It was textbook. Nobody could say I wasn't doing it right. It was my first EDM show and the boy scouts would be proud; I was prepared. About halfway through Zedd
's set, I took stock of my surroundings. Let's call it...intuition, but it was safe to say that "my fellow concert goers" mouths were numb and their vision was distorted to say the least. Blood pooled places not suitable for a public locale as the girl in front of me (who I had just met) rubbed up on me like a caveman trying to make fire. My "Dr Gonzo" for the evening was behind me, shirt wrapped around his head in a turban, spouting some nonsense about how he was more cyborg than human as he made sharp angled shapes with his fingers. A six inch cuff of candy (or beads to you non ravers) was wrapped around my wrist with a pattern that formed the letters LSD (I still have no clue how I got It) and a pink LED lit whirligig (sponsored by T-Mobile) that had fallen from the ceiling earlier in the show, sat in my back pocket as a souvenir.
I had told myself I would not be drinking that night in hopes of being able to remember the evening for the sake of the article you are reading now, and I stuck to that. In fact, essentially nobody was drinking, except one asshole who stuck out like a sore thumb and was soon escorted out like, well...the drunk, sore asshole he was. In front of me, a man held a sign reading "Zedd and Chill?" and the two Malaysian exchange students in front of me whom I at first did not think were a couple certainly were now. It's all a blur; a laser-lit, glassy-eyed, smoke-filled blur.
Oh and there was music, I almost forgot that part. I've learned what kind of raver I am. I'm a "put your hands in front of your face and pretend you're conducting like there is an orchestra" kind of raver; and if you rave, you know exactly what I am talking about. Earlier, my feet hurt and I was soaking wet after standing outside in the early stages of hurricane Joaquin, arguing with the security team about having the proper credentials to get in, but all of that had slipped away into what felt like days ago. I stood in astonishment of the lights and sounds that surrounded me, consumed me, and eventually swallowed me whole.
I stared at Zedd (the person standing smack in the middle of four massive screens) in awe. The truth is, I was jealous. He is 26 and filled managed to fill Madison Square Garden under his own name. I wondered what he was actually doing back there. Was he just pressing play on his iPod and jumping to the beat? Was he actively producing every sound I was hearing? He could have been checking his email for all I knew, but it didn't matter. The best comparison I can make is to seeing a movie at an IMAX theater. If you're the kind of person who thinks IMAX is worth the extra money, then you'll probably be able to appreciate the whole other level of extrasensory experience you get at a live EDM show.
Beyond the songs from his new album True Colors
, I recognized a few non-Zedd tracks he played, one of which was Daft Punk's "One More Time," which has become such a staple in dance party culture, I honestly expected it to be played at one point or another during the evening. Another was a sweet remix of a Zelda theme which I was absolutely thrilled by. (POW! Right in the childhood!)
As he likes to remind us, "you're never too young to die" but Zedd is not dead baby [Ed. Note: I was wondering when we'd get the Pulp Fiction
pun], in fact he's far from it.