The two-day Decadence NYE — Arizona festival at Rawhide in Chandler was a monumental one for Phoenix. Its size and headliners (including Deadmau5, Chainsmokers, Porter Robinson, Zedd, DJ Snake, and more) seemed destined to make a name for Arizona as a destination for top-notch EDM festivals. Here's what we thought were the best and worst things from the electronic music event.
Best — Rides
The more activities at a festival, the better. Decadence had a funhouse and a couple of rides that were free, and carnival games you could pay to play.
Worst — Rain
It poured Friday night, and the festival did what they could to not let the rain be a night-ruiner. But man, the rain in the cold sucked. It caused a few accidents on the freeway, which made traffic pretty bad for a lot of people, too.
Best — Coat Check
I have never seen this at a music festival in Arizona, even though it's pretty standard in other states and cities with colder weather. It was definitely needed, given the weather of the evening. A very nice touch added by the organizers.
Best — Totems
There were a lot of really good totems at this festival: Step Brothers, a rave ditto, a light-up marijuana leaf, a giant burning joint, umbrella jellyfish, chakras, Rick and Morty, and member berries — but this one was by far the most amusing and confusing to me.
Worst — Leaking Diamond Stage Tent
The Diamond Stage inevitably started leaking. Festival goers could feel it, and the sound people had to frantically cover their equipment with garbage bags.
Best — Deadmau5's Visuals and Set
Deadmau5's visuals were completely custom-made and original, and they were unlike anything I had ever seen before. Deadmau5 hadn't been in Arizona for a while, so there was a lot of excitement and anticipation surrounding his set. He brought a massively heavy rolling bass that kept the party going and was true to his non-EDM style.
Worst — Deadmau5's Set Timing
What I don't think a
Worst — Tritonal's Technical Difficulties
The crowd seemed pretty into
Best — Emerald Carnival Stage
This stage looked more like a pop-up sideshow in comparison to the size of the two other stages, but the music from some of the lesser-knowns who played this stage throughout the festival's two days brought some fresh new music to the table and had some of the danciest music and most energetic crowds from the whole festival.
Best — New String Lights
These are like a hybrid between the fiber-optic glowing light from your childhood that you would win after you sold 100 magazine subscriptions and a magic lasso. They were selling these at the festival, and we also saw a lot of people using them. I had personally never seen them before so I'm guessing these are the new glow toy "thing" that's cool? You might be wondering, "that's cool, but what do I do with that?" Well ...
Best — The Dude Who Perfected Dancing With String Lights
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Best — Green Velvet's Set
Green Velvet has been around for a really long time, although he was still relevant to a much younger audience. I mean, "The Percolator" and "Flash" are pretty timeless songs. He was on during Deadmau5 and still had a pretty decent crowd.