Mad Decent Rocked the Norwegian Pearl with some crazy sets.

The maiden voyage of Mad Decent Boat Party far exceeded anyone’s expectations tenfold. Not only did the line up consist of a mind-blowing roster hailing from Diplo’s Mad Decent label, but special guests and surprise sets also contributed to the massive success of this four-day fiesta. What's more, the ethos exuded from those on the ship stayed true to the hip-hop influenced EDM culture that makes Mad Decent stand out from the rest.

Initially set out to compete with other EDM themed cruises such as Holy Ship!, Groove Cruise, and All Gone To Sea, Mad Decent Boat Party has more than made its mark. This cosmic voyage upon the Norwegian Pearl was undoubtedly one of the best festivals we have ever attended. Here is a list of our favorite sets from the Boat Party that truly made this a one of a kind experience.

Nadastrom Atrium Set

Moombahton Massive's own Dave Nada and Matt Nordstrom unveiled an amazing set at MDBP. As anticipated, the duo incorporated a variety of genres, but still stuck with their roots and included genuine moombahton. With Nadastrom and Dillon Francis as the fountainheads of the dembow movement, it was interesting to see both acts on the ship and experience each of their individual spins on the genre.

Flosstradamus Stardust Theater Set

Despite varying opinions regarding the quality of the set itself, one thing stands true - this was hands down one of the most ridiculous, most energetic sets of the entire cruise. Diplo and Skrillex served as the trap lords’ hype men for most of the set, waving HDYNATION flags up and down the stage and ensuring complete annexation of the seated venue by an audience who filled the room up, quite literally, to capacity. This was definitely one of the most talked about sets of the entire cruise, simply because of how raw the energy within the Stardust’s walls were. Sure, the crowd was large enough that Flosstradamus could have played comfortably on the pool deck. However, the air of debauchery and rowdiness surely would not have been the same. This set was indisputably one for the books.

Netsky Pool Deck Set

Everyone could use a little Drum & Bass in their life, and Netsky’s second performance on the Pool Deck certailny supplied the goods. Joining him for both sets was Script MC, who did a fantastic job hyping the crowd up with his rhymes and overall stage presence. Netsky dropped a number of crowd pleasers, including his remix of Rusko’s “Everyday,” and in appropriate fashion, the Andy C remix of Major Lazer’s “Get Free.” For those wishing to stray from the seemingly inescapable trap house of the Norwegian Pearl, this particular set was a breath of fresh air.

Thomas Jack Beach Stage Set

Thomas Jack was the only artist scheduled to perform on three separate occasions, however his beach stage set was by far the best of them all. Tropical house returned to the tropics at our very own private island, Great Stirrup Cay, and it honestly just felt so right. Being one of the earlier boat partiers on the island, I was fortunate enough to listen to the tropical anthems of Thomas Jack and Kygo. With fan favorites including his remix of Ben Sollee’s “Letting Go,” this set kicked off the Mad Decent Beach Party perfectly. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect fit as far as the environment and music go. Not only was the music positive vibes, but the beach party as a whole carried some of the best times I’ve ever experienced.

DJ Hanzel Pooldeck Surpise Set 

Friday night after getting back onto the boat from a day in Nassau, the Boat's intercom came on. Only this time, it wasn't our Sixthman friend Natalie telling us to get ready to party, it was none other than DJ Hanzel telling us to get to the pool deck at 7:15. The set definitely was the deepest of the entire weekend; Hanzel basically turned the ship into a submarine. Dropping tracks like "Got Me Thinkin" by Don Diablo, "Control Movement" by Gesaffelstein and "Need A Friend" by Calippo, the entire ship was rockin to the funky deep sounds that everyone's favorite fake German was throwing down. The best part was that Hanzel was really just the ultimate warmup for one of our other favorite sets of the weekend... Jack U.

Jack Ü Surprise Set

Only a few minutes after DJ Hanzel announced his surprise set, while everyone was still getting settled into life at sea, making friends with their neighbors, and eating their weight’s worth in pizza, another special announcement was heard over the PA system:

Finally, the air of mystery had dissipated as the announcement confirmed rumors of Skrillex being aboard ship to throw down with Diplo as Jack Ü. Jack Ü seamlessly hyped the audience up with their set, tastefully priming the Norwegian for the endless sets of perfection that were still to come. Obviously Diplo and Skrillex threw in some Jack Ü originals including “Take U There” and “To U.”

DJ Snake and Flosstradamus and Skrillex (Closing Set)

At the conclusion of the beach party in Great Stirrup Cay, Diplo announced that he would be unable to stay for the rest of the Party, due to a family emergency (which turned out to be the birth of his son, Lazer).

Replacing his set would be one from DJ Snake, Flosstradamus, and Skrillex instead... and we are pretty sure the entirety of the boat did not mind at all. The live collaboration that went down was far from disappointing, with Skrillex as the head MC throughout the entire set. Someone must’ve placed a universal ban on playing “Turn Down for What” in international waters, too, because it wasn’t played at all during this final set.

Zeds Dead Sleazy After Party

This after party was insane – DC and Hooks of Zeds Dead were seen prepping the sound system around 4 a.m. in the Bar City lounge. Artists like Borgore, DJ Snake, Grandtheft, Nina Las Vegas, and Skrillex even came through into the early morning as the Pearl docked in Nassau, Bahamas. This highly unexpected after party was a defining moment for the boat party; in this moment, I realized just how much passion and talent was present on the ship. Skrillex had no mercy for performing, going back to back with nearly every artist on the line up. I’m pretty sure I saw him behind the turntables at almost every set I went to. Zeds Dead’s after party marked their third performance on the boat, and by far their best set of all.

Cover photo via Mad Decent Boat Partiers Facebook page.

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