While some of the team was recovering from Roger Sanchez, I was attending the premiere of the Ultra movie, Can U Feel it. I arrived fashionably late, but just in time to hear Deniz Koyu drop “Tung” which is enough to make any crowd go wild. He played a few more songs until Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano took the stage, dropping favorites like Hardwell’s “Spaceman” while the giant LED Kyromen stormed across the stage. After a one hour set, the lights then dimmed and the crowd immediately took to their seats. It was time for Can U Feel It.
The movie started out just like the trailer, and begins with footage from where most people begin their UMF experience: on line. Once through the gates, the film walks you through the entire weekend, and integrates footage from interviews with various UMF artists discussing their experiences. Fedde Le Grand straight up calls Ultra “one of the best festivals in the world,” and describes the energy as being unlike anything else. A main topic of discussion is the recent boom of EDM into the mainstream, and David Guetta put it best: “It’s taking [over] America — and America does it the biggest.” He goes on to draw parallels between the rise of dance music in Europe and the US, stating that “I think this is the beginning.”
As expected for a production of this size, the cinematography was top notch: everything from helicopters, multiple boom cameras, and various camera men all over the festival fully captured the vibe on film. The movie did its best to capture all the moments — the guy crowd surfing in a wheelchair, the full out ravers having a great time — it shows that UMF is definitely not your average concert. Still, if you’ve never attended, there is an energy that just can’t be described until you’re in the middle of a crowd 50,000 strong for yourself.
The showing was paired with pyrotechnics, smoke, and lots of confetti which helped make the premiere that much more special in the incredible Klipsch Ampitheater venue. At about 10:15 the movie ended and Nicky Romero took the stage — bringing people to their feet and reminding everyone of the real reason they were there. Can U Feel It gave an great inside look at the experience and the insanity of UMF 2011, but there’s nothing like being there for yourself.