written by Rachel Dobson
Photo Credit: Decadence SLC/Facebook
From the second I walked into the venue I could feel a subtle electricity that felt different than raves I’ve attended in the past. Throughout the night I observed that electricity while listening to people in conversation. Their words and their eyes seemed more alive somehow or awake if you will. Everyone was down to be on the same level. In my opinion, sometimes the crowd at that venue is hit or miss in the wholesome feeling where everyone is connected. Luckily, that night had that feeling I was so hoping for. I met so many awesome chill people that just wanted to celebrate life. Not once did I run into someone that was having a bad time or had a bad energy about them. A perfect way to start off 2018 I must say.
It amazed me the seamless weave each artist created within their set that by the end of the night, the feeling had come full circle and was whole and entire. We were all present and experiencing.
The stage didn’t have any decoration but I’m being 100% serious when I say it didn’t need them because the visuals were absolutely mind blowing all night. That’s an understatement in and of itself. I’ve been to a lot of shows at that venue and I was incredibly impressed by the artistry of the graphics and the crisp quality of the colors and morphing shapes. The lights made the whole package completely pristine.
AtrophIA started the night off perfectly with his entrancing drum and bass with a solid but soft melody that is completely unique. Not to mention his transitions were the hypnotizing lead into the realm of Decadence we were all fixated with for what seemed like a blissful eternity. I can’t wait to see him again! I watched an interview where Dabin talked about how much he would love to be able to bring his guitar out and play it during his set. As I was walking through the crazy crowd, I looked over and there he was doing just that and he absolutely killed it! I don’t know him personally but, I felt overjoyed and proud of him in that moment knowing he had achieved that goal. I kept hitting my photographer friend while meticulously trying to get from point A to point B, to take his picture while he was living in that moment.
My excitement for CloZee to come on was barely under control. Her set was everything I had dreamed it would be and if you’re interested in understanding, I recommend listening to her Envision 2017 Mixtape on YouTube. Her sound reverberates with the essence of my soul so hearing her live was out of this world for me. I wasn’t the only one on that wavelength either. I had a good view of the crowd at this time and I noticed that people weren’t jumping up and down with their hands up going crazy, it was quite the contrary. I could tell people were really absorbing and digesting her music with their bodies and minds. The real explosion happened when she dropped “Bad Karma” by Axel Thesleff as her last song. The crowd went wild and I happened to get it on video. I also have a personal connection with that song from my first years raving. After she ended, I watched a guy go up to his friends and say “I JUST GOT MY MIND BLOWWWWN!” Then imitates his head exploding with his hands. I was laughing and in my head, I was like “Me too bro, me too.” I was lucky enough to get to know CloZee personally when she was backstage relaxing in her room. She told me she hardly ever gets to go out into the venue so naturally I asked her if she wanted a tour of our most grand palace. Let me tell you, walking around with a DJ as her tour guide and watching Illenium’s set was one of my highlighted moments of 2017 hands down. Chloe was gracious enough to let me pick her brain a bit and I felt we had become good acquaintances by the end of the night. Illenium of course, was killing it. I asked several of my friends what they thought of the show and a majority of them said they couldn’t believe how unreal his set was.
Before the countdown, I was talking with a guy that just politely introduced himself to me while we were standing to the side of the stage. Throughout our conversation of several minutes he told me he was a DJ Headphone Activist. I about melted into a puddle right then because I ADORE his music. Yet here we were casually talking like old friends. It never ceases to amaze me how it pays to be nice to everyone because you never know who you are talking to and what opportunities and experiences could blossom from those instances. I was suddenly so starstruck and humbled with how real he had been with me, that I didn’t notice Illenium had begun the countdown until the screen was at seven seconds. Everyone yelled, ”Happy New Year! I was getting hugs from all directions including Headphone Activist and CloZee (dying inside), and these very new relationships I had created felt tangible and genuine. Illenium played his song “Feel Good” after the countdown and there was no stopping the master at work, dropping into heavier beats and the entire crowd was vibing and jiving. We were ready to take on 2018. By the end of his set I was sweating and dizzy with all the feels that had transpired. As sad as we were to see Illenium go, we knew someone marvelous was underway.
I must confess that when Porter Robinson strode onto the stage I felt like someone had blessed me the best gift which was his presence. (The fan-girling has only just begun trust me). About 15 minutes into his set, a stunningly beautiful moment for me was when Porter dedicated the next song to his friend who had passed away in a car crash. I could actually see the crowd absorb that information and there was, for the tiniest moment, a silence for his loss. In all reality it probably didn’t actually go silent even for a millisecond but the spirit in the building hushed and hummed then transitioned into the beginning of his song Shelter. I was trying not to cry by the end, then I looked around and could tell everyone around me felt what I was feeling, which was profound. And if that wasn’t enough, he had the music video playing on those awesome screens I was talking about. My heart exploded a million times during his set. The crowd was resonating with each other and his newer music he has developed as his alias Virtual Self. I observed a shift and release when Porter started playing hard gamma and 90’s synth. It was as if we had all been waiting for the feeling he was giving us but all of us were unaware how it would manifest and move us. Possibly taken off guard because that sound is a version of Porter we hadn’t experienced live yet but it was magnificent. That felt to me like he had truly just opened the door into 2018. I’m glad to say we accepted him and his sound with open hearts and minds. It was a moment I can’t even express with the words I want to so you can have a fractal image of what I experienced. To seal the imprint he had made on our hearts, he told us he had such a blast with us and waved with a huge grin on his face. We were all completely present, seeing him for who he is, embracing his energy. A truly raw and authentic moment I will never forget.
By the end of the night I was in a dream-like daze from everything I had just experienced in my home town with my friends around and new friends found. 2018 can’t be a bad year when it starts off with an experience so untainted and real such as Decadence.