Let’s face two very clear facts: 1) A healthy portion of the people who attend festivals, particularly EDM-based fests, have no idea what the hell they are listening to or who anyone actually is; and 2) It’s pretty effing hard to keep up with EDM acts since the popularity bubble burst.
Example, recently overheard: a young gentleman going on and on about his hatred for Skrillex, and in his next breath raving about his love of Jack Ü. Example, recently read: Something Wicked’s own Web site comment feed, currently clarifying whether or not Diplo is actually coming this weekend, because one commenter didn’t see his name in the lineup. [Note: he is...with Jack Ü — ed.] To help minimize Houstonians' electronic confusion, this is an extremely remedial breakdown of the the festival’s four bold-printed headliners, intended to help usher this weekend’s nighttime crowds to the best acts for their ravey little ears. Weather permitting, of course.
9:10 p.m., Shadowlands Main Stage
Who? The Parisian-born DJ is famous for creating and collaborating on hip-hop rich EDM with a strong Trap vibe. So basically, DJ Snake appeals to a wide audience who likes to get down and dance hard. Expect bass drops and tons of samples. He has produced for many huge artists and has remixed a shit-ton of your already-favorite songs. In short, EDM for the masses.
Do I Know Him? Yes. Four words: “Turn down for what!?!”
Doesn’t sound like you? Also playing at the same time: Headhunterz and Destructo
ABOVE & BEYOND
10:30 p.m. Saturday, Shadowlands Main Stage
Who? Consistently considered to be one of EDM’s best acts, the London trio is famous for progressive house music and trance that makes you dance. Undoubtedly, Above and Beyond has influenced a great deal of today’s most popular touring DJs, such as Something Wicked performer Seven Lions, whose breakout hit was a remix of A&B’s “You Got to Go.” This set will be less about bass drops (read: NOT at all about bass drops) and more about a consistent set of excellent EDM. Less hyphy, more engrossing.
Do I Know Them? More than likely, yes. Either you have heard them directly (which, if you listen to EDM, you have), or you have heard another DJ remix their work.
Doesn’t sound like you? Also playing at the same time: Borgore and Tchami
7:15 p.m. Sunday, Shadowlands Main Stage
Who? Steve Aoki is arguably one of the most famous DJs ever, mainly because he has never dropped out of the scene. He’s been known to act completely ridiculous during his sets (top moves: throwing cake at the audience; drunkenly stage-diving; being completely hammered), but is much better known for his music. Since the mid-‘90s, Aoki has worked with countless artists in multiple genres and toured consistently, so the audience should keep an ear open for familiar music. Aoki will bring a strong set of electro house, and a dance-friendly crowd will eat it up like cake.
Do I Know Him? You sure do, whether from music, myth or media.
Doesn’t Sound Like You? Also playing at the same time: Tritonal, TJR, Green Velvet
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8:30 p.m. Sunday, Shadowlands Main Stage
Who? Jack Ü is a duo comprised of Skrillex and Diplo, not to be confused with either of their solo work, Diplo’s collab (with fellow DJ Switch) Major Lazer, or the multitude of side projects both of them seem to be involved in. Jack Ü leans more to Diplo’s Trap EDM sensibilities than to Skrillex’s (in)famous dubstep, but the union is quite shockingly unique and new. Both DJs put on one hell of a good show, so together, expect a ton of audience participation, energy, and HYPE.
Do I Know Them? Ever heard that “Where Are Ü Now” song on the radio, featuring that little Canadian asshole? Yup, that’s Jack Ü.
Doesn’t sound like you? Also playing at the same time: Blasterjaxx and Adam Beyer & Ida Engberg