We once heard a joke about David Guetta that asks the following: “What does he do at a live show besides press ‘play?’” The answer? “He also presses ‘stop.’” The #1 DJ soared to new heights in popularity in last last few years, pumping out crazy-catchy dance-pop tracks and catering to an audience that doesn’t care what kind of CDJ and mixer he’s using, much less whether he’s live mixing at all. (And the Beats around his neck during his Grammy performance were likely more accessory than necessity.) We don’t think it’s offensive to say that Guetta is the ideal artist for an entry-level EDM fan, someone who doesn’t know Zedd from Zeds Dead, or Qulinez from Quintino. All of that said, the man puts on a hell of a show.
Guetta brought his signature fusion of speaker-rattling bass, melodic piano leads, and irresistible vocals to NYC’s Roseland Ballroom for a stateside version of his famous “F*** Me I’m Famous” party. The show was definitely not lacking in spectacle, with LED screens galore and nearly-nude dancers sliding around poles onstage. Huge neon hearts hung from the ceiling throughout the venue, complimenting the not-so-subtle “F***” behind Guetta’s head. (Don’t believe us when we tell you how crazy his decorations were? Check out his rider.)
Opener Zedd seemed an odd choice amid the gauche flashing lights and considering the crowd; the Astronauts in attendance happened to be big Zedd fans, and we wish partygoers had shown him more love. Situated in a booth off to the side of Guetta’s, the talented German DJ appeared to be something of an afterthought. But, all in all, Zedd did his job as an opener, and the crowd was amply warmed up for Guetta’s set. Click past the break for five tracks you need to know – and probably already do.
Snoop Dogg vs. David Guetta – Sweat (David Guetta Remix)
Guetta opened his set with the instantly recognizable synth lead from his remix of Snoop’s “Sweat.” The track is big, bouncy, and has tons of crossover appeal.
David Guetta ft. Usher – Without You (Jus Jack & Oza Bootleg)
Given the number of high-quality “Without You” remixes out there – AvB! R3hab! – we were surprised to hear one we didn’t know at Roseland. The morning after the show, Jus Jack posted the below video, identifying the remix as his own.
Afrojack ft. Shermanology – Can’t Stop Me
Afrojack’s latest anthem fit perfectly in Guetta’s vocal-heavy set, and boasted the same uplifting vibe as many of the tracks he played. We don’t really think of Guetta as Afrojack’s mentor anymore – each artist has truly forged his own distinct path – but Guetta’s influence on “Can’t Stop Me” became clear when mixed in with his other tracks.
David Guetta vs. David Guetta & Fedde Le Grand – Love Is Gone/Little Bad Girl (David Guetta Bootleg)
This bootleg is a double hit of crowd-pleasing music: everyone knows the lyrics to “Love Is Gone” and is bound to belt them out, so why not leave it as an a capella? Then, drop in the “Little Bad Girl” beat after a round of the “Love Is Gone” chorus and surprise everyone. If Guetta were to enroll in Bootlegs 101, this one would get an A+.
Nicky Romero – Generation 303
“Generation 303″ isn’t a natural fit for a Guetta set – no chorus, no rapper cameos – but the acid house beat rocked through the Roseland speakers nonetheless. No one (besides us, at least) seemed to notice that Zedd also dropped the Nicky Romero track in his set, mixed in a slick bootleg with “We Are Your Friends.”