Electric Zoo 2014 — Day One

source: Brian K. James

Electric Zoo — Day One

Waiting the few months after my brother’s purchase of the tickets, we have finally arrived on Day One of the three day juggernaut that is Electric Zoo 2014. After last year’s incident, this year, we all seem to proceed with quite a bit more caution.

A little history, to catch you up:

Between last year’s Zoo and this one, the fine folks at Made Event (who started EZoo) were bought up by a larger event company SFX Entertainment. For those of you who remember the EZoo before last year know how amazingly awesome it was, while my first taste of this event started in 2012, my brother had gone to see Above & Beyond and had a one-day pass. I got there at about 10:45PM. So, I didn’t get the full brunt of this mammoth event until next year, 2013, where we had two people die of drug related causes at the after parties.

Who we saw at EZoo: Day One

Both my brother and I, can easily remember when all the “club classics” like Jaydee’s “Plastic Dreams” came out, and myself, I remember when Information Society, The KLF, and Planet Soul were getting regular radio airplay here in Philadelphia, PA. So, we saw the lineup, and noticed that there were DJs of legendary status that my brother and I would have had to travel further than the Big Apple to see in person, in their natural habitat. This year, most of the DJs we wanted to see were in the Sunday School Grove Room, and the Beatport Riverside Tent.

01. Stefano Noferini (Deeperfect Records)

Here’s someone whom I had heard of, but had never gotten to see in person. Well today, we got to see him live, and my God, it was so worth it! The Sunday School Grove room started to fill up rather quickly, as people heard the insane tech-house tracks he was playing. He took notice of my brother and I as he dropped each track. I had to tell him how great his set was, so I made my way over to the other side of the DJ booth. I got to tell him how awesome his set was, and he was very appreciative that I came over to let him know. I asked if I could get a picture with him, and he said it was cool. That’s us in the photo below. Thank you Stefano! You were amazing!

Italian techno legend Stefano Noferini & The Engineer @ Electric Zoo 2014

02. Bonobo (Ninja Tune)

Last year, I had the luck of procuring tickets to see Bonobo performing his own material at the TLA in Philadelphia. I had seen videos of him DJing at The Boiler Room on YouTube, but never in person. Until today! He started off with a version of “Cirrus”, which for me, is personally gaining ground on my favorite by him “Recurring” in which he takes a 3/4 beat, and re-works it into a standard 4/4 time signature so effortlessly. He did much of the same, by taking odd loops and turning them into these amazing textures of sound, and then adding the beat on top! Truly a treat to see him DJ after having seen him perform his music live with is band! Here’s Bonobo in action. Thank you Bonobo! I cannot wait to hear what you release next!

Bonobo lights it up for the Riverside tent attendees @ Electric Zoo 2014

03. Chris Liebing (CLR)

Now THIS guy, I have been trying to see for quite some time. I had seen videos of him in 2010 at a Native Instruments Traktor clinic after party in Hollywood’s King King Nightclub. Having been to King King in 2007, I know that while it’s not a gigantic space, when there’s good music going on, word will spread, and the place will pack. Now, if Chris Liebing is spinning, it’s damn near a guarantee that whatever room he’s put in, it’ll pack. The Sunday School Grove room was no different. For 90 minutes, it was a techno assault that would not let up. I’m sure no one wanted it to end, including Chris Liebing.

As Chris was finishing his set, someone who was apart of setting up the audio gear thought it would be “better” for the party if the lights were out. While, this may be true, it was something that should have not been done until the roadie who was putting Chris’ gear away was completely finished doing so. Instead, this guy rips the lights plug out, and the room goes dark. Everyone is happy, except the roadie, who now has to put all this equipment away, in the darkness. Not cool. Not cool at all.

The roadie was highly upset, and was trying to get some recourse with others who were a part of EZoo's production team, but didn't find any. Just lots of shrugs of "Hey man... I don't know what to tell you", and turned-up palms of "What do you want me to do about it?!?". So, feeling for the guy, I immediately grabbed my iPhone out of my pocket, turned on the flashlight, and gave them some light. Chris Liebing himself had leaned over towards me to say “Thank You” as he was now helping the roadie put away his gear, and extended his hand in gratitude. I shook his hand, and he said “Thank you for dancing, and your assistance!” Here’s a photo of Chris playing one hell of a techno set!

Chris Liebing's techno assault holds the ravers hostage for 90 minutes @ Electric Zoo 2014

04. Dubfire (Deep Dish, Sci + Tec)

For those of you who have been in scene for a long enough time to remember the song “Future Of The Future” from 1998 know that Dubfire is half of Deep Dish, and they collaborated with Everything But The Girl (EBTG for short) for that amazing track. Well, Dubfire has since started his own label Sci + Tec, and the releases are superb. I have tried seeing him when he briefly came to Philly a few different times, but I always learned about it too late to put in to get off for that day, or had other plans. But thanks to the folks at Electric Zoo, I got to see him rock a crowd. He’s very animated, and interacts with the crowd through the music. He gave everyone a thumbs up at the end of the set, and we all clapped for his offering and closing out an amazing Day One at Electric Zoo.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a good photo of him during his set. This is him spinning at Time Warp. Trust me, you want to see him kill it in person. His sets are truly amazing. Thank you Dubfire, you rocked it!!

source: Time Warp — All Rights Reserved

Day One Wrap-up

All and all, Day One at EZoo was awesome. I got to see DJs I have been trying to see for years, and it felt like the old rave days for me. Dancing myself silly until my legs felt like jelly, and my back felt like a four-alarm blaze of something the size of the Empire State Building. This years Sunday School Grove in my opinion was the best one they've ever had. Now, my first time to EZoo was 2012, and while the tent was bigger, this one felt more intimate, a closer-knit vibe filled the entire structure. The folks who attended were happy, full of life, and showed their appreciation by dancing like their was no tomorrow.

But, we know that there IS a tomorrow... Bring on Day Two!

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