Identity Festival at Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion, 8/19/12
All photos by Melissa Fossum Eric Prydz takes attendees of the Identity Festival on a cosmic journey. See more pics in our full ID Fest slideshow.
IDENTITY FESTIVAL @ ASHLEY HOMESTORE PAVILION | 8/19/12
See also: Live Nation Looks to Cash In on EDM Rage with Identity Festival
See also: Paul van Dyk on Why He Dissed Madonna, His Quest for the Perfect Track, and the Growth of EDM in America
See also: Luke Romero on The Psychology of Club Nights, Star Wars Jokes, The Plight of Newbie DJs, and His Gig at This Weekend's Identity Festival
When the concert gurus from Live Nation are planning out next year's Identity Festival, it might behoove them to push the summertime tour a bit into the fall, especially when they inevitably schedule its Phoenix stop.
That's because the oppressive August heat that baked the Valley resulted in the Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion being half-full (at best) during yesterday's visit by the big-dollar touring EDM extravaganza. Those who chose to stay cool and stay home missed out, however, as Identity Festival was worth weathering the heat.
Neon...the color of choice for EDM fans everywhere.
A eight-hour all-you-can-eat beat buffet was served up to a sea of rave fanatics, club kids, and EDM aficionados at the outdoor venue, offering a mix of acts and artists of the highest caliber ranging from electro-house, trance, hardstyle, drum 'n' bass, and dubstep (natch).
It has all the hallmarks of a primo rave, only in a much bigger venue with a far more star-studded lineup. (Sadly, one superstar who was conspicuous by his absence was Dutch electro-house bigwig Hardwell, who had to cancel several recent appearances this past week due to a bout with the flu.)
The official color of the festival was neon, as attendees came brightly dressed in their finest dayglo wear and were ready to party. And the official slogan of the event was undoubtedly "jump," which was spat by many a DJ in order to induce leaping and dancing amongst the crowds gathered at either of the two major stages. (Many artists also utilized the oft-dropped clip from Chuckie's "Who's Ready to Jump?")
The crowd gathered around the main stage at Identity Festival.
The plastic seats populating the lower level of the erstwhile Cricket Pavilion truly make for a lousy dance floor, but the Identity Festival attendees made the best of the situation as they bumped, bounced, and greeted each EDM artist with an ultra-enthusiastic response.
Audrey Napoleon got the crowd primed for a day of dancing with her early afternoon set of remixes and bootlegs, including her potent reworkings of "I'm Free" by William Orbit and The Cure's "Just Like Heaven," which boasted Robert Smith's memorable lyrics processed and transformed into a robotic Daft Punk kind of vocal vibe. She also pulled out sounds from her trademarked "Sex Tape" mix tapes that are available online.
A hot summer's day couldn't keep these folks away from the Identity Festival.
When I asked Napoleon prior to the Identity Fest's stop in Phoenix why hearing tracks such as these, or any other EDM artist, in person was preferable instead of listening in your bedroom, she stated the following:
"It's different, for the experience of it all. You can listen to a mix of their songs all day in your bedroom but when you actually see it live and you see the passion behind it and watch the artists give their all into a performance," Napoleon says.
Russian-born trance trickster Arty certainly was giving his all during his main stage gig, getting heartbeats pounding and asses moving with an invigorating mixture of high-energy tracks firmly in the four-on-the-floor genres as the graphics of his video package declared, "No Arty, No Party."