As much as I could do without the drive there, the NOS Events Center is truly one of the best all-around venues for a massive dance event that I’ve ever seen. The fine people at Insomniac always manage to get the best out of any space they bring the beats and freaks to, but the combination of massive hangars, outdoor tents, trees and a beautiful lake to watch fireworks in and relax by really can’t be beat in my eyes. Of course, the wise Friedrich Nietzsche once pointed out that “without music, life would be a mistake” and it holds true that the venue would be nothing without the incomparable lineup that Insomniac once again rolled out, stacked top to bottom with heavy hitters and game changers in every genre.
GDD™ sent out solo astronauts into the abyss each day, and ///Bones and myself will be giving you our respective takes on the events of both Friday and Saturday.
FRIDAY – BONES
Coming off a huge success @ last years festival, Nocturnal Wonderland expanded its schedule to become a 2-day showcase. Friday, although being the shortened lineup of the two having only 3 of 5 stages open, still brought out the big guns with Avicii, Dirty South, Fedde Le Grande and 12th Planet. I got there in time for the end of Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano on the Main Stage, who surprisingly blew me away with (clearly) their big room experience. Followed by back-to-back sets from Dirty South and Avicii, Alice’s House (Main Stage) was erupting in a wave of energy. The monstrous structure that was the Main Stage was overwhelming, but in any case only fitting for what was being heard from its towering sound system.
Best Performance – 12th Planet
Our main man John Dadzie (Yes, rockin’ our Invert.Tut shirt) knew he had to prove why he was closing the Dubstep/DnB stage, and the 10,000 that flocked to his set were not disappointed. With such a high energy performance and a stage presence that’s unmatched, 12th Planet absolutely set the place on fire. What made this set more mind blowing was that he was mixing bouncy electro house in with the big bassy selections, giving his set a real festival feel. When I asked him afterwards why he was now playing out up-tempo tunes, he told me that “True Pseudo (his former project with Flinch) is about to be coming back in a big way.”
SATURDAY – Burn Unit
I had every intention of getting up and getting my day started bright and early, but we showed up much closer to 6PM as the sun was starting to fade to the west. Undaunted, it was off to Layo & Bushwhacka straight away. The London duo did a great job of getting me in the right state of mind, but feeling a bit antsy and eager to explore it was time to go meet some more party animals over in Alice’s House.
After a quick stop at Sigma, and being disappointed after not hearing a shred of Drum N’ Bass, it was time for some Big Room Haus! The structure that Insomniac now regularly brings in for the Main Stage is absolutely monstrous, and if you feel like getting ravey it’s definitely the place to be. Before I knew it Sebastian Ingrosso was standing behind the decks and the crowd below me was positively exuberant.
Best Performance – PeaceTreaty
This being their last performance as a trio, you could say this was sort of a sentimental pick for ‘Best Performance.’ Fact of the matter though is that the fellas absolutely crushed it to an enthusiastic crowd who passed on the likes of Kaskade and Mark Knight to party with PeaceTreaty.
All in all, Insomniac did a fantastic job as per usual. The comprehensive and detailed approach to party throwing is what got them to the top of the game in the States, and it’s what is going to keep them expanding around the globe in the future. Party on, Wayne.