If you’re not familiar with it, etd.POP, short for Electronic Disco Popsicle, is THE electronic show for the Bay Area. This year’s lineup read like a who’s who of the current scene. N.A.S.A, Felix Cartal, Flosstradamus, L.A. Riots, Paul Van Dyk, Ferry Corsten, my favorite set of the night Deadmau5, and a shit ton of others.
True to Bay Area form this was not just a show, this was a rave. No longer confined to the warehouses of SOMA, the artists were let loose down at Cow Palace. The setup was the sensory overload one would expect from an event this size: huge screens with constantly evolving visualizations, an insane light show, and a revolving main stage (see above, Deadmau5 is performing on it) made this night unforgettable.
Skills laid out the venue with 4 different areas, so I spent most of the early evening bouncing around hearing as much as I could, and dancing like you’ve never seen a white boy dance before (pretty sure I burned upwards of 5 million calories in the course of several hours).
As I’m lucky enough to have caught several of the DJs at previous shows, I made sure to see N.A.S.A., who absolutely killed it. They’ve got that delicate balance between dropping heavy beats and keeping it still somewhat poppy and digestibly. If you’ve listened to RAC at all, N.A.S.A. is very similar but with a bit more of a steady groove.
I stuck to the main stage for the latter part of the evening, and with good reason. Deadmau5, Ferry Corsten, and Paul Van Dyk rounded out the closing acts on the bill. It almost represented a sort of changing of the guard. Paul Van Dyk, long been the godfather of electronic music worldwide, put on a good set. Actually, scratch that, he put on a great set. That being said, Deadmau5 who erupted onto the scene and blew up in a matter of only a couple of years, blew my mind. It was so visceral that I’m pretty sure a piece of my brain shot out of my ear.
Atop the rotating stage mentioned earlier and wearing his signature mouse headgear, Deadmau5 included hits like “The Reward is Cheese” and “Aguru,” but when he dropped some of his newer tracks the floor just lit up. I’ve read about the structural integrity of Shea Stadium coming into question when the Beatles played there due to the energy of the crowd, but I would argue that this crowd would’ve razed that stadium in under 10 minutes. “I Remember” started with its Euro-heavy synths and I briefly looked around to see everybody’s face light up in anticipation for the bass.
It was a bit of a travel to get there. There was a bit of a line. It was kind a of a bitch to get out of there. The memories I’ll keep with me are sweaty bodies, glow sticks, a lot of people just touching each other because they were rolling so hard on E, and some truly impressive outfits as icing on a cake made of a congregation of some of the best electronic music I have heard.