Review: Global Dance Fest at Red Rocks, 7/15/11

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The line-up for the second night of Global Dance Festival had some big names on the main stage including Skrillex, Nero, Major Lazer and the night ending, ultimate party killer, LMFAO. To hit all your favorite artists would be impossible, unless the times were catering directly to your personal playlist, but that didn't stop anyone from having a good time. As our venue-empyting headliners put it, "sorry for partying."

There really is no way to describe the energy emitting from the theater during Skrillex's set. He came to party with everyone, and opening with a remixed "Hips Swing" that had everyone singing was the best to build a connection with the eager crowd. So is sampling Montel Jordan. Who does that? Skrillex, apparently. "This Is How We Do It" is already a classic, but when 10,000 people join a chorus of "IT'S FRIDAY NIGHT," it resonates differently than when Jordan is singing it.

Bits and pieces of Skrillex's catalog got play throughout the night, with an on going vocal sample screaming "Oh my god," from the "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" track, but the real Skrillex came shining through on "All I Ask of You," which also features that crunching (not crunchy) bass.

More photos: People of Global Dance Festival 2011

Ludacris must be blowing up somewhere because nearly every top act at this event so far has used some sample from the Southern spitter's collection, with Skrillex taking advantage of the "Move Bitch" track off of Disturbing the Peace. La Roux's "In For the Kill" didn't get played in it's entirety, but when it was used, you can bet your ass the entire place joined in song.

The last time Skrillex played in Denver was at Beta with Colorado resident and Whomp Trucker DJ Ishe opening up the main floor. It's speculated that there was some sort of miscommunication between Ishe and Skrillex's manager because Ishe got pinched early for playing some tunes that were a little too heavy for an opener.

Such was not the case this time when Ishe took the main stage in the afternoon, and the filling venue was more than feeling his flow. Curious MC accompanied Ishe on stage, offering up some occasional vocals, but the dubstep Ishe was dropping needed no such help. Alone, Ishe could easily take the venue for a wild bass-ride, and yesterday he made his mark by dropping grimy, strategically paced bass drops. Slow head nods and two-steps made the entire venue look like everyone was under his spell, and under that jet black mohawk, somewhere nestled in that musical brain of his, Ishe was conducting an orchestral, trance-inducing state of bass consciousness.

Major Lazer, whose beat is sampled on the Beyonce track "We Run the World (Girls)," definitely takes the cake for the night. Diplo,who came out just as Skrillex was closing and may have even scratched a disc or two before officially taking the stage, is a master on the mixers.

With Skerrit Bwoy running amuck on stage with a bottle of Hennessy in one hand and the microphone in the other, Lazer made Red Rocks a dance hall, if only for the hour or so they were able to. "Pon de Floor," the track Beyonce sampled, saw Skerrit Bwoy standing on top of the light cube, pants down, preparing to dive crotch first onto his stage dancer, whose moves volleyed between pornographic and kama sutric.

What we didn't know then -- and certainly hadn't even expected -- was that LMFAO was sent from hell to ruin the party. The singers themselves look like the poster kids from Marketing and Trends Monthly, and the music sounds like it was written by the president of the Merchants of Cool. The first three songs had everyone dancing hard, but the incessant references to taking shots (excluding the actual "Shots" song, which came later in the set), partying late, dancing crazy and generally being wild, got a little old.

This was quite noticeable by the fact that the entire place was filing out before they were even halfway through their set. One half of the duo was seen walking off stage mid-set, hands up, laughing about the fact that Denver doesn't take its music lightly. We know what's good, and we know what's not, and if the audience is herding towards the door, it pretty much means you should stop performing.

The bottles of champagne, handfuls of glow sticks, vodka and beer bongs were just not enough to trick everyone into thinking the music was good. It was tasteless, cheesy and looked like it should have been the opening act at a sweet sixteen party somewhere deep in Nebraska (no offense to Nebraska).

Manufactured Superstars, however, played a super-hyped set that included live vocals from Selina Albright for the new single, "Serious." They constantly replayed the automated voice saying, "You are now rocking with the Manufactured Superstars," and made a valiant attempt at getting choral support on Nirvana's "Teen Spirit" cut, but the place didn't feel it. When "Fuck You" came on, it was 10,000 glowing kids screaming it in unison, and even gave a little chill with how much excitement was in the air.

Unfortunately, Porter Robinson was playing at the exact same time as LMFAO and we didn't make it up for the whole set. What little of his set we did catch saw a faster and heavier version of Deadmau5's "Raise your Weapon," which always has everyone slowly raising one finger in the air, culminating in a big drop. Robinson also used a Daft Punk cut from "One More Time," but saved us all the annoying "One more time we're gonna celebrate" part that sounds like a roller skating rink song.

More photos: People of Global Dance Festival 2011


Personal Bias: I was trying to think of things that LMFAO could stand for, but all I could come up with "FUCKING STUPID." By The Way:Skerrit Bwoy wanted media in front of the stage, so much so that when security kicked us out, he was there pulling us back in. Random Detail:Paper Diamond is sick and had set times not conflicted as much I would've been able to see him drop more than just the new track from Pirates of the Carribean.

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