Swedish House Mafia 2013

– Lucas Sachs

Swedish House Mafia’s last set ever. Is there any Ultra performance that can compete? Probably not. It was house music at its peak. With live percussion, seamless choreographed moves and a set list for the ages, SHM’s “One Last Time” set is something nobody had seen the likes of before, and quite possibly something we won’t see the likes of again. Playing every single one of their hits, the biggest trio to ever take on dance music were able to play extended mixes of their favorite songs without losing a single fan the entire time. Tears down the cheeks of those in the crowd tell the story of just how special this was, as does Axwell’s monologue almost an hour into the set. The only thing more emotional must’ve been the encore with John Martin’s live vocals to “Save The World” before finishing with the most anthemic house track of our time, “Don’t You Worry Child,” atop a scripted message thanking the fans for all of their support. All-in-all, it was a once in a lifetime set and, in my opinion, the best Ultra has ever seen. [Tracklist]

DJ Snake 2016

– Peter Rubinstein

DJ Snake, if nothing else, is a man who’s unmistakably confident in his unique style. Beginning in the good old days of “Bird Machine,” his ability to take the conventional and flip it into something that brings the masses to their knees has always remained his trademark. Despite having a period in recent times where my dedication to following his progression fell to a simmer, his headlining performance during Ultra’s 2016 installment was the perfect spark to reignite my love for his work. From his vinyl decks and signature chants to the constantly evolving mix of different genres and live edits, his set was one that had me bouncing in my chair and throwing trap arms late into the live stream. Combine the music with his unbelievable visuals and never ending bursts of smoke and flame, and you have one of the most memorable festival sets of the year. [Tracklist]

Justice 2012

– Miguel Tost

In a time where it seems the main stage at Ultra Music Festival rarely sees any act that isn’t charting on the Beatport Top 10 or DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJ’s list, a French duo played one of the festival’s most pivotal sets that defined it as an electronic festival and not a four-to-the-floor party. Justice came on stage to play the set before Saturday headliner Avicii (with a surprise controversial remark from Madonna) and it claimed victory over every act performing that weekend. Even when they held stopped the music mid set to throw and hold fists in the air for two longest minutes, the crowd beckoned for more and were served with the iconic anthem “We Are Your Friends” mixing with their gritty masterpiece “Waters of Nazareth”. [Tracklist]

Jack Ü 2015

– Karlie Powell

Skrillex and Jack Ü closing out Ultra Music Festival 2015 will forever be one of my favorite UMF TV streams! Sonny Moore starts off the set off in true Skrillex fashion by going hard AF and never letting up. The exact moment I almost die occurs at 6:36 when Skrillex shouts “Yo, where’s my Miami bounce crew right now?” and jumps into the drop of “Burial.” He then busts out a reckless amount of remixes and classics like, “First of the Year (Equinox),” and “Kyoto.” Another highlight for me, for whatever reason, are the green flames at 17:03 — I’ve dreamed about those flames. Skrillex is later joined on stage by Diplo to bang out their Jack Ü hits with CL, Diddy, Justin freaking Bieber (and more)! The moment I actually die is around 45:17 when Kai joins Skrilly for “Mind” and he sings it live! Skrillex puts everything into this performance and it shows he’s a true legend! [Tracklist]

Pendulum 2016

– Travis McGovern

So there I am, on spring break at Arizona State University, holed up in my friend’s apartment alone watching the Ultra Live Stream rather than out actually socializing (as many of us probably were). As a long time fan of Pendulum and never having the ability to see them before their disbanding, I knew my eyes would be glued to Ultra’s stream to see a spectacle performance, and I was not wrong. Opening up with a Knife Party set that included an assortment of classic originals, not to mention a guest performance with Tom Morello shredding on guitar, I knew this was just a preface to the wonder that I was about to see. The lights dimmed, the crowd lost it and Pendulum took to the stage with an assortment of live instrumentation, Swire’s crushing vocals and an array of DnB classics that would have any hardcore fan in a frenzy. With special guest Deadmau5 joining the group on stage for a live rendition of Ghosts n Stuff featuring Swire’s vocals, the performance will go down in history as one of the best streams I’d ever watched, as well as the biggest disappointment that I wasn’t able to attend the performance in person. [Tracklist]

Jack Ü 2014

– Matt Meadow

When Jack Ü made their debut at Ultra Music Festival in 2014, they weren’t the massive superstars who had a track with Justin Bieber yet. In fact, they only had three songs, and only “Bounce It” was played in the set. Their collaboration with Kiesza wasn’t even released until October 2014… And yet the power of a Diplo and Skrillex duo was too much for most people to pass up – their debut at Ultra marked a massive moment in dance music, where we learned that superstar DJs teaming up for a new project really does make things more exciting.

And while each DJ individually would have been perfect for a nighttime headliner, the duo Jack Ü played at just 5:30… and unreasonably early hour for either artist. But for Jack Ü, a duo that was really just getting its feet wet, it presented a unique perspective for the group and a massive daytime party for the festival that is unbelievably uncommon.

All of those factors make this my favorite Jack Ü Ultra set, as opposed to their 2015 set… because it feels more natural and less dolled up. This is Jack Ü when they’re really just getting into the swing of things and grooving, before the Grammys and Justin Bieber. This is the essence of Jack Ü. [Tracklist]