With an overcast sky on Thursday, August 6th and impending rain to come later in the evening, Mad Decent Block Party kicked off its first of two days of shows at the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing. Mad Decent Block Party is a favorite of young Philadelphians who show up in droves to “get white girl wasted” and “have their faces melted off” by bass drop after bass drop. With the sand on the make-shift beach clinging to your toes and the gentle summer breeze blowing, Festival Pier is the perfect spot for this feel-good summer party. Anticipation began way before the morning of the event, as soon as superstar electronic music acts such as ‘Jack U’, ‘Flosstradamus’, and ‘Porter Robinson’ were announced to be playing the first day of the show (with an impressive Day 2 line-up that featured other huge acts like ‘Major Lazer’ and ‘Zeds Dead’). We heard several complaints from fans about increased security searches upon entering the venue but if you aren’t trying to bring in anything illegal, you have nothing to worry about (aside from the longer wait time to get in, which we admit, can be annoying).
‘Nadus’, a “just over the bridge” New Jersey native filled the air with a blend of Jersey club and future bass as the venue filled with patrons eager to hear their favorite songs dropped. With a ready crowd, the decks were handed off to Philly native ‘Swizzymack’. Signed to Mad Decent, Swizzymack’s “Philly club” is taking the music scene by storm. Whether he’s being played on Hot 107.9, or playing festival’s like ‘Mysteryland’, Swizzymack always has an infectious energy to not only his music, but his persona as well. A highlight of a Swizzymack performance usually includes seeing his mother getting down to his blend of trap and club. Mad Decent Block Party would not be something she would miss, and to be honest, with Swizzy’s “twerk team” on the stage, she was one of our personal favorite dancers.
Walking around Festival Pier, you could see hundreds of Jack U shirts, Flosstradamus hats, and some of the best totems we’ve seen in recent memory (such as giant photos of Dunkin Donuts beverages next to photos of Bill Cosby and Betty White). Talking to some of the attendees, a few of the older folks in reminisced that the mini-festival tour used to be a free Philly event. For others, it was the first Mad Decent Block Party they had ever been to. “It’s one of those feel good shows, where you don’t have to feel like there’s only one artist for you. There’s [such] a wide range of artists from ILoveMakonnen to Porter Robinson that it’s impossible to not find music you can get down to,” said a kind girl that was making sure to keep hydrated by filling up her Camelbak.
“Music has no boundaries” is the creed for 21 year old LA-based DJ/Producer ‘Jauz’, and that was proven true at Mad Decent Block Party. Jauz is an act unlike any other, providing future bass tunes with heavy dubstep mixed in. His set had the entire crowd with their “bass face” in full effect. With shark fins in the air, summer anthems like “Feel The Volume” had everyone on their feet. With one of the best sets of the Block Party, it’s no surprise that Jauz is on many major festival lineups in 2015. It’s no surprise that he’s been to Philly multiple times in the past few months, for events ranging from the ‘Buygore Tour’ to ‘Life In Color’.
The sky turned a little darker in the late afternoon, but that did not stop the party from raging on. ‘What So Not’ owned the stage and kept the same high energy pulsing through the crowd. ‘ILoveMakonnen’, signed to OVO, was well received by the Philly crowd even after the Meek/Drake beef. Perhaps that’s because Drake sucks. Next up was Porter Robinson with his “super kawaii” songs. Unfortunately, he was not doing a live Worlds show, but a DJ set by Porter Robinson is still one that is hard to top. A few tears were shed when songs such as “Language” and “Sad Machine” were dropped, and it would have taken some real magic to make his performance even more amazing.
“Trap arms” were in full effect as Flosstradamus dominated the stage. There was so much energy in the crowd that you could just feel the excitement in the air. The sky got dark and the lights got brighter, making this one of the best sets (visually) of the night. With every Philadelphia show Floss has, their fans come back stronger and harder than before. “HDY Nation” flags were waved and everyone’s hands went up to salute the duo. Almost every girl was on someone’s shoulders. It was a real sight to see. We can’t say our ears are big fans of Flosstradamus, but clearly they’ve been able to make a big name for themselves by producing decent tracks, pressing play, and bouncing around the stage. As DJs, they definitely leave much to be desired though.
Headlining the party was Jack U, made up of (Mad Decent founder) Diplo and Skrillex. This was the perfect presentation for Jack U’s first Philadelphia show. The blend of genres in this set was perfect, and kept a similar pattern of the previous acts. With two such talented producer/DJs together in one super-duo, it was hard to not be fan-girling just a little bit. The bass was heavy, the crowd was pumping, and when the rain started to fall it heightened (not detracted from) the overall experience. With song’s like Diplo’s “Revolution” and unforgettable clips of Skrillex’s dubstep anthems, the nostalgia was real. Jack U easily finished Day 1 of the 2015 Mad Decent Block Party with the best set of the evening. We can still hear “Where Are U Now” in our heads, and feel the rain on our skin.
[Photo credit: Dead Philly]
[Article by Alyssa Anderson]
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