America's largest New Year's Eve dance celebration brought thousands of people to Downtown Denver on the last Wednesday and Thursday of 2015. Ringing in the new year with the biggest names in the industry, such as Deadmau5, Hardwell and Jack Ü, Decadence 2015 was packed with the finest Electronic Dance Music artists on the planet. Presented by Global Dance, AEG Live and Live Nation, the two-night event provided Mile High City with an unforgettable jamboree honoring an epic year of EDM. As far as parties go, New Year's Eve celebrations are about as crazy as they come. Especially when you're crazy about the lineup. When each DJ's set came to a close, the crowd migrated to the next 'big-room' stage -- perhaps stopping in the middle room for a ride around the carousel -- surprisingly devoid of any 'mob mentality' you may expect from a music festival. No, while the venue was chock-full of rapturous clusters of friends, the energy at Decadence was refreshingly jovial, loving and care-free. Exactly what the EDM scene is all about.
Half-naked men and women swam in and out of the crowds flowing through the 'streets' of the City of Decadence. Their faces illuminated by neon lights, glow sticks and glitter-bombs, while the air shimmered with confetti, giant disco balls and laser-lights. Both nights of Decadence attracted factions of elegantly dressed music buffs alongside hordes of scantily-clad candy-ravers. The colorful mashup of music-enthusiasts radiated with excitement as Denver ushered in 2016 with a bang.
Global Dance really outdid themselves this year. While we realize (more than most) that the key to a successful party is all about the beat, sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference. Ticketing, concession stands and coat check stations provided a shockingly painless experience as each line flowed smoothly and efficiently. Not to mention the festival-style wristbands and VIP lanyards added an extra layer of flare to this extravagant event. EDM.com's Slient Disco Garden offered a nice escape from the two main stages -- where a few different live DJs spun their tracks into the ears of the headphone-wearing crowd. But nothing could have prepared us for the implausible performances we witnessed on the two main stages at Decadence 2015...
We arrived just in time to catch JACKLNDN on the City Hall stage on Wednesday, December 30th 2015 -- the opening night of Decadence 2015. The audience took his lyrics, “Let’s go dancing, I wanna go dancing with you, all night dancing” to heart as they danced the night away. Meanwhile, Figure played an excellent set over on the Spaceport stage sparking a renewed interest in his trap-infused tracks just before Jack Ü took the stage – one of the most anticipated performances of the event.
Next up on the Spaceport stage, Galantis played one killer set, followed by Hot Since 82 and finally closing out with Tommy Trash. Over on the City Hall stage, Salva and What So Not played prior to a killer one-hour set by the Floozies. Bassnectar laid out some sick beats (his third year in a row playing at Denver’s Decadence) followed by a truly mesmerizing set produced by Gramatik.
New Year's Eve was much more packed than the first night of Decadence. Jai Wolf and Son of Kick launched the party with DJ sets on the two main stages followed by Bass Physics and Black Tiger Sex Machine. We were thrilled to catch Illenium for our third time since Global Dance Festival this summer -- one of our favorite up-and-coming EDM artists -- as he melted away the audience with his hypnotizing melodies.
Odesza and TBC followed Illenium's set on the City Hall Stage while Matthew Koma and Gareth Emery brought us closer to the new year over on the Spaceport stage. As 2016 approached, Big Gigantic took over the Spaceport stage for some soothing saxophone-jam-band-infused beats. As the ball dropped in New York City, the bass dropped at the City of Decadence. Deadmau5 performed some incredible tracks with plenty of heavy basslines when the clock struck midnight, including his number one hit "Strobe." The night concluded with Excision's iconic dubstep tracks on the City Hall stage and Hardwell's captivating electro house music on the Spaceport stage.
An experience unlike any other, Decadence 2015 was the perfect end to an explosive year of EDM. We can't wait to find out what 2016 has in store for us. As we float away into the new year, one phrase adequately defines the journey so far: "Damn that's epic."
AUTHOR CREDIT: Chad Davis