Electric Zoo 2017 Day 2 Highlights: Above & Beyond, Rezz, Malaa & More
In a day capped off by cold and rain, Electric Zoo kept the animals entertained with some more big-name DJ talent from across the globe. Day two (Sept. 2) on New York’s Randall's Island was headlined by acts like emotional Above & Beyond, Dirtybird Records boss Claude Vonstroke, Rezz, Malaa, Zedd and many more.
Billboard was on hand, battling through the rain, to capture the action first hand.
2:47 p.m.: The shufflers are out in full force as CID drops his remix of Hook N Sling and Galantis “Love On Me.” It is almost a sandwich of both artists from day one and day three -- Galantis being a headliner the previous night and then Hook N Sling coming up on Sunday afternoon.
3:13 p.m.: Crankdat asks the crowd, “Where my dubstep people at?” and unsurprisingly in the tent that is being headlined by Excision that night, a roar of approval rises from the crowd and heads bang up and down in unison to the drop of Warez “Arrakis.”
3:38 p.m.: Brohug decide it’s time to play a new song and with its swirling sirens and deep trap break they make the right choice. That is only confirmed by the girls on shoulders in the front happily bouncing along to the beat.
3:45 p.m.: There are maybe 15-20 people dressed as cows mooooooving through the crowd (I will be here all day). They are quite popular, taking group photos with fans and are grabbed by the E Zoo production team for video and pictures. Expect to see the cow crew in the aftermovie.
3:53 p.m.: Shaun Frank busts out the song “that changed his life” -- “Closer” -- but a remix of his. The crowd sings along to the words that everyone knows and a girl next to me says to her friend, “Oh, I like this one.”
4:47 p.m.: Audien brings it back to the old days with the soothing trance in “Wayfarer” and there are knowing glances all around of approval. There are still those in the crowd who remember Audien from those days.
5:35 p.m.: The rain has started to fall a little bit and Illenium drops some new music that takes the crowd by surprise. It is a big, horn-heavy trap tune that does not sound like anything he has put out before. It could even be out of the RL Grime playbook.
6:22 p.m.: The rain has subsided for Rezz at a Riverside stage flooded with people . She notes the size of the crowd, “Damn there are a lot of humans out here. You want some heavy shit right now?” On a day when heavy has been everywhere and her music blends heavy and house, a dose of Pretty Lights “I Know The Truth” is just right in between the warped alien sounds of her own tracks.
6:30 p.m.: Destructo is being mobbed on the center lawn for photos. No longer at ARD Events, Richards is here to oversee his new domain. Must be weird for him to be at E Zoo not as a DJ.
6:50 p.m.: With “Hey MaMaMa” echoing in the background, Austin, Texas based Tritonal give a shout out to Houston. “We just want to send our love and prayers to everyone struggling in Texas. We are thinking of you.”
7:28 p.m.: The heavens have opened up and mass is in session. Tchami is the preacher with his remix of Janet Jackson “Go Deep” as the crowd gets rowdier as the rain falls harder.
7:51 pm.: The rain is really starting to come down. Many people have retreated to the Hilltop or Awakenings tents or underneath trees in an attempt to find some sort of shelter. However Malaa has a dedicated group of dancers out in front of the stage as they dance to the uptempo house music being delivered by the mysterious DJ.
8:22 p.m.: There is a very full tent for New York legend Danny Tenaglia. It isn’t clear how many people are there for him or how many are just finding shelter from the rain, but it seems as though he is finding converts in the crowd as fans shuffle back and forth to the steady house groove both involuntarily and as a way to keep warm.
8:32 p.m.: The rain continues to fall and Oliver Heldens drops “Renegade Master.” Right on cue with the weather, several pool floaties emerge in the crowd on the left side of the stage and make their way into the middle. If the rain keeps on coming down, we will all be swimming soon and could float away on those.
9:07 p.m.: People are willing to sacrifice their phones to try and capture the moment as Zedd plays the single that helped made him the star he is today, “Clarity.” My notes are becoming absolute gibberish trying to type on my phone in this rain.
9:52 p.m.: With a recent Dirtybird summer weapon Fisher “Ya Kidding” cascading around the Awakenings tent, Claude VonStroke has complete control of the dark room. It is much warmer in here sheltered from the rain. The beats are fire and the crowd is bringing some much needed body heat to the party.
10:47 p.m.: Above & Beyond bring up two kings and two queens for the iconic push the button moment during “Blue Sky Action.” Unfortunately the song did not bring any blue sky, but the crowd still made the most of it and more as the anthemic drop kicked in.
10:57 p.m.: Jono and Paavo have their own push the button moment during the former push the button song, “Sun & Moon.” They thank the crowd by typing out their messages on the LED screen behind them for some rain therapy and remind everyone that life is made of small moments like this. Friends and strangers hug each other as the emotions start to run quite high.
11:05 p.m.: Groups reconvene at their designated points and the masses slowly shuffle off of the grounds to ferries, buses or walking bridges, tired, cold, beaten down, soaked and waterlogged shoes, but not defeated. Just about everyone goes on about desire for a dry change of clothes and some brave souls look forward to one of the several after-parties.