It was day one of the now 3-day Electric Zoo Festival, made bigger, better, and more bad-ass then ever. We’d had our fun at the sets of the day’s other DJs — Benny Benassi, Dirty South, and Bart B More, among others, but the main attraction was still ahead of us. The choice was clear: we had to see Tiesto. As you might have expected, that turned out that to be a pretty great move. Check out why after the break.
As 9pm on Friday rolled around, the exodus began. Crowds formed in front of the concrete- and grass-engulfed main stage almost without warning. The crew took about 20 minutes to set everything up, but the wait was well worth it. Soon after the soothing intermission music ended, the famed Dutch DJ took to the decks, firing off “Las Vegas,” the same way he opened at EDC Las Vegas this summer.
He followed up with Ken Loi’s rework of the Dune/Imogen Heap mashup “Watcha Say Valentina”, but it didn’t last long. No sooner did the track begin to sink in did he make the sudden switch “C’mon,” his collaboration with Diplo.
C’mon we did, as we were treated to the heartstring-tugging, dubsteppy “Heaven (Ryeland Re-Edit).” Tiesto was keeping things fresh, and constantly switching things up between genres with sudden cuts from song to song. Dusk set in at just the right time, and the cornucopia of lights, fog machines, and lasers became much more noticeable and active. As if on cue, Tiesto let loose none other than Sebastian Ingrosso & Alesso’s latest hit — and what was probably the anthem of Electric Zoo — “Calling.”
Emeli Sande – Heaven (Ryeland Re-Edit)
Sebastian Ingrosso & Alesso – Calling (Original Mix)
As for the second half of the show, those coming to see Tiesto — for Tiesto — were treated to track after track from the DJ’s back catalogue. Think gems like “Traffic,” “Adagio for Strings,” and his remix of Marcel Woods’s “Advanced.” But before he did that, he set the tone just right for what was about to come with the Sandro Silva & Quintino track “Epic.” Believe us, its big-room sound got us in the mood for whatever was to come next.
Sandro Silva & Quintino – Epic
Of course, it’s hard to complain when you hear the Alesso remix of Nadia Ali’s “Pressure” booming out of a respectable sound system. Now, try complaining when that track is paired with the chilly, yet emotional vocals of Coldplay’s “Fix You.” Just try. Just ask anyone who heard it at the SIZE Matters event at Governor’s Island.
Tiesto closed with “Maximal Crazy,” a song he’s not afraid to wrap things up with consistently. He had played his fair share of his own tracks which dominated the latter half of his set, but the entire time was enjoyable. We couldn’t have ended Friday in a better way.
Tiësto – Maximal Crazy (Original Mix)