Well, after over 6 months of looking forward to it, Electric Forest has come and gone. It was 4 full days of amazing music from artists I already know and love, artists I was seeing live for the first time, and some new discoveries. I attended wayyy too many sets to recap them all, but here are each day’s highlights.
Dabin was the first of my 2 Electric Forest interviews, and it was really fun for me to go to this set knowing I was going to chat with him directly after. It was my first time seeing him live and it was absolutely incredible, even though it was raining pretty hard. I like to describe his sound as “Odesza but harder.” Light and airy with killer drops mixed in.
Phutureprimitive is so futuristic and weird. It’s really heavy but also…groovy? You don’t jump up and down to it, you skulk. I saw him briefly at Forest 2 years ago in a tented stage, but this year he played the Forest Stage (which is actually in the middle of the forest) and the setting was so dark and perfect.
Above & Beyond
OH MY GOODNESS. I decided to check out A&B because they’re legends in the trance scene. I don’t really listen to trance at all but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see what they’re about. It was SO FUN. To the point where I even decided to leave to check out a different stage at one point, and then turned around and came back 5 minutes later. Does this mean I like trance now? I have no idea. There was one magical moment where right in time with the drop the skies opened up and immediately started pouring, with absolutely no warning.
Even though I wasn’t with them at the time, my friends and I both ended up at this set somehow and we all loved it. The electro-swing was absolutely perfect for the Hangar Stage, a 40s style indoor(ish) venue that has the most personality of any of the stages. I even caught the security guy busting some moves, so you know this set was good.
I accompanied my friends to this set because I didn’t have anywhere else to be at that time, but I am officially converted. Jai Wolf is the happiest of all happy and electro-poppy music! Pure light and joy. So joyful, in fact, that a couple got engaged on stage toward the very end. I caught the last bits of it on Snapchat.
It had been years since I last saw a good trap show. A lot of the first electronic music I listened to was trap, but I’ve been falling down the rabbit hole of funk for a few years now and a lot of other music has been pushed to the side. This performance was one of my favorites of the weekend and I legitimately feel like I worked some anger out of my body. The fact that such intense music came from someone with such a delightful British accent (and knee socks) only added to the experience, as did the fact that I used my media pass to spend some time in the press pit at the very front of the audience.
I was looking forward to this set a lot despite the fact that I have never seen or even really listened to them. Tycho is just one of those bands I’ve heard about from countless people, particularly how amazing they are live. But you know what? I couldn’t connect to it at all. It was strange and experimental and didn’t have a consistent rhythm for me to latch on to. My friend and I decided that Tycho is a band you listen to in bed with your headphones, or sitting back watching the legitimately cool visuals with some popcorn, like a movie. And in fact, for the last 20 minutes of the set we sat in the wayyyy back, eating a plate of nachos, and laughing about how we got our movie setting after all. (It was better, as we predicted.)
I already wrote a more thorough post on Odesza’s Forest set. It was amazing and I almost cried. I would love to watch this set over and over again but it doesn’t look like anyone recorded it. Saddest of times. The video below is great because a) he’s pretty close, b) he scans the crowd so you can see the masses, c) it starts off with Odesza’s remix of Pretty Lights’ “One Day They’ll Know” which is such a good remix and I will never tire of hearing it.
Francis and the Lights
When I was at Governors Ball a few weeks ago I was talking to a rando sitting next to me in the Bacardi tent and asking him which Gov Ball acts he liked and he mentioned this one. I had never heard of him but when he described it as “zombie Phil Collins,” I was intrigued. This guy legitimately DOES sound exactly like Phil Collins. But you probably already know this because Francis has a collab with Chance the Rapper so apparently I was out of the loop on this one. I queued up this video to the moment where Francis and Chance are both dancing. You’re welcome.
I’ve seen Opiuo a few times before but this might have been my favorite Opiuo set ever. The addition of Russ Liquid on the trumpet upped the funk factor and made this set so bouncy.
I love tropical house and Viceroy is a master of it. And unlike Matoma, another tropical house producer who played later that day, Viceroy’s set was actually mostly tropical house (Matoma played a more generic big room type of set, which was also fantastic, just unexpected).
French Kiwi Juice!! This jazzy dude is so talented and I was so pleased to finally see him live. It was everything I wanted and more even though I only caught about 20 minutes of his set. It was so smooth and yet again the Forest Stage provided a perfect setting.
My next festival, and last camping one for the summer, is in less than 2 weeks! Bisco’s lineup is my favorite of 2017 so I am super pumped for this one. Get ready for more music recaps!