Ten Best Electronic Shows of 2011

Categories: Lists

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How does one go about defining the best electronic music shows of the year? A lot goes into it, trust me. There is the production aspect, which looks upon the lighting choreography and the overall visual spectacle. Then, there is the actual music, which volleys between producers and DJs, both of which are respectable in their own light. We've compiled a list of the top ten electronic shows which covers a lot of this genre melding scene of electronically produced music.


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Photo by Britt Chester

10. Major Lazer's set at Global Dance Festival 2011.
To be honest, Skerrit Bwoy made this set what it was. Diplo and Switch, in all of their rambunctious dance hall music producing set, made a wise choice in pulling on Skerrit Bwoy as the hype man and general conductor of the show. Complete with the booty shaking masterpiece that is "Pon de Floor," a full Global Dance audience saw Skerrit Bwoy jump from the center set lighting cube, pants down and crotch first, onto the spandex clad dancer that accompanied the set. Needless to say, if you hadn't been moving nonstop up until that point, the Major Lazer set certainly left you sweating and totally aroused.

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Photo by Britt Chester

9. Paper Diamond at CU WelcomeFest
Paper Diamond, aka, Alex Botwin, is Boulder. With a studio just outside the city and a record label/clothing store downtown, Botwin . Playing Welcomefest at The University of Colorado was only appropriate, because who better to give future students a glimpse of the rising electronic scene than the one person who is pushing it harder than anyone else. Held at Farran Field and also showcasing fellow Boulder musicians Raw Russ, Big Gigantic, and Robotic Pirate Monkey, the event saw nearly 8,000 students, most of which were fresh to the campus.

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Photo by Britt Chester

8. 12th Planet at Snowball Music Festival in Avon, Colorado
The addition of 12th Planet (aka John Dadzie) to the Snowball line-up was a solid choice. This rising dubstep producer's recognition has blown up since, and much credit can be given to his flawless set in a sweaty tent in the middle of the mountains. Alongside fellow performers Diplo, Savoy, Afroman, and ESKMO, Planet kept the swelling tent warm amidst the freezing temperatures that had swept through the Vail valley that night. It was loud, it was heavy, it was high energy, and it was just what everyone needed to keep them going for the headlining spot that PrettyLights held just across the field.

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Photo by Britt Chester
(EOTO performing for NYE at City Hall)

7. EOTO at Sonic Bloom
Would you like to hear improvised, percussive, electronic music being played by the drummers of String Cheese Incident along with VibeSquad, to boot? Yes please. Sonic Bloom moved it's now annual electronic festival to the Shadow Ranch, just two miles down the road from Georgetown. Three days of music, with EOTO headlining the second night, meant three full days of heavy bass. Jason Hann and Michael Travis brought up fellow artist Aaron Holstein to play with them during their two hour set, which when heard through the Funktion-One sound system courtesy of Tipper Sound Experience, was out of this world.

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Photo by Britt Chester

6. Bassnectar at Red Rocks
Lorin Ashton, the bass-minded-mastermind behind the moniker Bassnectar, pulled out all the stops for his Red Rocks performance. Boasting one of the most visually impressive lighting rigs in terms of imagery, timing, and ambiance, Ashton tore through his classic bass bangers, and closed out the night with a full venue supporting his sample chorus. Yes, it's loud, and basically is the heavy metal movement for a generation where technology and the ability to distort sounds and control bass frequencies is the key to keeping their heads ringing.

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