Written by Sal Scot
Closing 2015 with a spread of envy throughout the state – Decadence filled Rawhide with over 8 thousand partiers – for the most impressive Arizona festival to date. As the giant warehouse packed its length – electricity stands queue – as the main stage holds attendees idling for their vessel in this odyssey. Emerging superstars Odesza, and Pretty Lights complemented behemoths the likes of JackU, and Above and Beyond – wiping the crowds faces across the stars – forever written in 2015.
HOW TO GET THERE
Occurring in the same general area as Global, and the Mad Decent Block Party, Rawhide has been perfecting their festival logistics. With no travel delays only hotel prices, and ride-share “surge pricing” caused aches. NYE day, ride-shares proved to be more expensive than many taxis, with say a trip to north Phoenix, or Scottsdale running $10-30 more than a cab, at $40-85 with tip.
The cool subtly of December 30th, following a dreary week, brazened the attendees with their costumes. Clouds breaking, and blue sky shinning – on NYE – diverged fashion in directions from suits to speedos, and pasties to princesses; pulling from areas as broad as luring jedis into the journey. Out of all the vast styles, the strongest number stood white fur vests and hats, keeping some New Year’s traditions present. Even with all the decked out people in neon, bondage clad old-schoolers diving into glow sticks, and angels stilting around – there was a strong support for plaid. Be it vato-chique, or en vogue lumberjacks they were all welcomed, and raging with “the lot.”
Once past the security check the giant airplane like hanger, housing the main stage, fully appears. Sites like acrobatic yoga, murals, massages, and cloths lined the way. There weren’t as many vendors as say Global, but what was offered was concise. Blankets, rave sweaters, and other things gave parties some options for warmth if needed. As immersion into the warehouse’s mouth begins, one careens through photo stands, hula hooping gypsys, and back flipping street dancers as you discover a safe storage at coat check, for 10 dollars. Don’t forget this is located at the only inside GA bathroom entrance. If the cold is no worry, and your cell needs a charge too, at the entrance a host of lockers and bathrooms are there to greet you.
With the main stage entrances coming into view, you find yourself at a large tent, easily fitting 300 people, as artists paint exhibitions in the back. Most ravers chilled for a bit till warming up at the main stage, while the rising bass, and BPMs had the hardcore shuffling the grass into concrete. 3lau, Dieselboy, and Drezo where amongst a few who pointed the gumdrops and massage circles at the door – creating frenzies, and dance-offs that fended away the cold.
While running between stages, and lockers parties had a multiple of food and drink vendors. With everything from Mexican and Greek, to your All-American items lines were not a thought – making this journey into the cold a less rough decision. Alcohol was typical with $6-12 averages, but easily accessible inside, and out. Having small lines, and a view of the main stage, the bar’s high prices could be given some tolerance. And not to worry there are both indoor, and outdoor bathrooms with low waits for the heavy drinker. Though with kind of steep ATM fees, the inside (cash) bar might be only accessible to some.
WHAT VIP HAS TO OFFER
Walking under the heated Red Bull canopy, grass turns to concrete as neon swallows souls, entrapping them in the belly of the beat. To the right is the VIP entrance – a raised deck along the stage, and wall. Making for great photos, and giving a direct unobstructed view. Since lines already move quickly, this benefit would hold golden for those who made it to the banister before VIP filled up. By 1am having an intensity that the deck’s limits, lifting you off the ground as attendees tried to test it’s bounce. With so many good views, and quick lines, having VIP wasn’t the most necessary of items, though the table section was a different story. On the far side wall, opposite VIP was the table deck. This boasted a private bar, closer view, ground view near the “pit,” and inside bathrooms; not to mention an open bar day one, if sporting the band.
THINGS TO DO
With such impressive performances dueling both nights, activities seemed less spotlighted. The typical gambit of massages, and light shows as always sat ready, but probably the most interactive thing was a yoga studio, including the crowd in acrobatic displays. You could write some musing on the Relentless Beat’s (RS) sign, or watch artist paint to the atmosphere, but mostly this event was for the music.
WHAT MAKES THE FESTIVAL DIFFERENT
New Year’s Eve has a basket of expectations for most of us, but if EDM is your scene, dichotomy your palate, and refinement your taste, then Decadence 2015 dipped you into a dream. With virtually no attractions, rides, and a small outer area – your jungle gym was face melting performances done by all artists. More calm artists like Odesza, and Pretty Lights upped their usual tempo, warming the crowd into attention; before rounding out each night with glass cracking beats. Partiers left at 3am hopping sweat off them, as energy bottled itself to explode for day 2. As day one created warmth from within, Pretty Lights handed the spoon to JackU letting a taste of day two come early. Knife Party – proceeding hardcore closers, and having an early start – knew they had to take the crowd by its feet, and spin’em until their blood was in their head. Above and Beyond seeing the insanity about to break out, raced on stage captivating the crowd, holding them staring as if into the sun, blinded by Ra. It may be there were other gigs scheduled after, or chess like planning, but Above and Beyond put parties in the ready following the intense Knife Party Set. Adventure Club, then Borgore come out powering the crowd into rocket fuel until Tommy Trash was ready to light them into space. 3am came fast with intensity, leaving some prancing, smiling, wiped clear, but all with something that can only be told – making Decadence the end, until next year.
OVERALL RATING 9/10
Check out our full photo gallery HERE!