With a historic Ultra Musical Festival this year, it made it very hard to narrow down the best show over the course of a fantastic two weeks. After several hours of trying, I found it impossible. Instead I decided to focus on who performed the best on the main stage this year for thousands to see via the crowd, and the livestream. Once eliminating the obvious outliers and the mediocre performances, I was left with one obvious choice, Laidback Luke. This man is a machine behind the decks and instead of playing the top 15 songs on Beatport, he takes you on a magical ride through electro greatness. Below are my four reasons why he trumped everyone else.
1. He’s Actually a DJ…
Instead of 5 people behind the decks working to produce a set comprising of 15 songs, which are primarily mashups (Hard Rock Sofa & Swanky Tunes), Laidback Luke produced a set of 29+ songs ranging all across the board. While some of the artists on the main stage only mix the last little bit of each song into the next, Laidback Luke went absolutely bonkers and displayed a deep mastery of the art of mixing. Although he is a fantastic producer, behind the decks is his calling in my eyes.
2. Performed Live Remixing on the Fly
The main stage of Ultra is one of the biggest platforms a DJ can play on and needless to say, it can be pretty intimidating. Despite being on display for thousands of critics, Laidback Luke decided to say “screw it” to the safe route and actually incorporate live remixing as he was playing. While most DJ’s will just mess with the filters and bass of a track, Laidback Luke was constantly manipulating them to provide a unique performance that was in the details.
3. He isn’t Genre-Locked
One of the biggest issues in the EDM industry right now is becoming genre-locked. The perfect example of being genre-locked is Avicii. When fans go to an Avicii show, they are expecting a certain kind of sound and when they don’t hear that style of music, they are taken aback or surprised as proven by Avicii’s performance at Ultra Weekend 2. Laidback Luke is free from the genre-locking shackles and played a full arsenal of different music for his set. Ranging from Dubstep to Progressive house, Laidback Luke did an excellent job playing the music he loved regardless of what genre it was.
4. He is a Cool Dude
As cheesy as this reason may be, it’s the truth. I get much more satisfaction out of a show when I personally like what the artist is doing. With the power of social media these days, you can get a pretty good idea of what artists are like just by simply following them. Instead of being “borwhore”-chasing and pretentious, he is a real and genuine person who is actively trying to make the EDM scene a better place. Not to mention his label, Mixmash Records, is at the forefront for nurturing new and upcoming talent and giving them the exposure they deserve. Good Guy Greg, Laidback style.
-Nick Ward @Nickward20