Review: Electric Daisy Carnival, 6/11/11

Categories: Concert Reviews


"When the smoke machines ran out, someone -- and by 'someone,' I mean a complete fucking idiot -- blasted the room with a fire extinguisher, sending a sweet poison into the eyes and mouths of everyone."

Electric Daisy Carnival
06.11/11 | Arapahoe County Fairgrounds
View the Electric Daisy Carnival slideshow

The Electric Daisy Carnival started off pretty early in the afternoon with opening sets getting started around 3 p.m. The carnival rides that lined the south border of the show were just this side of pathetic, exemplified by the notable lack of a Ferris wheel. I mean, c'mon, how can you call this thing a carnival without a Ferris wheel? Seems blasphemous. Just the same, the rides that were there were vomit-inducing enough to pass, I suppose.

The carnival festivities kicked off with an opening set by Ant-Ten-Nae at the Circuit Grounds stage. His use of unique controllers is cool because his range of musical effects is broader and different than most, but beyond that, there was really nothing that impressive about the set. The problem with these big festivals is that they pack so many great artists on the bill that you end up taking a risk seeing one set versus another. With this in mind, after hearing that I missed LA Riots in favor of Ant-Ten-Nae, I was pretty bummed.

Photo: Brandon Marshall
Dancin' at the EDC. See more photos from the Electric Daisy Carnival.

Eliot Lipp brought things up a tad with a live drummer, but the sound at the Circuit Ground stage just wasn't that good. Actually, all of the stages except for the Neon Garden were a bit on the quiet side. Adding a live drummer is becoming more of a regular occurrence these days for DJs, giving their sets more of a live feel. After a bit of Lipp, I moved over into the Bass Pod to catch a bit of Downlink's set, which offered a welcome change of pace from complicated, electro-drum and bass into straight grimy dubstep. Downlink was smooth. He played a couple of new tracks that had been produced specifically for EDC.

Photo by Travis Conklin

By chance, I was offered a chance to sit down with Sander Van Doorn minutes before his set in the dressing room. Nothing huge -- the interview was rather last-minute -- but he obliged and gave me a few words on EDC and touring to support his new album Dusk Till Doorn. Here's some excerpts from our chat.

EDC offers a chance to spread one's wings. See more photos from the Electric Daisy Carnival.

Westword: Is this your first time playing a big show like this in Denver?

Sander Van Doorn: This is my time at a big show like this, but I've played Beta a few times, and I love playing out here.

Did you just get in today?

Yeah! I played Atlanta last night. It was absolutely roasting, but it was great.

Your on tour promoting your upcoming release of "Dusk Till Doorn." How's that going, and what have been some memorable stops for you?

Well, New York was just amazing, and I've got three more stops in Vegas coming up in the next month or so. I really enjoy playing here, Americans are really educated on their music.

All right, looks like the time is coming up, so let's switch it up a bit. What are three things you absolutely cannot tour without?

Oh, man. Let's see: I definitely can't get around without some Red Bull. I've recently switched from CDs to USB drives for all my music, so I can't make it without those. And for the third, clothes. Got to have all my clothes.

And finally, what do you think of dubstep and how popular it's getting?

It's definitely in a category all its own. It's not what I usually implement in my songs, but I've recently thrown in some dubstep-style breaks, and the crowd responds really well. Dubstep in the U.S. is a little different than, say, in the U.K. The U.K. is little bit more laid-back compared to the likes of Skrillex, which is very energetic.

After chatting with Van Doorn, I made my way back over to the Kinetic Field for the end of Kaskade's set. Kaskade is just damn lovely. Most of his tracks feature a sexy voice whispering something about being loved, loving someone or just something really positive. It gave the crowd a much-needed vocal break from the high energy electro-house and provided everyone a moment to throw their hands up for a massive sing-a-long.

Photo: Brandon Marshall
Dancin' at the EDC. See more photos from the Electric Daisy Carnival.

Van Doorn was making his way into the Field house for his set as 12th Planet was taking the stage in the Bass Pod. I stuck around Van Doorn's set for about thirty minutes on the front line, taking in all that he was giving out. If his upcoming album is anything like this set, Dusk Till Doorn is going to be pretty hot.

Location Info


Arapahoe County Fairgrounds

25690 E. Quincy Ave., Aurora, CO

Category: General

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Michael Trundle
Michael Trundle

An-Ten-Nae didn't go on until 7:15PM, and the Festival started at 3PM.  It seems slightly misleading - and insulting to the many local, national and international DJ's who played prior to that - to say that he "opened" the festival.

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