Global Dance’s Decadence has built a reputation over the years as the country’s premier New Years Eve destination for dance music. Every year the lineup gets bigger and bigger, and tens of thousands of fans, or “citizens” as the festival affectionately calls them, pack into the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver. Three years ago the festival expanded to Arizona, offering concertgoers to our south a celebration of equal magnitude. Electronic Colorado had writers on hand at both festivals this year and a photographer in Denver. Here’s what they had to say…
by Eloise Reyser
Night one of Decadence had a solid start with Marshmellos’ highly sought after style of progressive house mixed with trap. Regardless of whose face is behind the mask, Marshmello has garnered an impressive fan base within a relatively short time period. The convention center was littered with fans dressed in his likeness and the vast majority of the crowd moved to the Daydream stage to watch his set. Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the venue, Showtek and Borgeous held their own with two consecutive, high energy sets, both of which earned a larger audience as the night wore on.
By 11 pm, the venue had filled up completely and the gates leading into the Daydream Stage where Bassnectar’s set had just started were becoming more and more packed. As expected, Bassnectar’s performance had attracted a well-deserved audience. His visuals followed his tried and true formula for success, with tediously synchronized movement and spacing to match his music and while the bass directly beside the stage was completely overwhelming, the sound further back was more balanced for the venue.
Of all the artists on the first night, Disclosure’s DJ set wins the award for being the least predictable. Most of the earlier artists had brought some combination of big room bass meets hard style, but Disclosure added a healthy amount of house to the mix that helped to round out the evening. Combined with tasteful visuals and danceable beats, they definitely earned their place by the end of the night.
New Year’s Eve started gathering steam with Ecotek and Big Wild warming up the two main stages. As fans poured through the gates, SunSquabi stole the majority of them with an attractive performance at the Daydream stage. Decadence citizens flocked to the Timekeeper stage shortly after ‘Squabi was done, as the Chainsmokers proceeded to drive the crowd wild. Similar to their sold out performances during the summer, The Chainsmokers brought beautiful visuals. Exquisite graphics could be seen all the way from the back of the stage, thanks to the huge screens employed and a number of laser installations lighting up the sky. The Chainsmokers themselves kept dancing on top of the stage and provided the rhythm for the ocean of fans.
The Chainsmokers’ performance easily took the best visuals award for the night and stood as a stark comparison to what followed next. No bright lights or flashing graphics could be seen. Eric Prydz began his set in near darkness and let the beats do the talking. And talk they did. It was as if the Mozart of electronic music had taken the stage. Visuals took a supporting role through the next hour as Pryda let his magic drive the crowd into a trance. If you weren’t a fan of house, Flume had you covered at the Daydream stage. Flume played a very sensual and emotional set that combined his strengths of downtempo and future bass.
The king of trance, Tiesto himself, took the Timekeeper stage shortly before midnight. As the clock hit twelve, the sky was filled with balloons and paper confetti descending from the ceiling in giant swarms. The thing that always impresses me with Tiesto is that you will always be surprised by his music. Despite having one of the longest careers of any electronic artist, Tiesto still adapts to current trends and keeps his sets fresh. This year he clearly recognized that trap had taken hold of music charts, and integrated a gallop of trap beats and chart toppers into the first hour of his set. The crowd clearly appreciated it, for dancing did not cease until the late hours of the night, when Decadence drew to a close.
by Brandon Lopez
Decadence Arizona certainly lived up to its hype of being the biggest New Years Eve party Arizona has ever hosted. It was a time spent with friends, both new and old, rejoicing in an utter bliss of music, lasers, and floodlights. This two-day event brought thousands of people together to ring in the New Year at the Rawhide in Chandler, Arizona.
On the first night, Sam Feldt, Porter Robinson, Deadmau5, and Marshmello played on the Diamond stage with the latter closing the night out. Porter Robinson brought his A-game and had the audience amped as they went into the last day of the year. Deadmau5 gave a stellar performance, but there was some rivalry between his fans and Marshmello’s, as to who deserved to close out the night. Marshmello absolutely killed it with his set, which reaffirmed to me why he was granted the honor. Over in the Sapphire Hall, Slushii, OOKAY, and Green Velvet all gave amazing performances that will certainly be remembered as some of their best of the year. OOKAY was definitely my favorite performance in the Sapphire Hall. He brought heavy beats accompanied by soft feather dancing.
On the second night, Vanic, Zedd, Jauz, Arty and The Chainsmokers played on the Diamond Arena stage. Jauz had the honors of ringing in the New Year and was everything I could ask for, in addition to greeting 2017 with a kiss. Up next, Arty had the honor of playing the first full set of the New Year. He certainly set the mood for 2017, with a performance that radiated peace, love, and tranquility. Arty’s set was easily my favorite of Decadence and was truly an amazing mix of music. Finishing out the night on the Diamond Stage were The Chainsmokers. With hits like “Closer”, The Chainsmokers performed a mix of both new and old music which was appropriate given the transition of the years.
The two main stages brought a wealth of talented artists that I am looking forward to hearing throughout 2017. The smaller Emerald Carnival stage was host to less known, up and coming artists such as Blossom, Orenda, and Highline. I am certain in 2017 that we will see these artists move on to bigger stages alongside fan favorites like Porter Robinson, Marshmello, Arty, ZEDD and The Chainsmokers. Although Decadence Arizona 2016 may have come to an end, the vibes of peace, love, unity and respect will radiate forth well into 2017.