I know we’re not even halfway into the month, but I have to say – this is some of the loveliest early Spring weather we’ve had in a minute. Even that little bit of rain last week, that was perfectly timed – the smog was cleared, the city was washed clean for a good few minutes and we got some amazing skylines, sunsets and rainbows to boot!
This past weekend, Swedish House Mafia cruised through Los Angeles and threw two epic nights of EDM whompage at LA’s State Historic Park; now, I wasn’t about to shell out upwards of $150 to see a bunch of acts I’ve already had the pleasure of rocking out to – but I got to send my friends off in style and then hear about it all at the after party. Literally the next best thing to enjoying a mini-festival like these were is living the night vicariously through your friends. Based on the stories, pictures and videos – I know they had a phenomenal time…and how could you not?! Besides getting a hat trick of Swedish House, there were stellar sets from the likes of Nero, Mat Zo, Sub Focus, Clockwork, Alesso, Zedd, Monsta and more! To be fair, if I knew the supporting acts ahead of time – I would have most definitely bought my ticket – but all is fair in love and raving, and there will always be another kickass show with another phenomenal lineup. That said, if you happen to be going to either weekend of Ultra, the Masquerade Motel is not to be missed.
And to get you through the day, here are my favorite live sets from the main stage acts at Masquerade Motel; if you missed out, turn the world off, turn up the love and enjoy the ride!
Unless you’ve been able to strategically place yourself under a rock, you should be more than familiar with SHM – who are better known to the EDM world as Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello. They’ve been busting basslines together since 2007 when they released ‘Get Dumb‘ with Laidback Luke, another favorite house legend, but didn’t officially form their supergroup until 2008. Their first official single was ‘One’ in instrumentals and with a vocal version featuring Pharrell – both were amazing and catapulted their notoriety. Then came the success of ‘Save the World‘ which was coupled an the adorable, puppy infused video one can’t help but swoon at. As of late, they’ve teamed up with Knife Party (formerly, Pendulum) on the epic club banger ‘Antidote‘ and have been pushing this “One Last Tour’ for the last few months. Now, don’t get it twisted – they’ll still be touring solo and you’ll have a chance to hear them play the hits of SHM, but it sounds like they won’t be touring together for a hot minute.
If it sounds like SHM, walks like SHM but there’s only one of them – chances are you’ve stumbled across their up and coming protege, Alesso. First recognized for his innate remixing ability, the youngster released has released hit after hit on Sebastian Ingrosso’s label, Refune Records. Alesso is best known for his remix duties on ‘ ‘ by the Starkillers and Alex Kenji with seductive vocals from the Queen of Trance herself, Nadia Ali (formerly the vocalist of Iio), Swedish House Mafia’s ‘Save the World‘ and DEVolution’s ‘Good Love‘ featuring Amy Pearson while his original singles ‘Calling’ and ‘Years’ both reached #1 on Beatport.
Being fresh on the scene isn’t a problem for Zedd.The first time he popped onto the scene was in 2010 after winning Beatport contests for Armand Van Helden’s ‘Witch Doktor’ and the classic Fatboy Slim track, ‘Weapon of Choice.’ He moved to the big leagues in 2011 by putting his mark on Skrillex’s ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’ and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” In turn, both artists recognized his talents and returned the favor –Skrillex released Zedd’s “Shave It”on his label OWSLA and Lady Gaga has enlisted him to produce her upcoming album, ARTPOP. His latest singles, ‘Clarity’ and ‘Spectrum’ have both hit the #1 spot on the US Dance Charts and have garnered much support, as well as ample amounts of kickass remixes.
Speaking of ones to watch, Mat Zo is a DJ that you simply shouldn’t take your eyes off of. Musically inclined since a young age when he first got his hands on an instrument, Mat Zo started off on the famed Hospital Records as a liquid Drum & Bass producer under the pseudonym MRSA; that influence is so easily seen in the effortless fusing of songs, and genres, in each one of his mixes. His hits like ‘The Fractal Universe‘ become instrumental journeys into the heart of trance music, while bumpin’ beats like ‘Bipolar‘ and ‘Stubby’ simply want to make you move your feet. And then, to top it off, he has vocal hits like ‘The Sky‘ with Linnea Shossow that just wow the pants off of you. If there’s one DJ on this list that’s a must see, I’d say it’s Mat Zo.