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 the global DJ community ponders the validity of Richie Hawtin playing Marquee in Las Vegas and if it’s okay for Disclosure to mime tracks on stage, Hello Kitty, the cat character popularized by Japan’s Sanrio Corporation, has been not so quietly taking the club world by storm.
The wildly popular feline has been working the decks for years, spinning at in-store appearances and doing gigs at clubs in Asia. She even works behind the boards, producing Japanese pop singer Ayumi Hamasaki’s upcoming single “Feel the Love/Merry-Go-Round” due out on December 25 and issuing her In The Mix DJ mix compilation featuring Bob Sinclar and Mariah Carey in 2010 and Everybody Dance in 2011 featuring a selection of Japanese artists.
According to her website, Kitty originally dreamed of becoming a pianist: “You can connect the hearts of people all over the world in music, want to get along together. This is the wish of Kitty. To realize this wish, the music that is capable commune and heart people in the same space. It was decided to send to the world. It is the beginning of ‘DJ Hello Kitty.'”
In this clip from an appearance at a shopping mall in Bangkok, DJ Hello Kitty shows that she’s down by dropping “Barbra Streisand” by Duck Sauce for a crowd of excited children and their parents:
At this appearance in Shibuya, Japan, Kitty even shakes a paw during her set, dropping some dance moves while a song plays on her CDJs. Nervo, are you watching?
Sanrio, who just happen to market a line of DJ headphones, T-shirts and gear aimed at kids and collectors, is gearing up for Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary in 2014 and have announced that SMAP’s aptly titled “Hello” is the official song. Watch the Japanese ’80s boy band performing with DJ Hello Kitty here, and be on the lookout for cross promotion galore in the cat character’s upcoming club sets.
A character who wears a cat head and DJs. That leaves us to ponder the possibilities of a world tour with deadmau5.
Ultra Music Festival fans somehow managed to pull themselves together after day one and were eager to get started for more of the same thrill, masses and music on day two (read our recap of day one here). They filled the venue in no time to get this party started.
On the Bayfront Stage Nic Fanciulli, scheduled for a solo set, played a surprise tag team set when he was joined by fellow house DJ associate Joris Voorn. A catchy, memorable moment was when the duo dropped a remix of Snap’s “The Power.”
One of the anticipations and then highlights of Ultra Music Festival was Fatboy Slim’s spirited set on the main stage. He was obviously and visibly having a blast playing the archives for the veteran fans but also furnishing a new twist of remixes for the newcomers and did not disappoint either group. His winning set included remixes of his famous “Star 69,” an anthem from Ultra of years gone by. He dropped an unlikely but pleasantly surprising (Fatboy) mashup of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” with Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” while also displaying an Andy Warhol style image of Ms. Summer. The image was decorated with sparkle highlights reminiscent of her glitzy disco era from which she vastly contributed.
Fans planted themselves along the crowd-control gates of the main stage for hours and periodically waved flags from their home country, held hand-made, posterboard signs of “I’d Rather Be At Ultra” and endured the hot sun in dedication to catch their favorites.
Speaking of dedication, a male fan in a wheel chair allowed himself to be hoisted up in the third row during Zeds Dead at the Dropzone Stage to be more up-close-and-personal to the artists and show his ultimate fan support. He garnered cheers and applause becoming an instant crowd favorite.
At the Dropzone Stage drum ‘n’ bass great Subfocus played the dance heavy “Out The Blue” and “Get Free” featuring the vocals of Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors.
For a man who needs no introduction these days, Calvin Harris charmed the Main Stage crowd with, “Hello Miami. I’m Calvin Harris. And you’re looking beautiful tonight.” He dropped his Rihanna collaboration smash hit “We Found Love” and his former (and still) Ultra hit “In My Mind.”
Over at the Live Stage German house duo Booka Shade played a live set with their signature percussion, synths, drums and chimes blending a magical variation of sounds so fitting for this tropical evening under the stars in the amphitheater setting.
Throughout the year, under the air of discussion of will he or won’t he play Ultra, Deadmau5 indeed played Ultra and closed out the Main Stage in true Deadmau5 fashion. Recognizable only by his silhouette, donning a mouse head that was a sphere of LEDs with LED covered ears, he appeared flanking his personalized decks, waved to fans then hopped up to man the music controls. He started off significantly deep with a slow mix of his Kaskade collaboration “I Remember.” He played on with “Raise Your Weapon” as the crowd chanted along. Zelda images appeared on the backdrop and DJ deck screens while “Zelda’s Theme/You Need A Ladder” boomed in the background. Periodic blasts of cryogenic and multi-colored streamer shoots filled the stage front and filtered throughout the crowd marking numerous grand finales of Ultra Day Two.
With the streets flooded with young, colorful electronic music buffs taking over downtown day two of Ultra Music Festival‘s first weekend was bananas! The talent was nothing short of amazing, spread out around multiple stages, seeing the best of the best was the only thing you could do. On Ultra Worldwide, Dirty South put on a show to remember with fists pumping, people jumping and the crowd going wild. When Laidback Luke took the stage with his lazer light show, everyone had no choice but to keep their hands in the air. Just across the lawn, Knife Party’s slightly dark and heavy took the main stage pumping out out body moving beats, fire show and golden dancers only leading up to sweet sounds of Kaskade with deadmau5 closing out the night with a performance to remember (fireworks and all) and one of the best sets played all night sending the festival goers home begging for more.