It is special to celebrate the coming of a new year. It signifies a fresh start, an opportunity to imagine what you can accomplish over the next year. With all your friends around you, it is time to celebrate and move forward with the people you care about. Not to mention that everyone loves a good NYE throwdown. When it comes to celebrating the birth of a new year in Colorado, Decadence is undisputedly the best place to go.
Saturday night at Decadence was raunchy. The Convention center came to life with thousands of people all ready to dance together as one. Space Jesus kicked brought out the crowds early for the sound of his wonky wubs. While the cold outside threw scantily clad party goers into the convention center with its icy fist, Claude VonStroke and Green Velvet were getting down as the super-duo, Get Real. Simply put, their set was unreal. They bounced back and forth, laying down articulate bass lines to send the crowd on a groovy journey.
Diplo went off with a bang, quickly mixing between club classics and trap bangers in true Wesley style. From what was seen of Louis the Child, they really threw down. They played a range of their signature feel-good future bass tracks to high energy beats causing bodies to convulse all over the dancefloor. Their smash hit, “It’s Strange”, came through the speakers to thunderous applause as the final song. Justice was a really interesting set, diverging from the norm of sounds played at Decadence. The Frenchmen mixed of dark techno beats and rock classics, even throwing in YMCA and multiple versions VIPs by Skrillex & MUST DIE!.
Bassnectar did not disappoint. The crowd began to amass as the stage was prepped for Lorins set. He exploded on stage and took the crowd on an hour and a half journey through sound. Lost in the Crowd. Slather. Disrupt the System. All that and much more. My only criticism might be that he tried to mix in too many hip-hop tracks over other beats. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. Yung Crypto (aka Gramatik) kept the crowd moving after Bassnectar left the stage. He was unstoppable, playing songs from across his discography, from No Shortcuts to Epigram. All 3 Grizmatik songs came out, each with some fascinating live edit supplemented by an amazing guitar part played by Adam Stehr.
Stepping over to the Silent Disco is always a blast. It’s the perfect way to step off the main stage and have some fun with your friends. While it may not have featured the most well-known artists, each act to step on stage kept the party going. The silent disco was smack dab in the middle of the other two stages. Nearby, you could also find a dome crusted with LED’s and serene sounds for those looking to take a little break. Farther back was a virtual reality exhibit, allowing attendees to step out of reality and experience a taste of the future. It was a hit, and something I’d like to see much more of. All around the convention center, inflatables hung from the ceiling adding to the ambiance of the environment. Free water stations were abundant, which kept everyone happy and healthy, although there could have been stations near the front of the crowd.
On day two, citizens of The City of Tomorrow nursed their hangovers and came out stronger than ever. The Time Vault stage featured a stunning repertoire of live performance electronic music, including Bass Physics, Autograf, Rufus Du Sol, ODESZA, and Big Gigantic. Listening to music at the time Vault Stage just made you feel good all night long. Rufus Du Sol had one of the standout performances of the night, playing their signature blend of happy dance music. The crowd went wild as they played tracks like, “You Were Right”, “Like An Animal”, and “Innerbloom”. As RUFUS left the stage, the crowd began to amass, marking their territory on the dancefloor to ensure a prime spot for ODESZA to take the stage and bring in the new year. Their crew immediately took the stage and set up their immense production as the crowd waited restlessly.
Harrison and Clayton took the stage to immense applause. They ran through a setlist of all their best tracks, both off their newest album A Moment Apart and older projects like Summer’s Gone. Suddenly, the new year was upon us and a cascade of balloons came falling from the ceiling to the delight of the crowd. Everywhere you looked there were new years kisses, confetti, and smiles. Big Gigantic followed up with a monstrous performance for its hometown crowd, dropping favorites like “Get On Up” and unveiling a brand new collaboration with NGHTMRE. To cap things off, Bro Safari threw down a wild DJ set for all those looking to dance until they couldn’t anymore.
The other side of the venue saw performances by artists like Borgore, Porter Robinson, and Armin Van Buuren. Borgore unleashed the filth with an extremely high energy dubstep set. Bootys were indeed shaking. Porter showed us that he can deliver a breathtaking set on a Traktor S4, as one of the few DJs who has not made the switch to CDJ’s. Regardless of who was performing, you were sure to see something worthwhile.
Overall, Decadence was an amazing festival, permeated by good vibes, good music, and smiling faces. I do feel that there could have been much more done to differentiate the experience at each stage. Both The Grid and The Vault felt quite similar to each other, and even adding slight details to each would have made a big impact. Alas, Decadence is over and we must wait anxiously for the next festival to attend. See you in 2019
Photos by Seth Watrous
Review by Hunter Saillen