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Tuesday
Mar052013

Ultra Weekend 1 Editor's Highlight: Main Stage Saturday

Ultra is all about Main Stage memories. There's something magic that happens when tens of thousands of people collide with the pulsating sound, the humid air, and each other with the twinkling lights of Downtown Miami as the backdrop. I've been from LA to Las Vegas to New York and beyond in search of that ultimate main stage experience, which often leaves much to be desired. It wouldn't take me long to say that Ultra has the best main stage of all the US festivals, but that was so last year. This year the lawn at Bayfront Park is about to transform into something never done before. While I admit that we hadn't seen the lineup when choosing between the first and second weekend, I have to say that this is without a doubt the most I've ever anticipated a single day in my life. Festival curation is a gift, and Saturday March 16 is the crème de la crème.

Miss Nine

Starting off the afternoon steamy is one of EDM's hottest female stars. Kicking off her career as a model at the age of 16 in Germany, she soon found her first residency after moving to Amsterdam in 2003, playing alongside veterans John Digweed and more. Flash to 2006 and Nine is at the top of the iTunes dance charts with her massively well-received Yoshitoshi Ibiza mix. Kristin Schorat continues to be a force to reckon with both within dance music circles and the international modeling circuit as an ambassador to Levi's.

Tommie Sunshine

No one reps the NYC EDMC harder than Tommie Sunshine. The veteran House DJ has held dominion over the Tri-State EDM circuit for many years, but in most recent developments has emerged as one of our scene's fiercest advocates. There's no doubt in my mind that Tommie will bring to the table an eclectic set of deep groove when he takes to the Main Stage Saturday afternoon. It takes true talent to bring down the house at 7:00 PM, but that's exactly what he did last week opening for Zedd at Webster Hall. This is Tommie's time to shine and I'm sure he'll impress the crowd with his expertise.

Datsik

Here's where the afternoon starts to really shine. Unlike last year which relegated many of the bass acts to a smaller stage, Saturday afternoon this year is all about the bass. With his Firepower tour now "Reloaded," Datsik has throughout the past few months accummulated a lot of support from up and coming bass acts, giving him a huge advantage in the form of new music to play. And with the Vortex ready for the mainstage, I'm not sure if I'm ready. Datsik may have never played a crowd this big but it will be interesting to see what the notorious dubstepper has in store for the huge party. 

Borgore

Borgore's a simple guy. He likes girls. He likes bass. He likes both together even more. The loudest sets I've heard have all been from this Israeli Doctor of Dubstep, most recently his set for the UKF launch party here in New York City. As a go-to face-melter for the scene for many years, Borgore has in most recent months worked on getting his foot in the door of the emerging Trap phenomenon. Whether you go for the bass or just the booty you'll be drenched by the time it's over.

Flux Pavilion vs. Doctor P

If the sheer excitement I'm feeling right now just from writing these names down isn't enough to convince you, I'll take a stab at it. There's a certain exclusivity of the long roster of tracks these two put out. After you get past the obvious Circus hits "I Can't Stop" and "Gold Dust," these two when combined put on a show like none other. I'll be honest and say a lot of dubstep DJs just aren't good at mixing overall, but this couldn't be further from the case for these two. With a stacked playlist of hits and new tracks at their disposal, on a scale of 1 to 10 this set will be gnarly. 

Madeon

The young French sensation that first found his success through that video you've all seen is still working at evolving his sound. Ranging from Electro House to Nu-Disco and Indie Dance, Madeon's broad-based productions flow perfectly together in a mix to create a perfect pop-dance soundtrack. Citing The Beatles and Daft Punk as his musical inspirations, Leclercq has introduced an entirely new breed of hybrid dance music into the scene, and it's taken to the skies. With huge successes as both a commercial DJ and producer, Madeon's music has been picked up by huge media franchises for use in commericals and TV shows, a true testament to his musicality. 

Porter Robinson

If I can survive the stampede of girls flocking to the main stage in an attempt to get close enough for Porter to miraculously pick them out of the crowd and marry them, I will catch this set. Beyond his boyish good looks PR has an artistic diversity that ranges from hard Electro to vocal Progressive to euphoric anthems of our raving generation. Of course Porter always rocks his sets with his energy and his dedication to musical technicality, and Saturday is his time to prove he's here to stay.

 

Hardwell

Hardwell knows how to keep his crowd going. By mastering the gift of track selection the Dutch superstar rolls out new music every week that everyone else seems to overlook. The Electro House wonder has come a long way from humble beginnings to astronomical heights that make him a true "Spaceman" of the genre. Ever since the Amsterdam Dance Event his name has been on fire within the scene, and now's his time to shine the lights down on the big stage because this year he's playing after dark.

Knife Party

Here's where it starts to get really, really good. Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen know more than anyone that it takes a lot to tour, produce, and keep the sound fresh. What always impresses me when they play is their tracklists which span from their own productions to unheard originals from unknown artists. And it gets even better. The two have been off the map lately, especially online, but after hearing their set for Ultra Buenos Aires from the 23rd, I can assure you that they are about to blow your mind. Miami is the time to rock the boat when it comes to premiering and promoing new tracks, and with an apparent new EP in the works, this will be spectacular. 

Kaskade

Ultra for me equals KASKADE. Last year's main stage set was unrivalled in energy, with Ryan pumping out the Fire & Ice leaving the whole crowd screaming. It's been far too long since I saw him in Las Vegas and I'm hoping that he has some new stuff to show us at his biggest North America show since his Freaks of Nature tour ended. If anyone has mastered the balance between DJ and producer that's needed in today's marketplace it's Kaskade, whose sets are always filled with his timeless originals and mashups on top of a few surprises thrown in between. Ryan has lived and breathed this scene for over a decade, so look out that your soles don't burn to the floor!

Deadmau5

Here's how it goes: the first time I saw Mau5 was here at Roseland Ballroom when he played a week straight of sold out shows for 4x4=12. After seeing him once I spent all my money and saw him again two days later (tickets were $40 back then). Ever since I've been itching to get back in the mindset I was in that night. I cannot express how excited I am to be able to share with everyone the amazing experience Deadmau5 "live" is. The scene's poster-child and notorious grouch is the epitome of the bedroom producer and the video game nerd, so basically our whole scene. He is also an absolute genius of modern music production who truly deserves all the dough. After being out of the festival loop for far too long (it seems like he doesn't care), downtown Miami is about to get rattled! And let me just add that this is not an unhooked show, the cube is coming back baby!

Limited Weekend 1 Tickets Still Available - Purchase Here

By Edward Fancher

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