This past Sunday Colorado fans flocked to a sold out Red Rocks as Mad Decent Block Party made its return to the Mile High City! With names like Major Lazer, 2Chainz, and Yellow Claw headlining the event we knew it was going to be a show Denver would always remember, but we had no clue how truly spectacular it would prove to be. Many were skeptical of what the event would hold with the new sound and time restrictions on the world famous venue in effect, keeping many electronic festivals away. However, armed with the newly revealed and insanely hard hitting Trinity Sound System from PKSound the event proved any doubter wrong.
Unfortunately due to some technical issues the British bass duo Stooki Sound had their set cut short as their mixers and computers refused to work at the start. We have no doubt the scorching heat played a factor as Red Rocks got near 100 degrees during the event. After resolving the challenges they were faced with Stooki went on to prove their world class reputation is well deserved as they proceeded to throw down one of the heaviest sets I have ever experienced. Being the first set of this performance really set the tone for the rest of the festival and we don’t think Mad Decent could have picked anyone better than Stooki Sound as really turned the crowd up during their first Red Rocks performance.
After recently rocking the Mad Decent crowd in Texas, Party Favor brought his well known festival trap to the Colorado crowd for a phenomenal set.Combining his rowdy set with the awesome performance the PKSound system provided, Party Favor, having enough of the unusual mountain heat took off his shirt and joined the crowd in wild trap arms and bouncing to the beat. After breaking the barrier between DJ and audience, the crowd seemed even more excited for drops like Carnage’s famous track “Kat!e” and Party Favor’s chart topper “Bap U”. Overall the set couldn’t have gone better and was a perfect way to open for another massive trap name, Grandtheft.
The Toronto trap star Grandtheft holds a special spot in my heart and my appreciation of his sets was only increased with his performance at Red Rocks this past weekend. From fan favorites like “Keep It 100” and “Mobbin” to his recently released track with Sleepy Tom, Grandtheft kept his set heavy and fast as the crowd bounced with him. The spectacular DJ was the first of the sets to perform to a nearly maxed out Colorado crowd as the steps of Red Rocks were filled from bottom to top and over flowing into the terraces surrounding the packed out stands. Overall the set was superb and really highlighted by the fact that Grandtheft not only is an incredible DJ, but also confident enough in his own production skills that he favors playing his own tracks to those of others.
Right before the sun began to set, Red Rocks was treated to an amazing performance from the producer/DJ powerhouse of WhatSoNot. Having recently parted ways with his other half, Flume, the now solo Emoh brought his soulful music to the mountain crowd. From downtempo tracks like the Branchez remix of “High You Are” to the world wide hit with RL Grime “Tell Me”, WhatSoNot proved himself to be on par with Grandtheft, playing original tracks rather than featuring others’ music. The mostly relaxed set was a welcome intermission, providing a break from the hype of the artist before and after Emoh’s set. Overall a fantastic performance by the Australian who proved that he is a more than capable performer without having Flume by his side.
Running onto the Red Rocks stage, yelling, and with a heavy bass to back them up, Yellow Claw took the already very energetic crowd, and turn it into
a the wildest audience I have ever seen. From Flosstradamus & GTA’s massice track “Prison Riot” to Yellow Claw’s hardstyle anthem “Last Night Ever” the energy was palpable between the towering Red Rocks. With front man and MC of the group Bizzey (Leonardo Roelandschap) taking the lead as Producer/DJ partner Nizzle (Nils Rondhuis) backed him up on the deck, the duo showed the Colorado fans what these Amsterdam artists had to offer. Turning the audience and PK Sound system up to 11 this was by far the most insane set of the night with the crowd from row 1 to the very top of Red Rocks jumping to every beat.
Returning to more relaxed vibes, like those of WhatSoNot, the crowd was treated to a beautiful performance by the live electronic trio Keys N Krates, who after selling out Red Rocks along side Adventure Club earlier this year made their return to the famous Colorado venue. Bringing together live drums, synths, and mixing the Canadian artists proved that electronic music can be more than just pressing play on CDJ’s as their new beats like “I Know You” and “Save Me” washed over the Denver audience. Their set can only be described as pure emotion as the three artists sweated on stage to bring their moving music to the crowd, by far one of the top performances of the night these guys really deserved to play Red Rocks twice this year and we are so happy they did!Breaking from the electronic acts mega rap star 2Chainz jumped onto the Red Rocks stage clad in a florescent Mexican poncho as bass boomed over his well known tracks. The Def Jam artist was a late addition to the Mad Decent lineup but was easily one of the most anticipated acts of the night. With the crowd bouncing to “Birthday Song” and “I’m Different” the rapper gave the crowd a much needed break from the heavy bass and wild energy of the earlier set, and prepared to fans for the headliner, Major Lazer. Overall his performance was a outstanding and really showed that diversity of music genres at events like Mad Decent can be a good thing.
Major Lazer and lead man Diplo showed Colorado an amazing show this past weekend, returning to Red Rocks after headlining Winter On The Rocks last winter. Showing the crowd that their legendary status in music is well earned the trio brought their dancehall beats along with incredible showmanship, with Diplo and Walshy Fire spending nearly the entire time in the crowd and dancing on stage while Jillionaire took over the mixing. Bringing more pyro, confetti, cryo, and fire works to their performance then we have ever seen at Red Rocks, lighting up the mountain night and illuminating the packed bleachers of the massive venue. The Colorado crowd also was treated to some amazing surprise guests as 2Chainz made a return to the stage to perform “Febreze” off Diplo’s side project JackÜ’s latest album. Also, Wild Belle graced the stage for the track “Be Together” off Major Lazer’s album Peace Is The Mission. It was an unforgettable night at Red Rocks highlighted by a massive performance Major Lazer, who we hope to see in Colorado again very soon!
Overall Mad Decent Block Party did nothing but surpass all expectations we had for the event and moving from its former home at Fiddlers Green to Red Rocks proved to be a fantastic decision. Combining over the top pyro and other practical effects with a world class sound system provided by PK Sound meant that artists like Grandtheft, WhatSoNot, and Major Lazer had everything they needed to make this the perfect end of summer event for the Colorado fans. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for next year and can only thank them for the fantastic festival they brought to Denver this year.