs together in a city like Miami, something wonderful and magical happens in a certain place that you would normally never find me – clubs. With these DJs in town, clubs suddenly have access to some of the best DJs around who play some of the greatest music you will ever hear. I’ve picked out a few shows that I really enjoyed and thought would be worth sharing.

One of the first shows I attended featured the duo of Armand Van Helden and A-Trak. Together, known as Duck Sauce. These guys complemented each other’s style perfectly. Their set began with a solid beat that you could feel and easily move your body to. It featured the typical funky house music with a kick of groovy disco and just a dash of hard hitting bass. I felt like there was a little bit of back and forth between the two DJ’s styles but the songs were mixed together so well it was hard to tell. The rest of the night kept the theme of electronic house with alternating DJ’s. I enjoyed this show more than I thought I would considering I’m not the biggest house fan.

Another show I attended featured Annie Mac and DJ Mehdi. Annie Mac has a show on BBC Radio 1 which makes her pretty much a big deal. The bar was set high, and she did not fail to disappoint. The mixes between songs and genres that she had in her set kept the audience thoroughly energized and entertained. She didn’t leave a song on for too long or too little- she somehow always found the perfect balance that kept the movement of the entire set moving fluidly. Furthermore, she managed to get sounds from house to dub step to disco to mix together in a way that kept everything from getting boring or too repetitive. I think I love her.

Below is video of her dub step segment found on Youtube.

DJ Mehdi is a personal favorite of mine so I was pretty excited to see him live. His performance did not fail to disappoint me either. He ended up trading off between some other DJs throughout the night but when I did catch him tearing up the boards, it was typical Mehdi. He had the fantastic funky hip hop with some great clean sounding synths that kept an amazing upbeat feeling that I’ve grown so fond of.

Below is a video from youtube of a portion of his set:

Despite the fact that I didn’t get to attend the almighty ULTRA Music Festival, I still was able to have an amazing time being blasted by electronic music from fantastic DJs. But most importantly, I was exposed to an entirely new atmosphere that you just can’t get in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. Seeing DJs of this caliber live is something that has to be done by an electronic fan at least once in their life. To see the energy that a good DJ can bring out of a crowd is amazing, to feel the 25 ft speaker bass humming through your body is face melting, and to be a part of the entire movement of energy that flows through the entire venue from DJ to music to audience back to DJ is almost spiritual.  That’s something you just can’t get from those white iPod ear-buds.