Phoenix Lights Festival 2017 Overview
A music festival in Arizona is always unbearably hot, way too dusty and, no matter how much sunblock you think you put on, you will always leave with a sunburn. Phoenix Lights Festival provided all these things along with an epic line up. Which made leaving with lungs full of dust and skin the color of a stop sign entirely worth it. There were three stages and luckily one of them was indoors because that Arizona heat is rough, even in April.
The festival kicked off with Wingtip on the small stage, which ended up being one of my favorite sets of the entire weekend. I didn’t know much of his music apart from “Rewind”, but he killed it and left me wanting more. I was most excited for Zeds Dead and they definitely delivered. They sprinkled little bits of their hit song “Blame” through out the set as kind of a teaser until they finally played it at the end. They also remixed a Red Hot Chili Peppers song, and I definitely wasn’t mad at that.
Asadi was probably one of the most memorable sets of the festival. He played the entire set live, and I really mean live. “Hi, my name is Asadi and I make crazy trap music”. Yes, yes you do. He created the beat entirely with his fingers on the pads, which was extremely impressive to watch. He remixed everything from Sum 41 to Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco. He also sampled the theme song from Harry Potter, which basically made my entire weekend.
Illenium left an impression on me that I didn’t expect. I only knew one song before seeing him live so my expectations were fairly low. He’s now one of my favorite DJ’s.
Tiësto finished Day One off, and let me tell you he lives up to the hype. I very much enjoyed his set… at least until some guy dropped his shirt in the dirt and when proceeded to shake off, the dust landed all over me. I could see why so many magazines have talked about Tiësto being one of the best DJ’s of the past 20 years.
Day Two started off with Manilla Killa and a ton of glitter. Yes, glitter… which is all fun and games until you come home realize they literally glued it onto your body and you have to painfully scrape it off. I also walked away from Day Two with some new favorite artists. Unlike Pluto, Oliver Heldens, and Cashmere Cat killed it. Cashmere Cat had some of my favorite visuals of the weekend. It was all snow covered trees and mountains, which really suited his whole vibe and sound.
The real star of Day Two was ZHU. It was his first time performing in Arizona. He of course had his own unique set up with his logo on stage. What most impressed me was that he sings live. I was definitely not expecting that. I’m also fairly confident that he’s not an actual human being. I tried taking so many photos of him and he came out as a completely blacked out silhouette. Very mysterious. But that sort of is his thing.
It was a special weekend in the desert, even if I am still coughing the dust out of my lungs and wiping the dirt out of my eyes.
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