If you’re attending Electric Zoo this Labor Day weekend, it is fair to say you’ve been waiting for this moment for eleven months. 362 days since closing the festival last summer, your 2012 experience will come down to making the perfect selections of which DJs are must-see options and which to pass on. Saturday, day two, presents all-star lineups at each tent; Axwell on the Main Stage, Benny Benassi at Hilltop Arena, Steve Aoki at Riverside, and Sasha at Sunday School Grove. For those who have been around the block, only one name truly stands out – that is the legendary Sasha.
Axwell’s mainstage set will be replicated by Steve Angello at Size In The Park and Sebastian Ingrosso at his NYC Halloween affair, so skipping out on the Swede’s performance is an easy decision. Many New Yorkers flocked to Governors Island this summer and have already seen the Italian veteran Benny Benassi, so you can pass on his familiar set. If you’ve seen one Steve Aoki show, you’ve seen them all; expect nothing other than crowd surfing in an inflatable raft, champagne showers, and a pie in the face — fun and games that belong in the circus, not New York’s premier music festival. That leaves you with one option to die for, a closing set at Sunday School Grove.
This month, Danny Tenaglia and John Digweed invaded Governors Island for one of the most memorable and enjoyable parties of the summer, leaving the NYC dance scene wanting more tech house antics. Those wishes will be fulfilled when Digweed’s longtime partner-in-crime – Alexander Paul Coe, known internationally as Sasha — takes the decks of Electric Zoo to rival the closing hours against some of the biggest commercial names in the business.
Say what you want about Electric Zoo in the ranks of America’s festivals such as EDC or Ultra, but one thing is certain – some New Yorkers have a special place in their hearts for techno, minimal, deep house, and any hard-hitting beats that oppose modern pop house. The authentic crowd, those that have visited the Zoo previous summers, will be drifting away from youngsters in neon crowding the main stage to dance.
That’s right, dance. Commercial sets synced with pyrotechnics and bright lights have become an exhibit to sing along to vocals and throw hands in the air, taking the ‘dance’ out of ‘electronic dance music.’ With Sasha, expect to keep your feet moving from start to finish. The Welsh DJ, who has been the one of the genre’s most important players since the 80’s, will be delivering what dance music fans claim to desire most — a fresh and authentic DJ set.
For the other three headliners, you can predict a large portion of the set list they will be bringing to New York weeks ahead of the festival. For Sasha, expect the unexpected. What you should know is that he will be playing music from his Involver series, musical compilations that he has been putting together for nearly a decade, with the third installment due this year. No big names, no pop vocalists, just music made for nightclubs worldwide.
You’ve heard DJs claim to take the decks, feel the crowd, and create a musical journey. While that essential facet of DJing has become rare, it is exactly what you will get when you spend Saturday at Sunday School Grove. Attending Sasha’s headlining set will be a decision remembered this time next year, when reminiscing on Electric Zoo 2012.