Photo by Felicia Garcia (IG: @fixationphotography) | Written by Mark Apuzzo
2020 is here, brimming with hopes and expectations of what the future has to bring. However, before we get ready to look ahead: how about one more look back at the last hours of the year? For many of us who found ourselves in San Diego for New Year’s Eve, OMFG NYE gave us a proper send off into a new decade. LED Presents set up a massive rager at the Pechanga Arena for us for 2 nights, and it’s my pleasure to tell you about it.
OMFG DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS
The first night did not go as planned exactly. Anna Lunoe, who was supposed to be playing this night, came down with a serious ear infection. Due to her pregnancy she couldn’t take anything to rapidly help it so she had to cancel her performance. With that being the only thing that went wrong, everything else went oh so right.
Starting off with: Olmos & Sarisuk
Kicking off OMFG! NYE was none other than Olmos. He had a solid set of remixes with a few originals interspersed. Unfortunately for him doors opening and starting time were extremely close to each other so the crowd was still only starting to arrive really by the time Sarisuk took the stage after him. Sarisuk’s set may have been short but his beats were heating up the place. He would set us up with some pleasant pop-house hooks and then knock us down with bass drops that got the blood and the fists pumping, and he was only getting the Bass party started.
Drezo & Madeon
Drezo was next, taking us down a weird rabbit hole of Bass that we would be falling down all night long. His set really shifted us out of your typical house music into his darker, underground style of house. While his set was great, it was a more or less typical Drezo set with some of his biggest hits and some well-selected remixes throughout. Then, Madeon was on shortly after. Despite being one of the typically “softer” OMFG artists with his distinctive electrohouse, synth-pop sound; Madeon still had the arena shaking. We got to hear crowd favorites like “Shelter” and “All My Friends.” With the drops right after, however; he made you wonder if this was the same Madeon that made the original tracks. It felt like he was really throwing down harder than he normally does, a much more bass-heavy set than I expected. Whatever the reasons, it was an epic set that had the pit filled and everyone dancing.
Rezz & Peekaboo
Rezz took the stage next at midnight. True to Rezz fashion, it was one of, if not the, most original sets of the festival between both nights. I think that’s always been one of her biggest drawing features. In a sea of remixes and mash-ups, it’s such a refreshing experience hearing an artist play only their own music. Her unique style of dark, spacey Bass music had the crowd entranced between headbangs. She also dropped a new ID she’s been working on with Zedd. I could definitely hear Rezz’s bass mixed with Zedd’s beats for what’s sure to be a new staple of her club style mixes. Going on right after such a strong act can be tough, but that didn’t daunt Peekaboo from playing the nastiest, heaviest set off the night. He may be fairly new to the scene, but he has shown that he can run with the best. He was the only DJ on the first night to really provoke any mosh pits which was indicative of the style of music he was playing. Peekaboo took us past Bass music into the deep dark world of Riddim and Dubstep, even going so far as to call forth the legendary wall-of-death for his final song. He debuted a new ID that he has been working on with a local San Diego producer that had a real fast, club-style sound to it. So be on the look out for that new track.
Slander & Space Jesus
Power duo Slander brought us back with their heart-moving but bass strong tracks like “Superhuman” and “Gud Vibrations.” The whole place was lit up with positive vibes, beautiful visuals, and deep drops. The crowd ate it up as they played their perfectly curated mix of throwback, classic hits with their own modern-day bangers. While we didn’t get anything brand new from them, we did get a bomb mix of their recent release “First Time” with Seven Lions and Dabin. The last set of Day 1 was Space Jesus, another artist who prides himself in his very unique style of music. Much like our space mom, Rezz, Space Jesus’ music pushes the boundaries of Bass music to new and weird places. Those still going strong from 3-4 got lost in the sauce with our shaggy friend. He played many of his own originals with just a few random remixes thrown in. Each track made you want to headbang and get lost staring into the trippy, visual-auditory soundscape he created.
NEW YEAR, NEW DECADE! DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS
Based on the lineup for New Year’s Eve, I thought this day would be a bit softer than the previous day. But let me tell you, these artists weren’t messing around with their final sets of the decade.
I See Colors & GG Magree
I See Colors was the first artist of Day 2, starting us off with some classic House music. Although a short yet sweet set while doors were opening, his mixes were fun and upbeat, setting a positive tone to start the night on. GG Magree was second and I feel bad for anyone who wasn’t there yet. Her set? Pure fire. Aside from being an amazing DJ, GG had probably the best stage presence out of anyone at OMFG. She wasn’t afraid to grab the mic to hype up the crowd and sing along with all of us. And she felt much more connected with the crowd by busting out some A1 dance moves as well. She put some filthy drops on some of the 90’s and 2000’s best punk and alternative tracks. It felt like she was paying homage to the past as we looked toward the future. It may have been one of the heaviest sets of the night, but almost every set after had more Bass than I anticipated.
Good Times Ahead & DROELOE
Good Times Ahead brought out the club spirit in everyone. This Miami Duo knows how to get a crowd dancing, and they did it perfectly tonight. Like many of the other DJ’s they played a blend of their own tracks with many club favorites like “Get Busy” amongst others. They debuted a new track as well though they didn’t tell us anything about it. The crowd ate it up and soon it was on to the next. Keeping the duo magic going was Dutch artists DROELOE. Their set didn’t really fit neatly into any one category, blending styles to create a dynamic Deep-Bass experience infused with engrossing visuals that encompassed all your attention. Weaving in and out of spooky low bass and transcendent highs their set kept everyone locked in.
Countdown to 2020: Kayzo
Ringing in the New Year at OMFG NYE was Kayzo. His set was one of the fastest and most aggressive of the night. A lot of what he was playing was borderline Hardstyle, with extremely fast beats, and heavy drops. The music stopped for us to do the countdown in the final moments of 2019 and then as the year switched and everyone was getting their NYE lovin’ on, Kayzo kept the energy alive with more electrifying tracks.
Cash Cash & Said The Sky
Cash Cash followed by Said the Sky were the next two artists to play. Both sets had way more Bass than I expected considering the genres and styles from both artists. Maybe they were vibing off the other artists or maybe they just wanted to go especially hard for New Years. Whatever the reason, it was excellent. They took many of the songs you would expect them to play but slapped enough Bass on there to make you wonder what changed.
Last but not least: VIRTUAL SELF
The final artist of the night was Virtual Self. For those who don’t know, Virtual Self is a project by Porter Robinson that he’s been playing under for the past 2-3 years. For his set, the crew brought out his signature glass floor stage setup with dozens of lights underneath the glass. This added essentially another dimension to the already impressive light show. Lights were coming from every direction—above and below with lights and outward with lasers. Not only that, Virtual Self is another artist who takes pride in creating a set that is uniquely his own. Those familiar with his shows know he can be rather poetic, adding in written poetry to the visuals. He practically makes the crowd ponder about their own existence in this crazy world. It was exactly what you’d expect from a Virtual Self set, and I wouldn’t ask for it any other way.
The decade is over, but electronic music lives on.
OMFG! NYE was an amazing way to kickstart the new year, surrounded by good people and great music. What more could you ask for? As we all begin the new year and a new festival season, I know I will be keeping OMFG in the back of my mind next December!