I went to Global Dance Festival (GDF) in 2014 and honestly thought I’d never have a better weekend in my life. Now, another GDF has come and gone, and I have to say, Global is definitely THE electronic dance music event of the summer in Colorado.
With a lineup to rival the most popular EDM festivals in the world, GDF 2015 went off successfully, selling out the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO July 17-19. Big name producers like Tiesto, Above & Beyond and Seven Lions were joined by up and coming acts like Mako, Slow Magic and Slander to make for a fun and wide-ranging electronic music event.
My Top Picks From This Year:
I was only able to make it to days two and three, but here are the artists that I thought put on the best sets.
1.) 3lau – From start to finish, 3lau’s set was high energy. The American producer came out with his typical hype energy and didn’t let up until he was done. Despite the high energy of the set, one of my favorite moments of the weekend came when 3lau slowed things down a bit and brought out vocalist Bright Lights to perform their hit “How You Love Me” live for the crowd. Most of the time live vocals don’t sound great on top of EDM tracks, but Bright Lights killed it. 3lau is never an act to miss, but he certainly brought his A game for Red Rocks.
2.) Mako – I may be partial because I got to interview these guys before their set (watch out for it on Writtalin soon), but Mako was amazing at the NRG stage on day two of GDF 2015. The duo, made up of Julliard-trained composer Alex Seaver and DJ Logan Light, came out with an excitement that exuded from both the entirety of their set. Though fairly new in the EDM world, the pair clearly has an expert grasp on music making and how to keep a crowd involved. Light spun live while Seaver pumped up the crowd, played the keyboard and even came out front to sing vocals on their track “Our Story.” Together, the duo played an engaging, fun and musically driven set that had the crowd going the whole time.
3.) Tiesto – He was one of my favorites at EDC and again, Tiesto delivered at Global. The EDM veteran came onto stage and immediately commanded the audience’s attention. Though he followed his EDC set a bit, Tiesto did a good job of mixing things up and catering to a pumped up Colorado crowd. Throwing in plenty of original music (including an old trance track or two), Tiesto also seamlessly mixed in top 40, trap, rap and even a remix of the classical theme from Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie. If you missed it, I’m sorry, but Tiesto was certainly the perfect way to close this year’s Global Dance Festival.
Honorable Mention: Kill The Noise – After hating Datsik’s whompy, screechy set on day 2, I was apprehensive about Kill The Noise. But much to my surprise (and a pleasant one at that), KTN was very enjoyable. The producer, from Rochester, New York, did a good job of blending stereotypical dubstep with house drops and trap. I would definitely see him again.
All in All: Even though I missed the epicness of Seven Lions, Flosstradamus and Above & Beyond on day one, my second go at Global Dance Festival was awesome. If you’re at all into dance music, check GDF out and be sure to get your tickets early next year as they are bound to sell out as the event gets bigger.