Thump Presents: Zedd, Duke Dumont & Tokimonsta @ Pier 84 6/20/13 (Review)
Posted by Middy on July 1, 2013
A lineup of Zedd, Duke Dumont and Tokimonsta on Pier 84 in New York City for free? Check. A grandiose, interactive fireworks display throughout the entire show? Check. Open bar from opening at 7pm to close at 10pm at no additional charge? Check. This was how Vice’s music platform, Thump decided to officially launch its “Up Next” section, combining a diverse lineup with state of the art production and a river of booze.
At a little after 6:45, the doors opened to the line several thousand strong, snaking down multiple New York blocks as people showed up hours in advance with the hope that they would be able to enjoy Zedd, Duke Dumont and Tokimonsta with an open bar and fireworks all for free. There were apparently 14,000 invitees (source Thump intern), and the venue could only hold about 3,000 people, so even if only 7,000 showed up, there would be plenty of upset people at the door. But hey its New York, getting turned away from a venue should be second nature to you.
Me and my buddy were fortunate enough to get in nearly right away and could get right to the bar overlooking the venue and see the whole set up, including the various stations where people could set off fireworks with the touch of a button, the light up octagon that encased the DJ set that was dormant in the setting sun, but the potential for greatness was explained to me as something to watch for as the night fell on the pier. Tokimonsta had the indelible job of warming up the crowd, who for the first hour, frankly wanted nothing to do with her, instead were understandably looking to cash in early and often on the free open bar, which for any young person is the sweetest music to your ears. Tokimonsta warmed things up with a mixture of dubstep, trap and hip hop that toed the line between the right amount of energy and groove to lead the crowd along to its next alcohol infused height, led by Duke Dumont.
I was pleasantly surprised by Tokimonsta and had seen Zedd before, though not post-Clarity, so I was really intrigued to see one of the guys responsible for the resurgence of true-to-the-name house in mainstream dance music, the man responsible for huge club hits “Giver” and “Need You 100%”, Duke Dumont. His set was the perfect bridge between Tokimonsta’s not overwhelming, but still upbeat bass heavy set and Zedd’s high energy, hour-long electro house set. Duke Dumont stood with the composure of your classic house DJ, paying close attention to his DJ equipment and occasionally clapping his hands at peak moments, mixing in tracks like his own hits “Giver”, “Need You 100%“, Discolosure’s “White Noise, which got a great response and Breach’s “Jack“. He kept the crowd moving the entire time and never left a dull moment to be had. He was clearly impressed by the fireworks as he kept on checking them out going off behind him.
Around 9pm, the sun had set on the second longest day of the year and the main attraction was set to take the stage. He made the most of his short time on the decks with very quick mixing, staying with part of a song for only a minute or two and then quickly moving onto another, keeping the quite inebriated crowd at this point on their toes. He started with his favorite remix of “Spectrum”, the Gregori Klosman & Tristan Garner Knights remix, and then moved through two safe picks in “In My Mind” and “KOTEMF”, before getting to his “Breakin A Sweat” remix and the still reigning number one track on Beatport, “Animals” from
Busta Rhymes Martin Garrix.
Not to ignore his own high-powered tracks, he mixed in his own selections, “Clarity” (of course), “Fall Into The Sky”, “Shotgun”, “Codec”, his remix of “Save The World”, and “Zelda”, with others like “Nuke” and “Antidote”. He had to finish his set around 9:50 as he played once again “Spectrum”, this time the original, to the delight of the fans, but it seemed rather lazy. To this point the fireworks had been exciting at points, going off in small bunches, but you could tell they were holding back for the finale. Zedd was allotted an encore, where he chose to break out his recent remix of Empire Of The Sun’s “Alive”, with the full force of the fireworks going off in the background. You can watch a video of it happening here.
As the crowd drunkly poured out into the streets of New York at 10pm, looking to cause a ruckus (I have no idea if that was their intent), there were a few things I took away from this night. Fireworks should be mandatory at all festivals and open air concerts, as seen with EDC Las Vegas and Ultra. Open bars are one of the greatest ideas ever conceived (shocker right), those who disagree are either a recovering alcoholic or don’t like to party. Or maybe that makes me an alcoholic. And diverse lineups like this should be used more often because the contracting styles, while on paper may have been a little odd to think about, worked great and kept the sounds and styles from getting monotonous and most importantly, prevented anybody from repeating a play of a song, which is a HUGE NO NO.
Photo Credit: Thump / Bryan Derballa