This New Years Eve, I made the trek from my hometown in Southwest Colorado to Denver, Colorado, home to the City of Decadence. Hosted by Global Dance Music, AEG Live Rocky Mountains, and Live Nation, Decadence NYE 2015 was sure to be a banger. The Colorado electronic music scene has produced internationally renowned artists such as Bass Physics, Project Aspect, Late Night Radio, Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, and Grizmatik. And lucky for those of us who attended this years event, the lineup featured many of these revolutionary artists. Good vibes and Colorado pride were in abundance this New Year’s Eve in Denver.

page1image6264

https://www.facebook.com/DecadenceNYE

 

Night One:

As I waited for a few friends to arrive, I explored the magical city of Decadence, complete with larger-than-life light installations, including a mind blowing piece from Eric Basquez of Denver Pixel Vision. Fiber optic trees, glowing city scapes, and various illuminated creatures brought the city to life. The talented dancers of Team EZ, Beta Night Club, and Global Dance reintroduced the crowd to the true meaning of electronic music: DANCE! These talented dancers are always a fabulous addition to any Global Dance event, and they were more than impressive this New Year’s.

### performs during Decadence in Denver

EDM.com brought a special treat for all the deep house fans and alternative ravers. The Deep Garden Arena featured an inflatable white dome which housed the EDM.com Silent Disco, where dancers could choose which DJ they listened to, thanks to advanced technology headphones. Silent artists included the Denver based deep house duo, Keeper’s, as well J’Adore of Prive Nightclub. Other artists included Milky.wav, Proper Motion, and Stelouse who brought the “silent” groove and trap beats of the evening.

https://www.facebook.com/DecadenceNYE

https://www.facebook.com/DecadenceNYE

I followed the bass to the Dance Arena, where DJ Mustard brought the hip hop crowd pleasers. Preparing attendees to party through the night, he concluded with a spiced up rendition of Big Sean’s “I Don’t F**k With You.”

Once reunited with some old friends, I was drawn to the Global Dance Arena, where the festival trap beats of W&W were truly turning up the crowd. “Shocker,” W&W’s collaboration with Headhunterz, sent the Colorado Convention Center into a frenzy. I was able to catch the first half of Zedd, whose progressive house bangers pleased even the most alternative electronic music fans.

We then made our way to the Bass Arena, where Colorado native Paper Diamond was bumping his signature melody of trap, groove, and hip hop sounds. Things were getting grimy in the Bass Arena, and the crowd seemed nothing but pleased.

The token brothers of experimental house music, Disclosure, opened their live set with “When a Fire Starts to Burn.” I heard this song dropped countless times this year, but it felt incredible to finish 2014 experiencing it straight from the source. Although this wasn’t the set for everyone, those of us in the crowd who could appreciate house culture, specifically house dancing, were “jacking” through the night.

page4image544

Just after midnight, the lights turned low and the bass got heavy, as the bass king himself took to the stage. Bassnectar dropped a remix of “Chase the Devil” by Max Romeo, setting the mood for the characteristic Bassnectar freakyness yet to come. We were then delivered a grimy rendition of Bassnectar’s 2014 track “Now (ft. Rye Rye).” By dropping innovative tracks from his 2014 album “Noise vs. Beauty” along with old classics, Bassnectar brought Denver to their knees once again.

I have seen Bassnectar perform in multiple places throughout the country, but he has always performed his best sets in Colorado. From the first “Bass Center” in Broomfield to the unifying walls of Red Rocks Ampitheatre, he has become a Colorado native. For the second year at Decadence NYE, Bassnectar proved his loyalty to the Highest State.  Needless to say, he never disappoints.

For the last 30 minutes of the night, I ran over to the Dance Arena where the crowd was going completely nuts. I can’t say I’ve ever seen quite as much energy coming from a crowd. And which artists could be invoking such a reaction but the one and only trance and progressive trance superstar, Armin van Buuren. Not being a true fan of trance music, I was unsure what Armin would bring to Decadence, but I was definitely glad I was able to catch some of his set. Not to mention his visuals and laser show were some of the best of the festival.

page5image256

Visitors to the Denver area were given a true taste of life in the Mile High City, with temperatures reaching a record low of -11℉ by the end of the night. The citizens of Decadence helped their newly found friends make it home safely by lending a hand to those who (to say the least) were not dressed for sub zero temperatures. Despite Mother Nature’s backlash, attendees basked in the excellence of the night until the wee hours of the morning. And for those coming back for night two, they knew there was even more music to be enjoyed and dancing to be done.

Night Two:

The second I stepped out of my cab in downtown Denver, I could tell the night would be legendary. The snow lined streets and twinkling city lights evoked a notion of pure serenity, a serenity that was soon to be shattered by bass, lights, and dancing. After the sub zero fiasco of night one, we came prepared with piles of thrift store garb to ward off the nights freezing temperatures.

SNAILS kicked off the New Years Eve grime fest at the Bass Arena, with his dirty bass lines and one-of-a-kind drop manipulation. If you are okay with getting weird and letting your music get even weirder, be on the look out for this up and comer.

Next came another Colorado native, and one of my personal favorites of the Pretty Lights Music label, Michal Menert. I met my boyfriend of 3 years at a Michal Menert show and since then have been following his music religiously. Menert is one of the founding members of Pretty Lights and played a significant role in debuting the group’s first album Taking Up Your Precious Time. He departed from the group to pursue an independent record, but never strayed far from the multi-genre, glitch hop and soul style he developed with Derek Vincent Smith. While Pretty Lights performed with his live band at Decadence 2014, Michal Menert performed this New Year’s Eve for his inaugural year at the Colorado Convention Center. When he dropped his nostalgic collaboration with Derek Vincent Smith, “Summer Love”, all the true Michal Menert fans were ecstatic.

Before Big Gigantic’s New Year’s Eve set, I ran over to the Dance Arena, where fans were going crazy for Deorro’s chart topping track “Five Hours.” I don’t think I, or the rest of the crowd, stopped dancing for an instant from that point on.

With all of the great artists performing at any given second, I found myself sprinting between both arenas, but I didn’t mind. The trek between the two stages was a magical adventure complete with aerialist dancers, mind-blowing light installations, and welcoming new friends from across the country.

page8image2848

Next I found myself at the Bass Arena, where Grizmatik dropped fan favorites such as “A Fine Way to Die,” “My People,” and “DLIMF.”  Grizmatik’s electro-soul sounds are a product of the collaborative efforts of Chris Grunwald and Denis Jasarevic, respectively known as Griz and Gramatik.  Chris Grunwald (Gramatik) originally signed to Pretty Lights Music a year after releasing his first album. Griz, a childhood friend of Derek Vincent Smith and Michal Menert, signed to the PLM label as well, and the two began playing back to back sets at festivals and concert venues across the country. Soon after, Grizmatik was born. The bass heavy, soulful sounds of Grizmatik were just what the crowd was needing to party their way into the new year.

Next up was Big Gigantic who truly brought the celebratory vibes fans were looking for from a New Year’s Eve set.  At the stroke of midnight, confetti, balloons, and smiles filled the Bass Arena as Big Gigantic helped us ring in 2015. After an epic countdown, Big Gigantic fans welcomed the new year with their 2014 single “Touch the Sky.”

With Grizmatik and Big Gigantic playing back to back sets, one can only wonder what instrumental insanity was in store. And yes, it happened. The legendary collaboration, Big Grizmatik took the stages of Decadence NYE. For their third ever performance together, the revolutionary musical minds of Dominic Lalli (Big Gigantic), Chris Grunwald (Griz), and Denis Jasarevic (Gramatik) came together for an incredible show of instrumental and electronic mastery.

To conclude an unforgettable night, I made my way to the Dance Arena, where progressive house revivalist Kaskade helped fans finish Decadance NYE right. 2015 started with a bang, as we danced our way into the first hours of the new year.

Resolutions were made, great times were had, friendships were created, and 2014 was left behind in complete decadence. What better way to begin the new year than with huge electronic artists like Disclosure, Bassnectar, Paper Diamond, Armin van Buuren, Madeon, Grizmatik, Big Gigantic, Flux Pavillion, and Kaskade! For those of us who attended the two magical nights of Decadence NYE, New Year’s 2015 was one for the books!

 

Contributing Writer: Ellie Ellis