Photos by Ryan Scot Maceachern
As we all decompress from what an insane year 2017 was and make plans for 2018, there’s that one event that really sets the tone for closing out one year and beginning another one. That celebration is ringing in the New Year. Wherever each of us decided to spend it, we all ceremoniously closed the books on one story and started fresh on a new one. For me, Decadence Colorado was the scene.
Held at the Colorado Convention Center in the heart of Denver, Decadence promised to bring a City Beyond Tomorrow with future-esque displays and sounds. Light up trees, molecular style decor, dancers in monochrome outfits, even a VR simulation brought the theme to life. The night started young with the event kicking off at 6:30pm each night. Entering the festival provided two immediate actions; free sour punch straws and a $7 coat check that was definitely needed for the below freezing temps that Colorado had throughout weekend. After scanning your ticket and going through security, you entered into the main halls of the Convention Center. With over 600,000 square feet, split into two main stages and a silent disco & relaxing area, the venue was transformed into simple yet invigorating areas where thousands of people would dance 2017 away.
Entering onto the dance floors lead you to a merch booth, a water station, and a drink ticket line. Unfortunately, Decadence put into place a new beverage policy last year: you must first get into a line to purchase a drink ticket ($10) then you can get into a bar line where you would redeem each ticket for either 1 alcoholic drink or 2 nonalcoholic drinks. This created confusion for those who didn’t know the policy and got into the wrong line, only to turn around once they found out. This also added a longer wait for people stuck behind the ones needing to turn around. Also unfortunately, there were a limited variety of drinks; 2 beers, ~3 liquors, champagne, gatorade and water. For a city known for their breweries, one would expect a better variety. Instead, we left the bar disappointed with our drinks. There were also concession stands that had soda, gatorade, and stadium food (think pizza, pretzels, hot dogs) but overall lacking in any sort of creativity.
Aside from the mediocre food and drinks, a spectacular lineup #blessed both nights. There was an array of sounds: trance, house, electronica, dubstep and electronica. From Odesza bringing out their drumline, Bro Safari having headbangers up till 3:20am, Porter making grown men cry, and Gramatik having the crowd get FuNkY, there was no shortage of really amazing music and also a really amazing crowd to vibe along with.
Speaking of music, let’s talk about a few artists who really stole the show. Let’s start with Troyboi. There’s no doubt we’re HUGE fans of Troyboi, but there’s something about an earlier set, warming up the first night with music Flames, that gets our blood pumping. Get Real solved all our techno problems by playing Lazer Beams while Borgore blasted
Daddy. Space Jesus brought family vibez by having his literal family up on stage while dropping Sofa Surfin’, Ichabod Crane and Infinite Extravagance. Big Gigantic kicked off 2018 with an additional 3 horn players that added next level sound to Big G’s already insane tunes, Got The Love, Good Times Roll, and their new collab with Nghtmre.
But, I will wholeheartedly admit that I got sucked into feeling the most alive when Bassnectar took the stage. There’s just something about being in a room with more than 10,000 other bassheads all ready to groove to some grimy music. The energy was high when he opened with his mosh pit acapella over Zodgilla, moving us through time and space with Thursty, Slather, his Pineapple remix, and making us feel an array of emotions with Disrupt the System, Underground, Blitzkreig Bop mashed up with Upside Down and ending his show with a “THANK YOU DENVER!!!” If Bassnectar was the reason you went to Decadence, you were soooooooo satisfied.
Undoubtedly, this was an event that was focused heavily around music. With less than 10 vendors, a simple design scheme and minimal drink offerings, the attention was swung back on enjoying good music, with even better people. I would not have wanted to start 2018 off any other way.