Once again decadence was the place in Arizona to be on New Year’s Eve. The event had an impressive lineup and was very well organized. Before even walking in the improvements were evident, the traffic issues from the previous year were eliminated and the lines to get in were much easier and quicker to navigate. The line up featured electronic artists from all genres with some of the favorites being Zeds Dead, Big Wild, Duke Dumont, Rufus Du Sol, Armin van Buuren, and Snails. The Rawhide is known for having impressive stages and for decadence they went all out with a sea of floodlights, led screens, lasers, fog machines and confetti. There were many times when we wished we could have been at two stages at once but luckily the sets were staggered so it was possible to catch part of everyone’s set.
Demonic excitement shook the crowd as Black Tiger Sex Machine (BTSM) took to the stage and welcomed the audience into their church. Three DJ’s with black tiger masks on electrified the Diamond Atrium. They brought the rave experience to life with lasers and strobe lights set to hardcore bass putting the audience into a state of trance. As the music rose so did the crowd’s energy until the glorious beat dropped and the crowd went absolutely nuts. The energy of this set was immense, making it one of our favorite sets of Decadence. With such an engaged audience we felt a connection between the audience, ourselves, and the music.
Borgore was clearly one of the fan favorites and has been on my list of artists to see for about a decade. After waiting all these years to see Borgore he lived up to my expectations of putting on an epic show. It was pleasant to see that Borgore has evolved to be more than the ratchet rapper we have all come to know and love. His set has transitioned to be that of a more traditional DJ with an emphasis on dubstep while mixing in dirty tracks like “Nympho”, “Delicious” and “Decisions”. He has mastered the art of dropping memberberries which brought the audience on a journey down memory lane into the late 2000’s and early 2010’s.
Louis the Child is one of those artists that you never quite know what they will pass through your eardrums, you just know that whatever it is will be happy upbeat and easy to sway too. That is the goal of this duo after all, what better emotion to evoke than happiness? This performance was no exception with crowd favorites “Fire” and “It’s Strange” bringing mad vibes to the Rawhide. This duo is a master of the melody which engages the crowd in a spiritually uplifting way. Life’s stressed melted away while bouncing about to their set and if you looked around you could see people were whispering sweet nothings into their lover’s ears. Their blending of light-hearted sounds is similar to Flume, Odesza and Porter Robinson who clearly influenced their sound.
Deorro had the honor of playing into the New Year. Leading up to the clock striking midnight he encouraged the crowd to take the person beside them and show some love. The crowd was hyped up during the ten-second countdown and confetti and firecrackers popped off as 2018 began. A flood of oversized balloons dropped from the ceiling which bounced around for the remainder of the night. Oasis’ “Wonderwall” was briefly played before transitioning into the more upbeat “Heads Will Roll” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The party picked up and the audience went into full-on rage mode as Deorro transitioned into a full on trap fest. The energy was high and the tone for 2018 was set, the year of getting shit done and having a blast while doing it.
Relentless Beats ended out 2017 on a high note with a festival that had Arizona amped up and excited for all the come in 2018. They improved each and every festival leading up to this one over the course of 2017, what more can be asked for? If you haven’t figured out yet that Arizona’s festival season is the perfect complement to Colorado’s then I suggest you check out what is happening in over there in this coming year. Crush, Phoenix Lights, and Goldrush are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes the Arizona festival season.
Written By Anne Tighe and Brandon Lopez