Electric Zoo 2012 was bigger than it appeared from the 103rd street Bridge; the underlying message of the weekend came from the lineup found in the festival’s handheld booklet. In previous years progressive house acts were prominent all around, but this time, the genre took a back seat to the increasingly popular sounds of electro, dub, techno, and moombah.
Kicking off the weekend, the animals anxious enough to trek to Randalls Island early Friday immediately made A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold Clubhouse their afternoon residence. Without progressive options, this was my opportunity to spread my wings and experiment with brand new sounds, and the inescapable hype around Dillon Francis brought me to the Riverside tent.
Dillon said it all within seconds of taking the booth, announcing, “we are the best stage at this festival” before opening with his fan favorite “I.D.G.A.F.O.S. 2.0.” While I was out of my comfort zone at first, the energy from the crowd helped me see the light in the dubby drops and distorted electro. After some early Knife Party selections and Dillon’s remix of “Finale,” the crowd’s affection was beginning to win me over.
Madeon – Finale (Dillon Francis Remix)
As Francis played through hits from Flux Pavilion, Angger Dimas, and himself, I realized this was another DJ who has branded himself as a true entertainer with his beloved on-stage presence. Whenever Dillon would pop out from behind the booth to dance around, the crowd would go out of control. If it weren’t for security, girls in the front row would surely have been leaping over the barricade just to inch closer to the LA native.
Indulging myself in this foreign vibe and starting to feel like another raging moombah addict, drops like Dillon’s remix of “Stars Come Out,” Alvaro’s “Fucking Ghetto,” and Major Lazer’s “Pon De Floor” reinforced a fresh excitement towards Francis and his unique blend of beats. Afrojack’s “Fatility” came as a treat, but it’s the feelings of the crowd that overcome you and make you want something even harder.
Zedd – Stars Come Out (Dillon Francis Remix)
It took a few years to wrap my mind around the thought of dancing to tracks with 108 BPM (for comparison, a normal progressive house track is around 128 BPM), but my experience at Dillon Francis’ Riverside set sealed the deal. Dillon’s remix of “Who Is Ready To Jump” and Knife Party’s “Destroy Them With Lazers” began to wind down the experience, and the juxtaposition of Vegaboys “We Like To Party” had everyone overjoyed as they reflected on the past hour.
Chuckie – Who Is Ready To Jump (Dillon Francis Remix)
Dillon Francis was the most hyped performance during the early hours of Electric Zoo day 1, and he delivered with authority. His class clown antics and resilient frenetic energy had loyal fans at their feet and captured the ears of many first timers like myself. This year’s Electric Zoo lineup was a blessing in disguise; allowing me to experiment, I acquired a newfound appreciation for Dillon Francis and moombah in general – and I would bet that I’m not the only one.
Photo Credit: Bennett Sell-Kline for ElectricZooFestival.com