Photo courtesy of justnoisetome.com
His sweaty face could not hide his excitement in closing one of the world’s biggest electronic music festivals. Ending this event was one of Hardwell’s lifelong dreams, which he finally attained with thousands of his fans in Miami.
Ultra Music Festival came to a magnificent close with the performance of the world’s number one disk jockey, Hardwell. His set featured epic moments, such as the premiere of many unreleased tracks from Revealed Recordings, a marvelous stage lighting performance and the connection that he established with the attendees of UMF. The music he prepared for the night consumed his fans with joyous emotions, euphoric vibes and a whole hour of dancing.
The final hour started with weird ambient soundscapes, when all the stage lighting was shining above the fans. His set kicked off with an unidentified track, which made Hardwell fans bounce to the beat. However, the bass was not audible at first (or at least in the video, but this could have been a production issue).
The first change occurred at 4:20, when Hardwell continued by playing Justin Martin’s vocals from “Reload,” getting all his fans to sing along on the camera. Creatively mixed with the instrumental version of “Left Behind,” by Paris Blohm, this was definitely a banger moment for the beginning of his set.
Hardwell kept a really good flow for his full hour at UMF, creating climaxes and drops in the form of a sine wave. He would keep the floor grooving at 128 beats per minute, but then he would create an epic and euphoric halt, cutting out the drums and letting the melody encompass the fans. Around 6:20, Hardwell played a new track that has not been identified yet, with a switch to his “Dare You” edit at about 8:50. As the boss of Revealed Recordings, he played music from the producers of his label. The edit made the crowd go nuts. At the tenth minute of the performance, they were singing along the #1 DJ in the world, and the lights started shining all over them.
The groove changed with a vocal combination of Theo Hutchcraft’s voice from “Under Control” (the singer of the duo Hurts), and an instrumental edit of W&W’s remix of U (Gareth Emery’s track with Bo Bruce). Hardwell pumped up the crowd with his voice, but he did not overdo it like other DJs. With 90 percent music and 10 percent talking, his set was truly balanced for this momentous occasion.
At 16:54, he dropped another new mash up for his fans to go wild to. His own edit of “Rambo,” (Deorro and J-Trick’s track) with a combination of vocals and synths from “Footrocker” by Mightyfools, was a sick edit that he did for the guests at UMF.
One of the best changes in the set occurred on the 20 minute mark, with Lana Del Ray’s beautiful voice being played in Bayfront Park. Honored as demo of the week in Hardwell’s On Air Episode 146, he played Francisco Lozano’s remix of “Young and Beautiful,” with an epic transition to “Everybody In The Place.” The moment the words “Lets Go” got played, blue lights shined over the park, and the crowd danced to the rhythm.
The work of the stage lighting technicians should be noted at this point. The visuals of the stage changed colors, from shades of blue to rainbow lasers, creating an aural and visual experience for the viewers.
He continued to play more of his music, with an edit of one of his most famous tracks; “Apollo.” A great choice for the middle of his set, and a track that many of his fans wanted to hear live. Hardwell’s timing of his set changes was in perfect harmony with the crowd. The climax of “Apollo” stirred the crowd into a frenzy as “Everybody Fucking Jump” blasted from the speakers.
His connection with the crowd deepened when Hardwell decided to play his remix of Armin Van Burren’s “Ping Pong” (a UMF premiere) with a combination of the “Encore” acapella by MAKJ and Henry Fong. The break when the ping-pong sounds start occurring, increasing in tempo, had the whole crowd shifting their bodies from left to right, alongside Hardwell. His excitement was evident from the sweat on his face, as the whole crowd had their hands up with him.
The set continued with some heavily built mashups that are pretty hard to identify. Hardwell dropped many new tracks for his performance, as he had mentioned he was planning on doing. At the 38 minute mark, a sick, harmonic lead was played from a song that has not been released yet. It continued with a countdown from his track with MAKJ, but a different drop and vocals from his track, “Never Say Goodbye.” The Hardwell sound was screaming from the speakers at this year’s UMF.
Hardwell played many unidentified tracks in his set, mixing them with vocals and other tracks that the fans had heard before. His new track, mashed up with “Red Lights,” was an awesome touch to the last hour of Ultra.
A funny moment of his performance was Hardwell’s expression, when the flames were shooting out in front of his stage. He seemed like he burned himself in the moment, backing up and laughing in the rear camera.
The most legendary moment was the end of the set, where he played one of his best tracks: “Spaceman.” Hardwell came up to the front of the booth and got the crowd rivaled up for one of his most epic drops. Closing his set with a bangin’ hardstyle kick, he started to pitch down the tempo.
Even though the hype for the number one DJ is huge, Hardwell lived up to it. His performance was an epic adventure in the world of electronic music, which must have been a wonderful experience for the attendees.