MIAMI — Above & Beyond’s flashing LED screen epitomized the Ultra Music Festival when it read: “This is Miami. This is Heaven.’ With fewer than five hours of the weekend left, there was still a full roster of heavyweight DJs to see, and it was clear “heaven” was the perfect word to describe the happenings this monstrous EDM festival possessed.
New tracks were sampled, a Trap tent was born and every genre under the EDM umbrella was heard. MTV Clubland Artists to Watch — Cazzette, Dillon Francis, Kill the Noise, Baauer, Tritonal, and Danny Avila — all performed stellar sets. Diplo made a cameo in Francis’ set and even hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg performed, joining Boys Noize for their “Got It” collabo.
Tiësto, Calvin Harris, Bassnectar, Afrojack, Pretty Lights and David Guetta were a few of the A-List DJs that also set this weekend ablaze.
Bassnectar’s packed audience danced for 60 minutes like a slave army mesmerized by his filthy bass ’womp, womp, womp’ sound. Scottish DJ Calvin Harris opened with the 2009 hit, “Flashback,” and proceeded to play a plethora of favorites, including “Feel So Close To You,” “Bounce,” and “I Need Your Love.” Pretty Lights dominated the Live Stage on Sunday night with super dubby drops and thunderously funky beats.
Each tent was packed with side-by-side dancing with little room to breathe. Sunday’s festivities were so crowded that fans climbed on Porta-Pottys, hung from light posts, and clambered up trees in desperation to see their favorite DJ perform. Most attendees were in their 20s, but even some elementary school students and senior citizens showed up. We even spotted Nev and Max from MTV’s “Catfish” at the party!
Swedish House Mafia may be to blame for the congestion, as fans flocked to the main stage early in hopes to catch a glance of the most hyped-up set of the festival. It was their last show of their “One Last Tour.” And even though we’re cognizant the threesome will flourish individually and continue touring, there’s nothing quite like the machine force that Sebastian Ingrosso, Steve Angello and Axwell become when they collide as one.
The Swedes, all dressed in black tees, started the show on their three-tier DJ booth with the ferocious banger “Greyhound.” Immediately, pyrotechnics shot from the stage and attendees — squished together so closely they were dripping in each other’s sweat — danced and screamed in awe.
Axwell continuously stepped in between songs to share heartfelt words with the crowd, as they played songs like “Calling,” “One” and “From Miami 2 Ibiza.” They appropriately closed with “Save the World” and “Don’t You Worry Child,” with a surprise visit from singer John Martin to belt out the song’s vocals.
Though Axwell said the show was like the “last day of school,” Tiësto, a great friend of the Swedes, feels the trio’s “magic” will one day pull the group back together.
“I think, in a couple years, they’ll come back and that’s what we all hope for,” Tiësto confessed to MTV News. “So, guys, good luck on your solo careers, and we’re going to hang out lots of times and I hope you get back together in a couple years and have a great comeback!”