Lights All Night Dallas Convention Center Friday and Saturday, December 26 and 27, 2014
"The thing that has been most notable in the past two or three years is the decline of EDM"
--DJ Earworm discussing his year end Year of Pop mix with Billboard
And we watched with bemused fascination as EDM breathed it's last breaths of musical domination. The scene in front played out as thus: A pair of young ladies dressed like scantily clad neon angels stood leaning on each other, sweating, eyes drooped and barely able to make a coherent thought between them suddenly lost control of their bodies, and a fluid (i.e. vomit) was let loose. It was something to see to say the least, and a sobering reminder that maybe taking substances and dancing all night is not the best idea in the world.
Two years ago I endured three straight nights of Lights All Night when the fest took over Fair Park, bringing in some of the world's biggest DJs and taking a shot at being Dallas's biggest festival. It was an exhausting ordeal that took a lot out of attendees, organizers and, I won't even deny it, myself (Thanks a lot to massive amounts of drink tickets and Tony Romo interceptions!!!).
So it was no surprise when the fest dialed their scope back, reduced the fest to two days, and left Fair Park to return to the Dallas Convention Center, where the festival took place once again this past weekend on Friday and Saturday night. It's easier to control a fest at this level, and with the stigma of rave culture getting far more press (SUP JAGUARS) than what fans and organizers would like. Control is everything; control is what keeps the police away and the city supporting your festival in the name of tax dollars and tourism.
Let's describe what the current EDM fan looks like. They are either: A) Incredibly young and excited to experience the coolest thing in the world from four years go. B) Somewhere between 26 and 34 and very late to the game. Or C) a Lifer who still thinks Go is the best movie ever. They're a motley crew, and one that shares almost a family mindset when it comes to partying. They except everyone and hate no one. It's a noble mindset, but it well also be their downfall.
In other words the peak has been reached, the casual fans are leaving, and the mainstream success is abandoning the genre. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill and look west to Las Vegas, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high water mark -- that place where the wave finally broke, and rolled back.
But hey, people like to dance. And dance they did as Saturday saw Armin Van Buuren, and Disclosure drive festgoers into a drop-heavy psychosis buoyed along by whatever substance they chose to indulge in that evening.
Admist the pulsing beats, electric light shows, sweat and gyrating bodies you could almost understand the appeal of it all. The serotonin pumping through people's bodies would be enough to make the pink goo from Ghostbusters 2 in the ultimate mental health cure. People at Lights All Night don't care for trends or taste. They're there for the bass.
Fuck it. Who cares if EDM is a dieing genre? It doesn't matter to the fans. They're going to keep dancing and dosing till the sun finally rises on the last day on earth. Let's just hope they don't end up like the pair of angels from Saturday night. Plus unlike two years ago the Cowboys didn't manage to break my heart, and drive me to seeing how many drink tickets a person could use in a two hour period. So maybe we've all progressed a little bit these past couple years.
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