Fans poured into day two of the Ultra Music Festival (read our day one recap here) at a slightly slower pace considering their intense, party-packed week but once inside the music-filled playground they switched into high-energy party mindset.
Vicetone played a daytime spot at the UMF Radio Stage getting a solid reception and an added applause when Nicky Romero appeared on stage. All the artists have been professionally supportive of each other’s work such as with Vicetone’s “Tremble” on Romero’s “Legacy” release.
Sisters Krewella — Jahan Yousaf, Yasmine Yousaf — sans third band member Rain Man, wowed the main stage, sharing split time behind the decks and at stage front on vocals. They played “Punk,” gave a shout-out to their hometown of Chicago and a shout-out to their absent band member. They also gave a dedication to their parents who they said were somewhere else viewing the live stream (and enjoying bragging rights, I’m sure) as they went into “Legacy.”
Gramatik’s set at the Live Stage set was doused with the artist’s instinctive genre, hip-hop, but then spanned the generations, and quite successfully, when the very classic “Superstition” hit the sound system bringing fans to the aisles.
Bro Safari incited the crowd at the Worldwide Stage as the genres seamlessly mixed from hip-hop to drum ‘n’ bass.
As Martin Garrix ended his notable run on the Main Stage, the MC who came on mic as filler between acts reminded us of the astounding fact that the fast-rising Garrix is only 17. He went on to reveal that Ultra is filming a movie and that their previous Ultra movie has enjoyed 16 million views.
Following a captivating set from Stefano Noferini, the enchanting Sydney Blu graced the spotlight of Stage 7. Hosted at the birds-eye view, raised, stand-alone (and therefore excitingly rickety) stage, the crowd made it even more thrillingly unstable with their erratic dancing.
2ManyDJs hosted a backdrop of the letters MGMT for the band of the same name, then a Van Halen logo, followed by a Motörhead logo. In conjunction with the visuals the artists layered a string of hits by the three artists beginning with “Kids” and ending with “Ace Of Spades” to a thunderous reception.
After a delay due to technical difficulties Empire of the Sun made the wait worthwhile as they entered the stage in their always stunning, glitzy fashion, their intricate props, their elaborate and ever-changing costuming and their indelible tracks. A fan in the crowd validated this fact with, “These guys always do this the best. I don’t know how they travel with all of that stuff.”
The ever-ingenious Joel Zimmerman (a.k.a. deadmau5) acquired the headline spot at the Main Stage as a last-minute fill-in for an absent Avicii who is recuperating from gall bladder surgery.
As tracks like “Raise Your Weapon” pierced the rainy atmosphere Zimmerman’s mousehead sat patiently by his side waiting for its moment to shine — literally. And that it did because when Zimmerman placed the reflective sphere on his head the crowd exploded. Zimmerman went on to play a well-constructed list of winners including the classic “The Longest Road” and Martin Garrix “Animals”(McMaNGOS Funnymals Edit) featuring its “Old McDonald Had A Farm” clip, with Zimmerman yelling out, “Fuck, I love that track.“ He then took it into Avicii “Leve7s” as a nice homage to the recovering artist.
It was quite apparent that Zimmerman was having a blast at the decks, with his bobbing mousehead, in the spotlight and in the rain, it seemed even the mousehead was smiling.
Images by Dave Vitkus and Kathy Vitkus.