Opinions and thoughts of an expert ranter and raver

Posts tagged ‘music festival’

Artist Review: Sander Van Doorn

Once again, I was forced to go to my least favorite night club to enjoy some more great talent that I’ve never gotten to see before: sander vSander Van Doorn.  Sander made a splash in the music soon in 2004 with his hit ‘Loaded’ and his since continued climbing the ladder to success in the EDM world.  Before going to his show, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  I had tuned into his podcasts before, and to be honest, I wasn’t really feeling it.  The music was a bit boring and it felt more like easy listening than something that truly made me want to get up and dance (which isn’t always a bad thing).  I got talked into going to his show, rather than going by my own free will (thats what friends are for, right?).  To be honest, I wasn’t completely blown away by his set, but it was still enjoyable.  If you are a Sander fan, I would definitely recommend going and seeing him! Even if you aren’t familiar with him but you like progressive house, I would say go check him out.  He spins trance and progressive house, and I appreciated the song selection in his set.  I find that when I go to shows where this is the genre of the DJ, it all has the same trousey sound and for the most part, its just a countdown of the current top 40 trouse hits.  I liked that Sander WASN’T trouse and was just really good and original progressive house.  He played a lot of his own tracks in all the right places and overall I liked the flow of his set.  I definitely don’t think Sander is for everybody, there’s wasn’t much electro in his set (which is currently trending in all DJ sets I’ve noticed), and that was actually a nice change of pace.  I think he has a very unique sound.  Going into his show, I knew what to expect and he met my expectations (but didn’t really succeed them).  I guess from the gist of this article, you can tell I’m not all to impressed with him, but keep in mind this review is from someone that would not consider herself a Sander fan, just an outsider taking a peep inside.  If he comes to your town, I would say go see him because he plays a unique set in comparison to all the other trance/ progressive house DJs out there, but if you miss him, I assure you you won’t be shedding any tears.

Rant: Why the Arizona rave scene should cease to exist

2006In 2006, the AZ rave scene was pretty poppin, and I have the evidence to prove it (see picture on right of me in the front row, yes that is me at 16).  Fast forward 6 years and the rave scene sucks more than a Dyson vacuum cleaner.  The scene went from being underground and personal, to basically a corporate money-making machine.  Thanks to complete morons such as Relentless Beats, Insomniac Events, and Steve Levine Entertainment, the rave scene is nothing more than a bunch of college douchebags and a bunch of middle school/ high school druggies looking for a place to not only party, but partake in highly embarrassing behavior including asking everyone within 5 foot distance if they would like a back massage or letting fellow partygoers know how hard they are rolling.  Thank you so much AZ production companies for really looking out for the best interest of the rave scene here.  Over the past year, I haven’t attended an event that has gone on PAST midnight.  This is complete bullshit, and for that, somebody needs to immediately destroy the offices that belong to said production companies.  Back in the day, when raves were still illegal, most of them weren’t even starting til 11 and ending until 5 or 6, sometimes even 7 in the morning.  Now that the production companies have taken “raves” into their own hands, raves end at midnight sharp so that the event is legally an all-ages event.  Obviously the promoters don’t give a fuck about the absurd amount of rolling 12 years grinding on each other in nothing but underwear, but rather how much money they make and how many people they are able to rake into their event.

Recently on the popular social media site, Facebook, I saw a rather well-known promoter posting pictures of himself flyering what looked like the ASU campus.  No offense idiot, but if you don’t know what raves are, you have no right promoting it to the idiots that destroyed our scene.  When I first started going to raves, it was all about the underground, and the vibes; it was about leaving your identity at home and partying til the wee hours of the morning with people that only knew your raver alter-ego and would probably never see you while the sun was actually out.  Many of these idiot promoters have taken it upon themselves to make sure that the rave scene has grown rapidly so they can rake in the dough.  Everywhere you go there are flyers, whether you are at a smoke shop, tattoo shop, or even college campus.  The promoters do not legitimately give a fuck about who comes to these events, they just want it to be big.  Gone are the days of vibes and “PLUR” and whatever other raver bullshit I used to tell myself when I was in high school.  Now its just a big money making scam where the promoters truly don’t give a shit about what a rave is.  A rave ends at whatever time the djs decide they want to go home, and should consist of people that know people that know people that know people, not just end at a certain time because of contract or consist of everyone and their mama because the promoters are trying to attract a big crowd.

azravesceneIts obvious no one gives a fuck about who comes to raves or about what vibes are present, just as long as the promoters are making money they are happy.  They know nothing about the culture, and are using the new EDM trend to profit.  For me personally, my culture has been taken away from me and I am forced to hang out with possibly the whole meth-using population of Arizona.  The promoters here are bringing out really good talent, and for that I commend them.  But seriously, if you know nothing about how raves used to be, stay the fuck away from promoting; if you’re money-hungry I heard drug-dealing and stripping are pretty profitable professions, but for the love of God, STAY AWAY FROM THE RAVE SCENE.

Artist Rant: Calvin Harris

So……. Calvin Harris is performing with Justin Bieber, Pitbull, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Afrojack…… What the actual fuck is going on in this picture? I’m not really sure what to think about a whole bunch of Bieber and Pitbull fans attending an event with such huge names in EDM.  The cluster fuck of musical acts that seem to be thrown together for entertainment purposes is really beginning to throw me off. I guess I understand Calvin Harris was always pretty mainstream with his productions, making chart topping hits with the likes of Rihanna and Florence Welch.  I just never thought I’d see him headline a concert where there were beliebers present.  I guess there’s not much to say, “rave culture” has been dead for at least 4 years, it was only a matter of time before underground EDM and mainstream acts starting performing on the same stages.  I’m not sure what this means for Afrojack and Calvin Harris.  As far as I’m concerned, Afrojack started sucking major ass after his hit “Take Over Control” and gave a less than amazing performance at EDC Las Vegas.  He’s been dead to me for quite sometime.  It seems like mainstream music is beginning to take baby steps into what it thinks is the world of raving and EDM.  It is what it is, maybe EDM is just a big trend and it will delve back into the depths of the underground one day, but for now it looks like mainstream EDM is here to stay.  I love Calvin Harris to death and this doesn’t make him any less of an amazing dj and producer, I’m just confused as to what is going on with music culture in America….

Relentless Beats gives me a ticket to La La Land, excitement ensues

According to La La Land’s event page, 960 people are supposedly coming to party at Phoenix Convention Center.  Although I was already planning on going, Relentless Beats has decided I am worthy of a free ticket via some random Facebook post contest.  I couldn’t be more ecstatic if I tried.  Datsik, Cosmic Gate, Mat Zo, Michael Woods, DJ Bl3nd and Noisecontrollers all playing at one event? In Arizona? As much as I despise major promoters and event planning companies for their majorly douchey events they host here in Arizona, I can’t help but be thankful for the fact that if it wasn’t for the rise of EDM, I wouldn’t be able to see these djs at all.  Production companies such as Relentless Beats, OneVibe Events, and Steve Levine Entertainment rule the Arizona electronic music scene.  Sometimes I am less than satisfied with the people that choose to go to these events who I am forced to share my personal bubble with, but for $40, look who you could see at one event! I am flabbergasted by the lineup and the cost because of the fact that I have been used to seeing good lineups ONLY in other major cities.  Phoenix is blowing up and is a new hotspot for fresh talent.  I think I am most excited to see DJ Bl3nd and Mat Zo.  I’m over Datsik because of the fact that pretty much all dubstep sounds the same to me and the common misconception in America that dubstep is in fact the name of a DJ.  I am very much looking forward to this event and can’t wait to write some more artist reviews. Again, thanks so much Relentless Beats.

EDC 2013: Should I stay or should I go?

EDC Vegas 2013 is coming up soon (approximately 7.5 months) and my Facebook newsfeed is on overload with the EDC trailers and emotional posts.  As an avid advocate of music festivals, I realize EDC’s impact on this country as one of the biggest, if not the biggest, dance festival in North America.  I will even go on to say that EDC Vegas’s impact on the music scene is almost iconic.  However, is the $600 (ticket, hotel room, drugs, gas) really going to be worth it in 2013? Last year at this time I told myself that EDC Los Angeles had my heart and I would never venture out to Vegas to see what is possibly the ugliest view to ever look at in the daytime. But I did. And you know what, I fucking LOVED EDC Vegas 2012.  However, it had many shortcomings which I’m not sure I can overlook and that I know will only be a bigger problem next year.  I was surrounded by overdosing morons puking into any available trash cans and frat bros flaunting their 12-packs asking me where Avicii was playing at. This is America and this is America’s “new” dance scene.  If you don’t think I was that jaded before, I think its pretty obvious I am now.  The lineup is going to be the same as it was last year.  Maybe a guest appearance by Skrillex or Deadmau5 if Insomniac decides they are appropriate representations of what EDM is (they don’t know shit).  Last year was so packed, it literally took my car 2 hours to leave the parking lot and get back to the hotel.  I guess I can thank the MENSA-qualified security guards and police officers for the way they strategically maneuvered the parking exits (they only had one open because that was the best way to get 100,000 people out of a music festival efficiently).  THAT is my biggest complaint.  I’m wondering if its time to turn over a new leaf and make an appearance at ULTRA or Electric Zoo or Electric Forest.  EDC was great last year, but I guarantee there will be absolutely nothing different about this years.  Unless Daft Punk headlines EDC 2013, I am thinking I will be out and will end up somewhere less packed and less douchey.

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