Live: Candyland 16 at Revolution, December 22


Revolution, Fort Lauderdale

Friday, December 22, 2011

Better Than:
Trying to live vicariously through this review.

This past Friday night for the 16th edition of the annual electronic music event known as Candyland, Revolution and Green Room were commandeered by seemingly every genre of people alive. Imagine all the kids that dropped out of your local high school, if those kids had good enough music taste and the right state of mind to enjoy this sprawling, packed, but peaceful party.

Of course, it didn't get that packed until the later hours. Close to the official start time, I arrived embarrassingly early, with a crowd so sparse the floor was still visible. On one of multiple stages, Influence Of Xta C performed, doing a great job of not noticing that there

were only six people in the room for his set, including bartenders. On another stage, though, duo Dope Arcade had managed to draw a nice-size crowd with bass that rattled so hard, it could wake your ancestors.

The crowd continued to grow in size throughout the evening until it was finally time for a headlining slot by the legendary DJ Icey. He took the main stage inside Revolution to a packed house, opening with Deadmau5's track "Ghosts and Stuff."

The rest of Icey's set showed his age, but in a good way -- his selection revealed a combination of old and new tracks and different styles that would only work in the hands of an icon. A track by none other than Queen gave way to the Trammps' "Disco Inferno" to Justice's remix of Simian's "We Are Your Friends." Other times, Icey brought the '90s back with some head-slamming breakdowns, one of which led into a hand-clap interrupted version of Avicii's "Levels." Dancers dressed as scantily clad Santas on stage grinded with and on the MCs of the night, and people were just having a hell of a good time.

While Icey was still finishing up his set, it became time to check out Juan Basshead on the opposite stage. Was this a dance-off? In the crowd in front of his stage, a a middle school-style circle had formed, with people running around the fringes jumping and doing head spins to egg everyone on. Another cluster of guys had scaled the speakers. Basshead, meanwhile, went seamlessly from his trademark artery-pounding bass to unexpected sounds like salsa, and back.

Back by the main stage, Mord Fustang and his sideways mullet were taking over on the main stage. He began his set holding his controller in front of his face, mimicking his promo photo shoot, before launching into a selection that had a funny way of making your knees give out. Like a conductor, he would toss up his fist in expectation through ascents of squealing treble, right before dropping the crowd back down.

From his own track "Super Meat Freeze" he slowed down, sped up. and switched around until he dropped echoing howl of Duck Sauce's "Big Bad Wolf" that had Santa's helpers on stage clearly aiming for the naughty list. Then came a glitched-up version of LMFAO's "Sexy And I Know It," rallying the crowd into a rip-your-shirt-off type frenzy. He even managed to morph Avicii's "Levels" (played again in the same night!) together with snippets of Skrillex's "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites."

The last performance of the night came from Miami producer and DJ $uper Geniu$, who was entertaining enough to follow Mord Fustang but yet subtle enough to let us leave when the time was due. That was 5 a.m., and as the crowd spilled onto the street, people were still trying to keep the party going. Maybe we should have all just gotten breakfast? Oh well, next time -- because there will be a next time.

Critics Notebook

Personal Bias: I'm a fan. It's always a good time when they conjoin venues at the Revolution/Green Room/America's Backyard complex.

Random Detail: 3 out of 4 people we having sinus issues, I'm guessing, since they were all rubbing their noses....

Overheard: Guy next to me to his friend: "This is the song I effed your ex to."
Underage girl: "I haven't seen one undercover cop all night."

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Lori Trigonis
Contact: Lori Trigonis