Currentlythe "manicured swamp in a public park," otherwise known to the world as the super-festival Tommorowland, is totally quiet. There are no massive drops being riddled through a speaker system fit for Godzilla's apartment, you won't see any shirtless bros fist-pumping, and finally, that crazy face-structure is probably passed the fuck out. The scenic town of Boom, Belgium, finds itself in 5 days of rest, before it's grounds are transformed yet again for the second weekend of the festival. To celebrate this rare time of pristine-ness, and to satisfy the FOMO you all proabably felt while watching the first weekend's livestream, we've put together a list of some of the best sets that are currently available on the interwebs.
If you find yourself occupying one of the world's most mammoth electronic music festivals, there will be a couple sure things that you can expect to take place. There will be mud, a large contingent of the population will appear sans-shirt, it probably will be easier to find drugs than free water, and Carl Cox will have his own stage at the festival, in which he will play one of the best damn sets at said festival. This year at Tomorrowland '14, most of these things were true - well, pretty much all of them.
ARMIN VAN BUUREN
What do you think it's like to be Armin van Buuren? When he wakes up every morning, is there a flock of magical doves circling above his bed? Does he piss out Veuve Clicquot when he makes his way from his bed to the bathroom? Is he God? These are all questions that probably should remain unanswered but, regardless of what you think about the changes in Armin van Buuren's sound as of late, the guy is still a legend among mere mortals, and one who manages to do things to main stage crowds that few others can.
Dutch dance duo W&W (Willem van Hanegem and Wardt van der Harst) really brought the heat this year at Tomorrowland. These guys are from a part of the Netherlands that's only a 45-minute drive away from Tomorrowland, and you can tell they feel at home there - and on the stage. The set progresses nicely from genre to genre, from light to heavy, and from vocal-heavy to purely instrumental -- and you're on your toes the whole time.
At Tomorrowworld '14, the Colorado producer Pretty Lights was certainly a rare bread. You won't hear any big-room drops, trance synths, or any of the top 10 anthems that occupy the Beatport, um, Top 10. He comes across with a swag that lets people know he's certainly comfortable in his own skin. Also, where else can you get to see so many pretty lights, while listening to 'Pretty Lights'?
Before Tomorrowworld, there was actually a petition to get Flosstradamus on the festival's main stage. I don't think the festival organisers needed much convincing, though. Chicago's trap lords tore the place to shreds, reminding everyone exactly why they fell in love with trap in the first place.
DJ LICIOUS AND DELAFINO
When lesser-known names give us something to remember at festivals, it's always a nice surprise. This years, Antwerp-based DJ Licious, known for his "funky rhythms, groovy sax and smooth vocals," and Delafino, who is virtually unknown, brought the funk at the smaller Cafeina tent. It's not quite house, not quite electro, but a soulful breed of its own: with warped and not-so-warped vocals sprinkled throughout. Craziest part: around 4:58, when the Twin Peaks chords come in out of nowhere.
The king of French electro and head of the Ed Banger Label, Pedro Winter, blew everyone away this year. Like some sort of monologue by Morgan Freeman - it gets deeper and deeper by the minute.
Hitting the Legends of Trance stage, Cosmic Gate proved that they were just that. The brothers-in-sound unleashed a daytime set of all the hits, leaving no trance fan behind. They played songs from their recent release Start To Feel, along with a some older hits and classic trance looks. If you're new to the sound and looking for the perfect introduction, stop right here. Cosmic Gate's brothers in sound will get you up to speed real quick.
Skrilly's enjoying a resurgence, now that the international hater brigade have decided that he's actually pretty great. This set was as wild as you'd expect from the diminutive party-starter, and it features tunes from all along his career. It's an all-Skrillex, all-the-time mix, and is on perpetual-rage status.
BATMAN, SUPERMAN, SPIDERMAN, WOLVERINE
Laidback Luke has a thing for superheroes, and for years he's taken over venues, clubs, and massive festival stages for his super-themed Super Me & You parties. While last year he appeared with Sander van Doorn and Dimitri Vegas, in the form of Superman, Batman and Iron Man, this year he recruited some more fellow Dutchman: friends Sunnery James, Ryan Maricano and Dyro, as Superman, Spiderman & Wolverine, to bring this powers to Tomorowland's main stage.