Dead Rocks was one of Colorado's most anticipated EDM events this summer, and it featured performances by headlining acts Zeds Dead w/ Omar Linx and Dada Life, plus a diverse group of opening acts including Joey Badass, Manic Focus, Grandtheft, and Basscrooks. From beginning to end, we watched the powerful combination of djs, producers, and rappers hit the stage at Red Rocks Amphitheater to showcase their unique sounds and styles, and in the process made the event one of our favorites that we've seen this year.

The night began with performances by Basscrooks and Grandtheft, who both supplied a heavy dose of trap, house, and bass to the growing crowd. These on-the-rise acts had no issues getting the crowd going, and it came to be the perfect platform for Chicago's own Manic Focus to follow on afterwards. During Manic Focus's set, the groove-maestro brought out some well-respected local talent including SunSquabiProbCause, and Michal Menert for some assisted jamming. Manic Focus recently performed alongside Michal Menert at Electric Forest under the side project Manic Menert, and their performance at Dead Rocks was everything we could have expected from the dynamic duo.

Once the talented instrumentalists finished their family-like performance, the stage was cleared for Brooklyn's badboy Joey Bada$$ and his fellow Pro-Era member Kirk Knight. The contrasting vibes certainly cleared the air at first, but the NY-native's hypnotizing lyrics and catchy beats quickly found a soft-spot within the crowd. Performing hits such as "Like Water" and "Survival Tactics," Joey Bada$$ provided a refreshing breather to the EDM-centric event, and received incredible feedback throughout his entire time there.

By the time Joey & company finished their set, the EDM-hungry crowd was more than amped for Dada Life to hit the stage. Donning their classic banana & champagne-induced style, the talented djs/producers hit the ground running with a variety of hard-hitting electro house and progressive house drops. Dada Life played a tasteful mix of old and new dance-floor anthems, and despite a quick hiccup in their set, the Swedish power-duo elevated the crowd's energy to an exhilarating level for their co-headlining act Zeds Dead to close on.

When the famed Canadian bass-dealers finally hit the stage, the crowd's built-up excitement swelled across the venue - Zeds Dead have never headlined Red Rocks before, and their last performance in Colorado was at the 1st Bank Center nearly a year ago, so the bass-hungry crowd was more than ready for the duo's epic return. As fans were greeted by the familiar "ZD" emblem, it wasn't long before the amphitheater was engulfed by the mind-numbing bass sounds of "In The Beginning." Their bold and heavy introduction set the tone for the rest of their set, as the duo ventured into an unprecedented array of deep house, dubstep, drum & bass, and trap. They dropped an epic combination of old and new tracks during their performance, including a plethora of tunes from their latest Somewhere Else EP. During their performance of "Stoned Capone," the duo invited not only the single's MC Omar Linx to the stage but also featured a surprise guest performance by Dominic Lalli of Big Gigantic.

All in all, Dead Rocks was an incredible success, supplying a broad variety of hip-hop, house, and bass to the dedicated Colorado crowd. It will certainly be tough to beat the sheer amount of euphoria and spirit that was present at this year's gathering, but we know that all of these artists will be greeted with open arms upon their return to the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater in the years to come.

Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of EDM.com.

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Shane O'Neil Features Editor

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