Perhaps one of the biggest announcements of the year next to Swedish House Mafia breaking up was that Eric Prydz would finally return to the US after an eight-year hiatus to headline the Identity Festival. While many of the EDM newbs and kids said, “who the hell is Eric Prydz?”, us EDM veterans who have been fans for the last decade or more knew that this was a huge deal. Although I was a little disappointed with the lineup for the Philly show because Wolfgang Gartner wasn’t included, I jumped at the chance to go and see the DJ who was (formerly?) afraid of flying. This also gave me an opportunity to see artists who I was not familiar with, and it proved to be a great experience.
The Philadelphia lineup included Stephan Jacobs, Eva Simons, Audrey Napoleon, The Eye, Le Castle Vania, Noisia, Arty, Showtek, Madeon, Excision, and Eric Prydz. My trusted sidekick and EDMNYC photographer, Rocketpants Jon, joined me for this day filled with hot beats under the hot sun.
We walked in around 3:30 to see Audrey Napoleon whipping her black hair around, having a great time on deck. The sounds of electro drew us over to the stage right away. After her set we snagged an interview with the only female DJ on the tour. Even though she was out of breath from dancing, she was nice enough to chat with us about how she started out and what she’ll be doing after the tour. The full interview will be posted on EDMNYC very shortly!
At 3:50 I caught a bit of The Eye, who I had never seen or heard of before. This wasn’t exactly my kind of music, but the crowd totally loved it and the small white eye ball beach balls that went flying around enhanced the vibe, for sure. The one track I heard that I absolutely loved was Chuckie’s “Who Is Ready To Jump?” mashed with “Jump Around” by House of Pain, mashed with “Pass The Courvoisier Part II” by Busta Rhymes feat. P. Diddy & Pharrell. It was absolutely awesome!
Jon and I were fortunate to have an interview with Showtek at 4:30 on their tour bus, and sat down with the guys for nearly 15 minutes. They were more than happy to answer our questions and tell us what they’ve been up to, as well as what to expect from them next. The full interview will be posted on EDMNYC in the next few days so stay tuned for that!
After a break for dinner and some relaxation time, it was time for Arty at 6pm. The Russian phenomenon was in the swing of things when we arrived to the main stage. Looking out to a crowd of thousands, Arty was blasting his mashup of “Heart is King” vs “Losing My Religion” vs “Punk”. The crowd was eating up every bit of energy this superstar exerted. Playing tracks such as Alesso’s “Years”, his bootleg of “Rebound” vs “Calling”, “Mozart”, and his brand new remix of Zedd’s “Spectrum” made this crowd go insane. It was one of the biggest crowds on the main stage that day, and filled with nothing but good vibes all around. I have to say that his “Spectrum” remix has got to be a big favorite out of all the remixes so far. The way Arty has dealt with the breaks and build-ups in his edit really brings you to a whole other world where ever you are whether it be in the car or a music festival such as Identity.
The Dutch brothers in Showtek hit the stage at 6:45pm. The hardstyle duo Sjoerd and Wouter hit hard right away with blasts of C02, and bass that shook the earth. As Wouter controlled the music in his blue shorts and bare feet, Sjoerd hyped the crowd and danced around in front of the booth. He even autographed hats and threw them into the crowd as he made everyone chant “Show”-‘Tek” back and forth. Shortly after they started, we heard the banger they did with Tiesto, “Hell Yeah!” and the massive crowd began jumping and singing the words. We heard a few familiar tracks like “Shogun” and “Warp 2.0”, as well as “How We Do”, their collaboration with Hardwell. The next track to be released on Musical Freedom will be “Hey!” which they did with Bassjackers.
Madeon rocked the crowd at 7:45, and wow what a slap in the face. This young and talented Producer/DJ packs a punch. Words like ‘talented’ I hesitate to use when describing Madeon because that just about describes his pinky finger. The kid is musical prodigy, an Ableton wiz, and the second coming of Daft Punk, in my opinion. Being able to catch a glimpse of Madeon’s set up and how he has engineered Ableton to work with his specific style is a show within itself, not to mention the intensity Madeon has in the booth. During his show we heard mashups of “Breakin a Sweat”, “Slam the Door”, “Technologic”, “Around the World”, and not to forget his big hit, “Pop Culture”. All throughout his set he has taken chunks of tracks and mashes them together to produce this unique edit of something new that really gets the crowd jumping. I think Madeon is the perfect example of someone who doesn’t just press play.
Eric Prydz at 9:45 was the big grand finale we had all been waiting for! I think it’s fair to say that he was the main reason why we came to Identity in the first place. He is someone that hasn’t been to the US in about eight years but has been a truly prolific producer and leader in the genre. There was nothing that day that could stop us from seeing Eric Prydz perform live. Eric Prydz set was such an experience you could not even describe in words, there was so much emotion and feeling behind his music. One of the tracks that really got me truly tuned in was his track “Everday”. It’s like his music speaks to your soul and grabs you, almost to invite you to come dance with it. Really, if you haven’t seen Eric Prydz and this tour is coming near you, GO OUT AND SEE HIM! Some other tracks you can expect to hear during his set were his big hit “Allien”, his classic “Pjano”, and of course “2night”. He closed his set out with the big mashup “Mirage” with Empire of the Sun’s “We Are People”. It was quite an appropriate to end the night.
We were extremely fortunate to catch his attention as he walked off stage, and he stopped to take a photo with us when we told him we were from New York. I knew making a comment about how much I loved the Yankees hat would work, but I didn’t think he’d give me a big hug too. It was an incredible moment, and the perfect ending to our day. Overall, we had a good time at the ID Fest, and will be looking forward to hopefully catching some of these artists back in the NYC area in the next few months… especially Eric Prydz.
-SwedeHeart with Rocketpants for EDMNYC