Mad Decent and Relentless Beats Pulled Off an Awesome Block Party in Phoenix

written by Andrea Hnatievych

Lines were long and searches heavy when doors to Rawhide opened at 6pm, but there were plenty of friends to be made during the wait. Soon enough, we were inside the venue listening to the beautiful sounds of What So Not under the magnificence of the sunset, full moon peeking through its ascension. Talking to attendees revealed a similar message overall, they were excited to let loose for a night and experience the pure happiness that Mad Decent had to offer. Read on for the full story…

Mad Decent Block Party at a glance

Music genre: Trap, EDM, House

Camping: No

Capacity: M

Crowd type:  Ravers, College Students

Water stations: Yes

Day 1
After the set by What So Not mentioned above, Jackal shook the event center with heavy bass and drops that had attendees headbanging with all they’ve got. Illenium followed, toning things down with expressive, melodic, soothing bass. The set provoked what seemed to be the most meaningful conversations in the crowds, compared to the wild nature of the rest of the day.
Brillz and Tchami picked the pace back up and encouraged the crowd up to get jumping. RL Grime kept these vibes going and brought the chill sounds of trap and hip-hop to the mix, playing a combination of classics like “Core” as well as some of his newer mixes.
Although many attendees were outraged by the rules brought about by Mad Decent founder Diplo (read on for details), his DJing skills brought Day 1 of the party to a successful close. It seemed to provide an illusion of an ending, but for those returning on Saturday, it had really just begun. 
Day 2
The next day proved to be chaotic, but a great deal of fun in this way. Attendees were wilder and production was stronger, with highlights revolving around Justin Martin, Dada Life, and Flosstradamus.  
Co-founder of the well-known Dirtybird crew, Justin Martin brought the sweet sounds of house, perfect for shufflers to share their talents and make those near them feel inclined to dance notably harder.  Dada Life definitely earned the title of the silliest set for the night, complete with inflatable bananas and a good old fashioned pillow fight. Flosstradamus closed out the block party with a change in sound, throwing more hip hop and trap into the mix and calling for mosh pits on mosh pits. The visuals were most vivid for this set compared to any other during the weekend, a strong ending for the production of the event.
Though the general consensus of the crowds was one of love for the music and appreciation of the experience, several attendees were angry with some of the rules put forward by Mad Decent. Common complaints stemmed from the taking away of bandanas, lack of organization of searches and security, and prohibition of flow toys (LED gloves, hoops, etc). Many argued that banning these forms of self-expression ignores the culture and scene the festival is marketed towards. Perhaps explaining the reasons behind the ban would have lightened the mood; having all security staff on the same page certainly would have helped. Yet even with arguably excessive rules, Mad Decent Block Party definitely lives up to its name, with a good-time atmosphere and production effects worth writing home about.

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