We started early on day 3, and with such incredible talent, can you blame us?  Sure the weather was hot, the hangover was rough, and the lack of sleep was apparent, but OWSLA was hosting a stage, Kygo and Thomas Jack brought tropical house vibes across Ultra, and we had one last day to continue our adventure. We rolled up to the OWSLA stage early to catch Aryay, who’s claim to fame was his recent release, “The Lawnmower.”  His mixing was excellent, and the unreleased tracks he premiered for us were absolutely insane.  Next up was our homies from down under, Carmada. qThe recently signed OWSLA boys had recently come out with one of the more impressive EPs that we’ve heard in a very, very long time, so we were excited to see what they could bring to Bayfront Park.  Turns out they brought a whole f*&king lot.  Carmada had one of the best track lists we had heard all weekend, dropping one of the heavier trap sets we’ve seen, interspersed with their upbeat, washboard synth-ridden tracks off their EP.  We got a chance to catch up with them after their set and get to know about them a little more; we’ll be running the written interview this week for those of you who were unable to tune into our live streamed chat. We headed back out to the OWSLA stage to catch trap/twerk monsters Milo & Otis tearing up the crowd.  We couldn’t stick around for long because we felt that we needed to see what the ASOT 700 was up to in the Mega Structure. 

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As soon as we stepped in the building for Andrew Rayel, it was painfully apparent that the trance family had come out in droves to show their support.  The Mega Structure, a building damn near the length and width of a football field, was packed at 3pm on a Sunday and that is pretty darn impressive.  His tracks and remixes featured vocal samples from many well-known EDM tracks, the one that garnered the most singing attendees was “Reload.”  We were passing over to Pete Tong’s set when we ended up hanging out on some hammocks IMG_0266backstage to the relaxing tunes of Robin Schulz who matched the vibe of the early afternoon and light breeze beautifully.  The highlight of his set was, of course, his remix of “Waves” which is his most known song, but was also the best fit for the afternoon.  We eventually got out of those comfy ass hammocks and found ourselves at the Resistance Stage for the legendary Pete Tong’s set.  The energy had picked up a bit and the 360 degree house music experience was in full swing.  People were clapping, stepping, and just having an all around good time.  The set itself was nothing incredibly special, but it was a very fun experience.

After that, we ended up on top of the sound booth at the Main Stage to watch DJ Snake bring some bass to an otherwise house-ridden stage.  Well, over half his set was electro-house, which brought some hype into the crowd, but we were devoid of that old-school DJ Snake trap sh*t.  We got a taste of it, but he could have taken it to another level for sure.  During “Get Low” he brought out his collaborator and good friend, Dillon Francis, to get the crowd going. On the drop, DJ Snake had IMG_0278Dillon’s cellphone number posted on each one of the massive LED screens covering the Main Stage (he had to change his number later that day).  We took a beer break back at the OWSLA stage where Jack Beats had just hopped on the decks, and they absolutely brought that sub-bass house music to a packed crowd.  We wanted to go get our tropical house on with Thomas Jack, so we started walking to the Worldwide Stage.  On the way, we witnessed Krewella take to the stage with what looked like a pseudo-punk band and, obviously, no Rain Man.  Their second song was “Alive” and it was at that point that I couldn’t handle another second of their year-old schtick that now featured a partially live band.  I’d keep going, but I think Deadmau5 covered most of our thoughts on their set. 

Thomas Jack, however, was incredible.  He put out such an incredible vibe that only reminded me of one of Pumpkin’s legendary live sets.  The highlight of his set for me was a tropical house remix of Of Monsters and Men’s “Little Talks” with which the whole crowd was singing.  The night was kicking into full gear, so we wanted to ramp things up a bit by seeing Knife Party.  The Main Stage was packed for Gareth and Rob who started their set with some heavy hitting electro tracks that had everyone jumping.  It was nice to see that they haven’t lost their touch, despite how much I miss their dubstep production.  No KP set was complete without evil, robotic visuals and a plethora of fire cannons.  Afterwards, we made a sunset stroll along the water and ended back up at the Worldwide Stage to catch the end of Cashmere Cat.  To our surprise, Ariana Grande was on stage with him for his last two tracks singing her heart out.  Her voice was impressive, and August’s production was on IMG_0321point. We sprinted over to the Live Stage to catch the last couple songs from Netsky which were absolutely insane.  We were able to get there in time for his legendary remix of Rusko’s “Everyday” which, when accompanied by his live band, makes for an unforgettable experience.  Once they were off, we were glued to our seats in the third row so that we wouldn’t miss one second of Porter Robinson. We were right to not leave, seeing how Porter’s set was on par with Bassnectar’s in musical quality, and unparalleled with visuals.  He went through almost his whole album on the Live Stage and also added in some of his classic tracks like “Easy” and “Language.”  The amphitheater was packed to the brim for his set, and with good reason.  We were eager to get to the main stage to get a spot for Skrillex as soon as Porter got off stage, so we walked back through the OWSLA stage where What So Not was reveled to be the special guest.  The crowd was decently full, but not what you would expect for such a talented artist.  I would say this would have to do with the conflicting time slots of Porter Robinson/Kygo and Skrillex.  His set was excellent, but we had to leave early to catch Sonny on the main stage.

I have been a huge supporter of Skrillex even before his ‘Cell’ tour, so bear with me on this one.  The first half of his set was so unbelievably heavy.  He was playing some of the grimier dubstep I had heard that weekend on a stage predominately reserved for progressive house and big name trance artists, and it was being very well received by festival attendees. He brought out DJ Snake for Get Low, then he brought out Diplo, and the Jack U shenanigans began.  Of course, they started with IMG_0361“Take Ü There” and had Kiesza singing live, then they dropped “Dirty Vibe” and had CL come out, and then P Diddy out of fucking nowhere showed up.  It was nice seeing that they had all theseconnections, but their set was just a lot of hype that failed to truly land.  This was painfully
apparent when Justin Bieber came out to sing “Where Are Ü Now” which, in theory, is great, but not when his vocals continued when he put the microphone down to do a little dance on a stage that is the size of a football field.  Finding him on there without the LED screens was impossible, let alone if you were able to see over the sea of phones created by every girl freaking out about the teenage pop star.  It wasn’t the most fitting ending to Ultra, but it was a weekend well spent having incredible adventures and listening to even better music.

Best Of:

Craziest Moment From The Weekend:

Trying to leave the festival Sunday Night through backstage and ending up in an after party with Skrillex, Diplo, Diddy, Justin Bieber, DJ Snake, and What So Not. Ciroc for all!

Top 3 Most Played Tracks:

Jack Ü’s “Take Ü There”+ Remixes

Valentino Khan’s “Deep Down Low”

Tiga’s “Bugatti” + Remixes

Top 5 Artists From The Weekend:

1. Bassnectar

2. Porter Robinson

3. Carmada

4. Andy C

5. Alesso

Favorite Stage:

Resistance Stage, incredible fire effects, 360 degree party, great vibes.

Best Food:

The Fry Guy.  Our favorite New York fried potato joint, Pomme Frites, just burned down last week, so we were feeling slightly sentimental for a good batch of fries.  Seriously excellent food though, and those honey sriracha and garlic aioli sauces are no joke.