Elektro’s Snowglobe Recap
Despite the lack of snow, electronic music enthusiasts from around the globe flocked to the first annual Snowglobe Music Festival in South Lake Tahoe to ring in the new year. An eclectic mix of our favorite new DJs along with world class champions helped the festival’s debut set the tone for what will become the hottest new years event around.
With the organization of an established festival, Snowglobe was sectioned off into three stages on the grounds of the local community college. Two Coachella style tents hosted smaller acts while the main stage rocked an elaborate light display and enormous photo pit taking up much of the school’s football field. The festival went from 2 pm until 11pm, satisfying night owls with official after parties featuring artists from that day’s lineup along with smaller acts at nearby casinos Horizon and Mont Bleu.
The festival’s visuals were as impressive as the sounds of the artists performing. Burning Man style “art cars” were positioned around the grounds offering attendees a creative space to hang out and dance and a vendor village sold the ever popular animal ear hats and warm weather appropriate rave garb next to a variety of food trucks and bars.
Day one was jam packed with artists featured on Elektro Magazine’s DJs to watch in 2012, starting off the festival on an inspiring note. Austin Texas Natives RUN DMT hit the stage waking up any shivering audience members with a set full of heavy bangers leading into rock and metal hits within the last twenty minutes of their set, pumping up the crowd that was increasing in members by the minute anticipating the acts to come. RUN DMT surprised fans by playing the title track off their upcoming album, “Union of Opposites,” for one of the first times to a live audience.
Mad Decent’s moombahton king and brainchild of Diplo, Dillon Francis staggered up to the DJ booth ten minutes late apologizing to his eager fans. “Sorry I’m late, I was drinking,” said the 24-year-old rocking his signature slicked back hair and black skinny jeans. Unlike many DJ sets, Francis played a hefty amount of original tracks including “Westside,” off his breakout mixtape, “Que Que” the summertime jam featuring Diplo and Maluca, and his most recent single “IDGAFOS (I don’t give a fuck or shit)” blurring the lines between a DJ and live set.
Despite his heavy focus on moombahton, Francis asked the crowd if they’d prefer more moombah or some drum and bass, and surprisingly the college aged crowd chose the latter, inspiring Francis to switch his sound dramatically to the often underappreciated hard hitting bpm of drum and bass.
On his recent mini-documentary about his experience touring with Tiesto, nineteen-year-old Porter Robinson mentioned his appreciation for the first girl in the crowd to hop on a guys shoulders and dance; naturally, the entire crowd of eager teenage fan girls were up on shoulders before Porter even hit the stage. Dillon Francis walked back onstage, leading the crowd in chants of “Porter! Porter!” The second the shouts died down, Francis stormed back up onto the stage, urging fans to continue the chants, “Porter is a shy guy! C’mon guys don’t stop.”
Once young Robinson hit the stage, he appeared anything but shy. Jumping insanely high dancing along from banger to banger. Though the notorious single “D.A.N.C.E.” came out while the DJ was probably in middle school, Porter managed to mix the Justice hit into his set seamlessly and without eyerolls from music snob crowd members. Another favorite throwback was a remix of Ratatat’s “Seventeen Years.” Porter kick started what was soon to be mass overplaying of 2011′s hottest tracks, “All I Ask of You” by Skrillex, “Promises” by Nero, and of course, Avicii’s “Levels” which got concert go-ers so pumped they were seen jumping up from benches eating pizza to go dance.
If anyone already felt insignificant and old compared to nineteen-year-old Porter, French prodigy Madeon (he looks twelve, but is seventeen) blew his committed crowd of fans away during his day two set. Best known for his viral internet video “Pop Culture” where he mixes dozens of samples from his favorite songs into one electronic track, Madeon was silent during his entire set (almost emulating fellow Frenchman Sebastian) and casually drank redbull from behind his dj booth where he mixed on a Novation Launchpad, a sampling device that resembles an MPC. The teenager and his manager gushed about flight drama, saying they had to land hours away in Sacramento and drive to Snowglobe. The team made it just in time for his set, after which he had to head to a 1 am after party. Madeon paid homage to his fellow Frenchmen, Justice by blasting hit “Audio Video Disco,” off their recent album of the same name.
Arguably the most classically talented DJ on the lineup, A-Trak emerged with his signature fedora to serenade the crowd with songs they could sing along to. Tracks from his side project Duck Sauce with Armand Van Helden got the crowd howling (literally) to “Big Bad Wolf,” and A-Trak himself even stepped in front of the DJ booth to join his fans in wolf calls. No A-Trak DJ set would be complete without “Barbra Streisand,” a song we once thought we may never want to hear again, but after a few months break, was back making us dance like it did the first time. The owner of Fools Gold Records and Brooklyn resident paid respect to Kanye West, who he previously was a tour DJ for by playing mega hit “N***as in Paris” of the Kanye and Jay-Z collaboration album, “Watch the Throne.”
Northern California native Bassnectar shook his wild locks along to his eardrum popping dubstep on the mainstage. “I don’t care if you have a one day pass or a three day pass, thank you for spending your freezing night with me,” said the DJ to his fans, which he refers to as the Bass Heads. Mixing Blur’s “Woo Hoo” with Madison Avenue’s “Don’t Call Me Baby” was a nice retro throwback contrasting with his usual 808 heavy tracks. The dubstep veteran claimed to be playing original tracks that were up to ten years old, showing he clearly earned his headlining set on the main stage.
In efforts to help the heavy Snowglobe partiers recover, the festival begun at 4 pm New Years Eve in order to keep the excitement alive until 1 am. After mass amounts of blog love in 2011, Childish Gambino performed an impressive set of his indie infused rap tracks on the mainstage along with a full backing band that even included string instruments.
Back on the smaller stages, duo Two Fresh prepped the crowd for a DJ they’ve collaborated with, Paper Diamond, off of Pretty Lights Music. Paper Diamond shuffled around the dj booth clutching an iPad that he used to wirelessly control soundclips throughout his set.
Thievery Corporation truly deserved the New Years Eve timeslot. Incorporating three different vocalists into their live set blurred the lines between rock and electronic music more so than any artist on the Snowglobe roster, truly embodying the spirit of the mixed genre festival. After a countdown, fireworks and confetti exploded into the beautifully clear Tahoe sky, the closest thing to snowflakes all weekend, commencing 2011 and the biggest year in electronic music thus far.
Most Overplayed Tracks:
“Internet Friends” Knife Party
“Raise Your Weapon” Deadmau5
“Cinema” Benny Benassi (Skrillex Remix)
“Do you guys like porn? Make some noise?” “I fucken love porn” – Dillon Francis
“Alright, now you can stop throwing glowsticks in my face” -Bassnectar
“All our fingers are cold, but what the fuck do you need fingers for?” -Childish Gambino
“Don’t make fun of me if I pull out my asthma inhaler” – Childish Gambino
-Reasonably priced food (none of that $8 Coachella pizza)
-Star Slinger canceling due to Visa issues
-Lack of cabs
-Paper Diamonds sound cutting out at the after party
-The line to exchange paper tickets for wristbands
Written By: Lina Abascal