The Best of Spring Awakening 2014
React Presents, recently purchased by SFX Entertainment, brought to Chicago for the third straight year at Soldier Field the city's premier electronic dance music festival. Spring Awakening with its most massive lineup to date failed to disappoint. The weekend of June 14th-16th, nearly 100,000 people graced the home of the Chicago Bears. With Headliners such as Tiesto, Knife Party, Pretty Lights, Diplo, Big Gigantic, and Chicago native Kaskade, this festival brought a massive crowd. The production compared to years past was immaculate, having two main stages was the best thing that happened to Spring Awakening. One of them was located where Brandon Marshall and Ashlon Jeffery celebrated many a touchdowns this past season in the end-zone, while the other called the Equinox stage was located on outside of the stadium on the opposite side. Gates opened daily at 2, and there were larger than usual crowds for some of Chicago's rising local talent. The Equinox stage was packed for 3 pm time slots by Audio Velocity on the opening day and the Regulators on Saturday.
Festival goers of all ages came prepared for this one, most carrying camelbaks to stay hydrated as it was sunny and warm all weekend. Many wearing beaded bracelets called kandi in which they exchanged with others they met throughout the festival as a sign of unity and friendship. Some even with beaded masks on that would have various dj logos or something else relevant to that particular person. Tutu's, surprising amount of Deadmau5 heads, neon, light up bras, oh and cant for get glitter were a plenty throughout the weekend. Chicago Flags flew high, and light up flow toys and hula hoops were abundant in the open areas of the stadium. There was a Cheesies food truck which has possibly has the best grilled cheese sandwiches known to mankind. There was plenty of room to dance and at the same time plenty of room to lay down in the grass and soak up the sun while listening to some of your favorite djs play.
Here are the top five sets from the weekend:
Flux Pavillon- He always brings his bass cannons, and brings a kind of energy that is hard to match. Also, I love when artists don't recycle every other artists music and play their own catalog of tracks. A sea of people sang along to "Gold Dust" and it was incredible.
Ferry Corsten, being a trance legend, and one of the very few trance artists on the bill (the only other 2 were Markus Schulz and Arty). His set made everyone not even care if he was the only trance artist on lineup. With his rendition of Fatboy Slim's "Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat" and remixing Capitol Cities- "Safe and Sound" everyone at the Equinox stage was in a dancing frenzy
Kaskade - He had the visuals of the Chicago sports teams scrolling on the LED walls, and Lasers beaming over a crowd of nearly 30,000 people was a magical moment. Playing some newer songs such as "Atmosphere" along with some classics such as "Lessons in Love" and "Eyes"
Big Gigantic - What do you get when you add drums and a mesmerizing sexy sax to heavy bass lines? an unforgettable set, that had the equinox stage rumbling. They tour Chicago often whether it be North Coast Music Festival or Lollapalooza, these guys have gained a huge fan base. They remixed "Voice" by Disclosure and it was as groovy as can be. Along with playing a variety of their tunes, old and new, they mixed in a ton of other artists, next to Dillon Francis they had to of played the most tracks in any set over the weekend.
Eric Prydz - Simply because he is one of the most genuinely talented artists on the lineup, and his set was beyond perfect. Set a really high bar for the rest of the weekend and that bar held up. The lasers during "Powerdrive" and the pulsating beat had people on the 50 yard line mesmerized. Being an all ages event there were some people around me that really didn't know who he was and absolutely loved his set.
Spring Awakening delivered big time in Chicago over the weekend, I said it last year and I'll say it again, It is constantly getting bigger and better. The added visuals and confetti strings, along with the flame throwers on the stages, were all great additions to production. If you are in the midwest and want a top notch EDM festival to travel to that isn't terribly far, then Spring Awakening 2015 should be on your list next summer!