Electric Zoo Festival – September 4th, 2011

While many have come to know Labor Day weekend as a last hurrah for the summer, New Yorkers have come to know it as the weekend where electronic music takes hold of Randall’s Island for not two, but three whole days. I had the pleasure of attending Zoo on Sunday, after deciding that there was no way my body could handle three days of electronic music. I’ll cut to the chase:

Having gone to zoo last year, I knew that the lines to get in were absolutely nuts, and the bathrooms were ridiculous to get into. This year was not the case, as I got into the festival quickly and easily, and found the staff to be friendly and totally helpful. It was pretty rad to see such organization taking place at a festival that definitely has the potential to turn into an absolute riot. The efficiency of the staff went hand in hand with the performances themselves, which were well articulated and seemingly, perfectly rehearsed.

I knew who my two favorites were almost instantly: Chromeo and Diplo. I wasn’t even expecting it to be this way because I was rooting for Calvin Harris all along, but I was absolutely blown away by Chromeo and Diplo. Two entirely different sets, both managed to make my friends and I dance the hardest we’ve ever danced. I loved both sets for different reasons. We somehow managed to make it to at least half of Chromeo’s performance, and the vibes were all different as soon as we arrived. People all around us were actually grooving, and I mean, boogie, jive, shake your hips, move your feet, smile like a bafoon, grooving. There was no grinding, (to my knowledge) or ridiculous jumping-fist bumping combos, (which is really easy to come across when there’s techno involved) just pure happiness and good energy all around. I was really pleased to hear Bonafied Lovin and Night by Night. I really appreciated Chromeo’s live set because they embodied my idea of implementing  literal electronic music while not necessarily fitting into the electronica genre.

Diplo was a totally different vibe altogether, but my friends and I made it our mission to be up in the front row for maximum dancing space. The truth is, there is no dancing space in the front row, but we did get the best view of Diplo’s sexy bod when his shirt came off. At one point, Maluca came out on stage with two totally swagged out back up dancers, and the three of them danced in unison while she sang along with Diplo’s tracks. We’d been jamming out to his intense beats for a while, when we decided we were going to try and catch the end of Afrojack’s set. As we’re on our way out, I hear the beginning of Day-o mashed up with Pon de Floor. I remember making eye contact with one friend in particular…”We have to stay. For this song at least…” and so we stayed. And you know what? We didn’t leave. Because after that, every song he put on was just more and more incredible. Remixes of Kanye/Jay-Z’s Otis, some Weezy tracks, and even more that I’m sure I’m forgetting. I looked at my friends at one point and saw every single one of them stomping, waving their arms, and moving their hips the hardest I’d ever seen. It was a beautiful sight, thus, making Diplo’s my favorite set at Electric Zoo this year.

I’m pretty sure this is the track that Diplo dropped at his set. It is pretty freakin sexy, and I think ya’ll will dig it just as much as I did.

Jay-Z/Kanye West – Otis (ft. Otis Redding) (Gantman’s “Otis Jacks” Remix)