2011 in Review: Best EDM shows


Best Industrial EDM: Infected Mushroom at The Vogue and RoeVy at The Mousetrap (tie)

As the

resurgence of electronic music became stronger in 2011, so did its

support from the local scene of EDM enthusiasts. This unwavering

dedication gave bookers and promoters the freedom to experiment with

the popularity of lesser known subgenres of dance music. First came


Mushroom at The Vogue

in June. They're an Israeli-born psychedelic and trance

group characterized by frequent drops, impassioned vocals, and live

instrumentation that's heavy and dark. Later, in November, Ohio-based demonic

duo RoeVy

laid their wrath upon The Mousetrap

at Altered Thurzdaze with glitchy techno beats, hard-hitting electro house and an

unmistakable robot voice that attendees surely heard repeating

RoeVy's name in their nightmares.

Best Live EDM: Big

Gigantic and Eumatik at The BluebirdLivetronica gained a lot of

momentum in 2011. Giving curious fans of jam and progressive rock a

foot in the door, this "gateway genre" helped many

traditionalists to unearth their budding appreciation for electronic

music. Local freak-out jazz trio Eumatik emerged as the Naptown

authority on livetronica in 2011, landing the opening slot for Big

Gigantic when they hit Bloomington's Bluebird

in October.

Achieving the perfect balance of tightly produced dance beats and

improvisational jams, Big Gigantic mixed trendy hip-hop samples,

dance-worthy dubstep and endless live saxophone to deliver the best

livetronica show this year.

Biggest and Best EDM Show in

Indiana in 2011 That Never Happened: Deadmau5 at IUWhen

GLOWfest put more than 5,000 tickets on sale to see wildly popular

Deadmau5 perform in Bloomington, the show had potential to be

Indiana's biggest EDM event of the year. But when B-Town fell

victim to Indiana's unpredictable and adverse fall weather,

relentless rain forced organizers to question safety aspects of the

evening's festivities (Deadmau5 had nearly a million dollars of

stage equipment at risk, not to mention the field-turned-mud-pit that

fans would have spent hours dancing around in). The show was

ultimately cancelled just before the outdoor venue was scheduled to

open, sending hundreds of travelers home and inciting angry protest

on social media. Bloomington's staple live music venue, The


, acted as the alternate location for the cancelled show but

served little condolences, as under-21 ticketholders were forbidden

entrance and the 800-capacity club left a difference of more than

4,000 Deadmau5 fans outside waiting to get in.

Best Dubstep Show: Zeds

Dead at Deluxe

at The Amber Room There's no denying that

dubstep went mainstream in 2011. There are subgenres of the subgenre

(drumstep, dubcore, dub-hop/hip-step, brostep), a newly emerged

industry of witty dubstep t-shirts and a fairly decent amount of dubstep haters. Just like anything else that goes mainstream, it all starts to look and sound

the same, replicated with mediocrity and spreading with astonishing

velocity. Toronto dubstep duo Zeds Dead achieves the exact opposite

by creating their own high-energy, electro-fused breed of dubstep

that abandons the traditional seizure-inducing noise associated with

the genre. Possibly boosted by the youthful energy of the 18+ crowd

admitted to newly-opened club Deluxe, Zeds Dead was more than just

grimy womp-wobbles; it was a beautifully vigorous night of

cutting-edge dubstep production and joyful, bouncing dance.

Grooviest EDM Show: Eliott

Lipp/Samples at The Mousetrap

As a recurring name in the festival

circuit and with a handful of recent performances in Indiana, Eliott

Lipp was one of Altered Thurzdaze's most established headliners

in 2011. Undoubtedly, one of the weekly event's highest attended

nights in its own history, The Mousetrap reached a unique level of

occupancy that can only be defined as "Twin Cat Status," my own

phrase, coined after the only other band that I've ever seen pack

The Trap shoulder-to-shoulder. Lipp's liquid jams

were especially accessible, too, offering smooth, glitchy soundscapes

with an easy-to-find beat that made even a novice dancer feel sexy.

Bass heads hung around after Lipp's performance for a special treat

from Colorado-based Ben Samples; his contrasting set provided the

hard beats and glitchhoppy goodness that Altered Thurzdaze has

built a reputation around.

Best Overall: Identity at

Verizon Wireless

Yes, it was disheartening that

tickets were literally given away by the handful to boost attendance

levels at Identity

in the same month that DJ Pauly D sold out a club downtown for $20 a

head. Despite this sad truth, Identity still ranks as the best

overall EDM experience in 2011, thanks in large part to its

mega-diverse lineup full of famous artusts. Identity embodied a

true festival atmosphere that included a midway full of

corporate and grassroots vendors, as well as a free

seating policy that granted any ticketholder access to the pavilion.

While day-long festivals are common place at Verizon Wireless, they

are never specifically catered to the electronic genre. So, to

convene with the greater Indianapolis community of EDM fans inside

the giant venue was certainly an inspiring day for underground dance

music fans.


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