MIAMI — Not long after Tommie Sunshine's Sunday afternoon performance last weekend at Ultra Music Festival, the notoriously outspoken veteran DJ tweeted, "Anyone who has anything bad to say about @ultramusic & the experience kids are having clearly have never been." So far, with weekend two of the fest under way, it's clear the DJ's words hold true.
Friday afternoon marked the kickoff of the second weekend of the highly regarded UMF, which (on its 15th 'go-round) boasted seven stages and about 200,000 EDM enthusiasts piled into Bayfront Park, dressed in everything from neon attire to tutus, capes and unicorn costumes. All had smiles on their faces as they geared up for the day's eclectic EDM lineup.
Progressive house, electro, dub-step and trap were among the electronic genres that got shine, with acts like DJ/producers Cazzette, Nicky Romero, Bloody Beetroots, Deniz Koyu, Sidney Samson and Eric Prydz hitting the stage, and closing powerhouse DJ Kaskade, Avicii, Afrojack and Tiësto delivering on highly anticipated sets.
Tiësto, who unveiled a couple of new tracks, surprised the crowd by playing many songs from much earlier in the decade. The Dutch star even had Hardwell join him for part of his set. According to Tiësto, who has played UMF now for several consecutive years, this edition of Ultra seems to have a "different vibe" from those of years past. The 2013 fest's music is more closely associated with "harder drops" than "sweet vocals," he explained.
Meanwhile, Afrojack's trippy stage visuals and high-energy performance had the crowd screaming as he moved around playing pop-hits such as his "Sovereign" remix and "As Your Friend," which created major dance-frenzy. But probably the most-anticipated set of the evening was Avicii, who earlier in the week had revealed he'd be introducing his new album at Ultra.
The DJ/producer played favorites such as "Fade Into Darkness," "Levels" and his remix of Florence and the Machine's "You've Got the Love," which was accompanied by hard bangs and loud drops for the first 30 minutes. Avicii then took a boldly unexpected turn, as he challenged the crowd by leaving his signature sound behind so that Aloe Blacc, Mac Davis and members of '90s alt-rock band Incubus could help him finish off a country/folk/electronic-fused set. Needless to say, it surprised and shocked many in attendance.
Check back for continuing Ultra Music Festival coverage as we premiere exclusive artist interviews, performances and more on MTV News and in a special "Miami" episode of Clubland, airing Saturday, March 30, on MTV2 at 10 p.m. ET.