This year has been a whirlwind. Chuckie, Porter Robinson, Tiesto, Skrillex, 12th Planet, The Crystal Method, r3hab, Dada Life, and David Guetta…? If 2011 was the year EDM exploded in the United States, then 2012 will be the year the genre permeates our collective musical conscience. It’s hard to believe that only a few years ago I was rocking out to Les Petits Pilous, praying that “Wake Up” would chart. Now, I’m sitting in Syracuse coming to terms with the fact that if I see Deadmau5, I will have run out of fingers to count how awesome I am (and by that I mean to count how many concerts I’ve been to in the past year).
It’s a fact that we can no longer ignore: Syracuse has somehow cemented itself as a B-list stop for the biggest names in electronica; however, don’t confuse that B-list stop for a B-list concert. Be it the hardworking boys over at the Wescott Theatre, Cuse’s party school status, or our leftover punk/post-rave culture (it really is a fusion of the two), a Syracuse concert has an undeniable sense of authenticity and electricity.
An EDM concert is all about the experience. Dada Life brought bananas and giant champagne, Chuckie via Dayglow, Skrillex shows up as a giant CGI… Skrill..? and David Guetta brings fighting robots. In a time when concert goers thrive on a fuel-injected blend of ostentatious primary colors, colon shaking bass, and bad habits, it’s ill to see that the city of Syracuse has no qualms in giving back to its young culture of blinding neon and fuzzy things – the new-ravers. Although the old dance hall/desert rave moniker of Peace, Love, Unity, Respect (PLUR) seems to be fading more towards the darker side of modern disco, Cuse’s unofficial PLE (Peace, Love and Ecstasy) mantra seems to fit it’s new indiscriminate brand of neon hipsters who head bang to Wolfgang Gartner on weekends, while ruing the day they ever foot-tap to Iron and Wine.
Ok, I promised you a little Wolfgang Gartner. Well, I came on to Wolfgang hard in ’07 when his Shapes – EP was released (and mark my words we will one day hear “For the Love of Girls,” on the radio), but you probably know him a little better from the song “Animal Rights” from Deadmau5′s epic: 4×4=12. Well, while I was pouring all of my ecstasy and rainbows into Mord Fustang’s neon brand of electro-house, I completely overlooked the fact that Wolfgang released his debut album, Weekend in America and an EP – There and Back. They are both cray. If you stripped down all the pop artist cameos you might find yourself believing that these records were the secret alternate soundtrack to Interstella 5555 (Daft Punk made a movie – well two actually). If artists like Wolfgang Gartner keep putting tracks out like “The Way It Was,” I think I could manage in a wob-less world. Maybe.