On the eve of December 30th, Denver, and more specifically the Colorado Convention Center, transforms into the City Of Decadence. The city welcomes a two-night musical escape that features today’s biggest names in every aspect of the EDM world; bass, tech house, experimental, trap, etc. Whatever genre your heart truly had a passion for, Decadence provided. As us Sloths prepared to take on Decadence full force we first were greeted by a blistering low of 7 degrees Fahrenheit, according to our phones. Cold right? We thought so also until we realized the low on New Year’s Eve was 3 degrees Fahrenheit…nothing that some good vibes and dancing can’t shake off.

Night 1: December 30, 2015

The time had come and the crowds were gathering at the doors of the convention center. As people flocked to the security lines and coat check you could feel nothing but excitement spewing from each and every citizen of Decadence.  As expected, the entire event took place indoors in what seemed like two giant airplane hangers connected by one giant hallway in the back. The first stage we found ourselves at was Spaceport, which was home to artists such as ƱZ, Figure, Jack Ü, and Galantis. Now these are not your everyday stages you might find residing in some club or theatre. From the stage you could go from the front row fence and find your way so far back you can only hear the music. Along both sides of Spaceport were numerous LCD screens projecting visuals that seemed to be spawned from the depths of the most creative minds.  Now what would a festival stage be without LED lighting that seemed to have a mind of its own. The array of artistic sculptures mounted with lasers of all shapes, size and color.

decadence_colorado_2015With each performance came what is one of the most unique displays of lighting combined with visuals. For example, when the dark lord of dubstep Figure took to the stage it was an erratic mind-boggling flash of strobes so fast that those with epilepsy may have to look the other way. Then you have Galantis, whose visuals consisted of an ever-changing variety of colors and lasers supported by the numerous LCD screens displaying their ever so popular logo. The combination of music and visuals at Spaceport was a masterpiece in it’s own, and it was only the beginning.

Between the two massive stages was another world of its own, the Neon Park and Silent Disco Garden. This escape from the bass-pounding, bone shattering stages gave every citizen the chance to grab a pair of headphones, pick a channel of their choice and groove with like-minded friends who found themselves on the same colored frequency. Amongst the silent disco were some of the most spectacular art sculptures alined with different varieties of color and sound…and of course the infamous merry-go-round.

Bassnectar_family_photo_decadence_colorado_2015On the other side of the Neon Park was City Hall, a stage which allowed artists such as Salva, What So Not, The Floozies, Bassnectar, and Gramatik to set up shop and share what they have been cooking up for weeks. This stage was a little smaller in length but made up for in width and sound. As the citizens of Decadence found home base at City Hall they were sandwiched between massive speakers and even more ridiculous subwoofers and visuals.  The uniqueness behind each performance made for an unforgettable experience that was hard to leave at any one point in the night. If there is one thing to note about City Hall, it is that the stage caters and transforms for each and every artist, creating what seems to be a new world each time another producer would take the stage.

Night 2: December 31, 2015

Night one was a wrap, which only meant one thing…the countdown to 2016 had officially begun. Upon entering the city of Decadence, it felt as though the population had doubled in size. Consequently, with double the people comes double the energy and you could feel it with one step onto the floor. The lights seemed brighter, the music seemed louder, and you can guarantee the drinks felt colder in the 3 degree weather. Something unique to note about Decadence and especially night two, it was found to be the LARGEST New Year’s Eve event in all of the United States.

odezsa_decadence_colorado_2015City Hall was ready to make sure you rang in the new year properly. Welcoming artists such as Illenium, ODESZA, TBC, Deadmau5 and Excision to the stage. The diverse style of music that each and everyone of us were lucky to experience allowed for a rollercoaster of EDM emotions. ODESZA, of course, brought heat to the frozen tundra of fans with their melodic beats alongside their infamous vocal support and live drum kits. One of the most anticipated sets of the night was from none other than the man, the myth, the legend, Deadmau5, who was making his first appearance in Colorado in five years. Not only was he here for an epic return after some time, but it was a set beginning at midnight on the dot to ring in the new year. Following Deadmau5 came the bass king Excision, the one known to (literally) blow roofs off of places, make bottles and bones shake and make people question their sanity. Those familiar with Excision know that his live sets are not for the faint hearted and what he brought to the stage was quite possibly one of the greatest sets seen to date. My ear drums also agree.

deadmau5_decadence_colorado_2015Only a couple hundred yards away from City Hall was another lineup that one could only pray for on such a night. Spaceport was ready to ring in the new year with artists such as Jai Wolf, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Gareth Emery, Big Gigantic and Hardwell. As I said earlier, everything seemed to be happening on a much larger scale for the occasion. Each artist could also feel the energy and brought nothing but the epitome of excellence to the stage. Big Gigantic had the honor of ringing in the new year right at midnight and if you did not come to that stage with freshly polished dancing shoes you were in for quite the surprise. Two words, innovation and creativity. The combination of both live and virtual instruments was a recipe for what can only be described as perfection. Following the dynamic duo was none other than one of the biggest names in EDM to this day, Hardwell. Many know his capabilities and he made sure to show them off from start to finish.

Hardwell_decadence_colorado_2015As the final minutes of Decadence approach the very intense feeling of nostalgia had taken over and each and every citizen was putting their last bit of heart, soul and energy into one of the most incredible New Year’s events ever curated. Although the melancholy feeling was taking its toll on the crowd, there was not one person leaving without the biggest look of satisfaction possible. The combination of ingenious efforts from Global Dance, AEG Live, and Live Nation birthed another successful and unforgettable Decadence that those who missed out will forever hold against themselves.

After years of experiencing different festivals, people, and musical cultures, it is safe to say that this frozen sloth will be finding his way right back to the heart of Denver to ring in 2017 with all those ready to call Decadence home.