I woke up on Friday, July 18th, with almost no sleep and a massive headache. As opposed to the finals at my university (Go UMass) being the culprit behind my delirium, I was merely experiencing yet another regular day in Amsterdam. Still dishoveled from the night before, I headed to the Central Station and hopped on my train to Belgium.
Now, most knowledgeable EDM fans will probably know that this train was not taking me to Belgium for the sight-seeing on this particular day. Instead, it was bringing me to what many in the music world would refer to as the “Valhalla of EDM,” or Tomorrowland. My experience was truly magical at this year's gathering, as all of the production behind Tomorrowland was absolutely amazing and just as I remembered it to be in 2012. However, this time around, my expectations were completely exceeded because the stages were bigger, vaster, and more complex than ever before.
Many could even argue that Tomorrowland had what I would call a “Main Stage” in three locations: The Main Stage, The Dim Mak Stage (Friday), and The Super You & Me Stage (Saturday). This set-up was truly spectacular and well-planned, as it allowed for the continuous enjoyment of the event no matter where you were. Now, what really made my time at Tomorrowland even more special was that as the Friday festivities were commencing, I was also informed that EDM.com was going to send me to Groove Cruise in LA in just a few short months.
I immediately jumped onto my email to find the cruise's lineup and determine who the common acts were between the cruise and Tomorrowland. One duo, Sick Individuals, really caught my eyes as a “can’t miss” Groove Cruise performance, so I made sure to catch their set while in the glorious Belgian landscape.
I knew I had seen them just a few days earlier, as their “Voted Number One Boy Dogs” campaign they did for DJ Mag was probably one of the most creative concepts I have ever seen. This encouraged me to catch their set for almost every other reason except for their music. Only knowing the track “I Am” that they co-produced with Axwell, I soon came to realize that their set was more than just exciting; it was truly legendary.
The set was packed with high energy, incredible mash-ups, great live transitions and phenomenal crowd control. On top of all of that, Jim & Ray showcased a genuine excitement on their faces, which is something that I really think is lacking with a lot of performances today, as they demonstrated true happiness in what they were doing while "turning the knobs.” All of this assured me that Sick Individuals would be a “can’t miss” set at the Control LA Stage.
Now, with regard to the Groove Cruise, the music is only half the beauty; the real “magic” is not in the music but in the environment. Unlike Tomorrowland, where you are immersed into a new “wonderland” of possibilities, Groove Cruise has the best of both worlds, where musical exploration is coupled with relaxation.
Great music experiences come in different shapes and sizes, whether they are through the music itself or the feeling of tranquility while in the moment. As I have never been on Groove Cruise, I am very eager to experience what they have to offer. Just like Tomorrowland, they will be celebrating their decade anniversary, which will make your attendance at the wondrous cruise-based gathering even more special. So gear up, take a look at their full line, and grab your ticket to Groove Cruise LA!