Under serious pressure to make sure fans stayed healthy and hydrated after the 2013 installment was shut down, Electric Zoo played it safe this year. The annual New York EDM fest on Randall’s Island wasn’t perfect – severe thunderstorms forced it to be canceled at 5 p.m. on the final day – but overall, things ran smoothly thanks to heightened security measures and an abundant amount of free water. The vibe was noticeably mellower than Zoo’s past editions. The grounds were smaller, and the days were shorter, but the DJs delivered. Highlights included Gesaffelstein, the French producer known for his collaborations with Brodinski and Kanye West, who headlined the Beatport Riverside tent on Friday and played a dark remix of New Order’s “Blue Monday.” Detroit electro-soul producer Griz played live saxophone during his Saturday afternoon set. And on Sunday, The Chainsmokers (responsible for the viral sensations “#Selfie” and “Kanye”) brought Brooklyn rapper Bobby Shmurda onstage just before the storm hit. It was a poetic pairing; Shmurda’s song “Shmoney Dance” has also recently become an Internet phenomenon.
“I love that kids are excited about this music,” David Guetta, who headlined Main Stage West, said in an interview on Aug. 29, “but let’s make sure it’s about the music.”