Steve Angello, one third of the recently disbanded supergroup Swedish House Mafia, killed the music and his audience became the performers.
“Who’s gonna saaaaave the woooorld toniiiiiiight?!? Who’s gonna bring you back to life? We’re going to make it, you and I. We’re gonna saaaave the wooorld toniiiight!”
They all sang in unison; thousands of them. If neon, tutus, glow sticks and a penchant for EDM could save Mother Earth, the planet’s ills would have been whisked away Saturday night. But alas, the concern was quickly replaced with a starburst of synth and enough bass to rattle your fillings loose. Angello was back at the controls and kids are still hungry is Southeast Asia.
Not that the point was solving any major issues, outside of quiet and boredom maybe. The debut of the MCP Presents and C3 Presents collaboration, properly known as the CounterPoint Music Festival, was there for one reason only: to get your ass on the dance floor. In that regard, CounterPoint succeeded. 20-somethings from all over the country converged on a horse farm owned by the guy who developed Berber carpeting (at least that’s what I was told by the parking attendant) to party their weekend away, and were presented with a bevy of diverse artists from several genres over a three day stretch.
Artists like Washed Out, Politica and Toro Y Moi, while wonderfully welcomed, weren’t the headliners. Neither were the rappers. Atmosphere and Big Boi put on great early shows to relatively large groups. Big Boi represented the veteran crew and had his audience about to burst by the time he did the Purple Ribbon All Star hit, “Kryptonite.” And yes, he did have C-Bone in tow.
Slug and Ant were more than comfortable in front of the crowd, asking the girls to go full frontal and beckoning the boys to scream, “Fuck You Lucy.” Theophilus London was the beneficiary of M83’s damaged equipment and moved to a later slot, hence a bigger audience and Wale took the stage just as the sun was about to set. But the late shows, the headline sets, were reserved for Angello, Skrillex, Bassnectar and Pretty Lights. They all lived up to the top billing and that was just the front stage area.
Beat and Back Beat tents clear across the space (and it was one big ass space) from the Point and CounterPoint stages housed sets from even more EDM acts including Feed Me, Beats Antique, A-Trak, Zedd and Laid Back Luke. The music from the tents was just as compelling, the crowd was just as big and excited and the light show was just as bright. At one point, Pretty Lights spoke to his audience, telling them to reach up into the sky and try to grab the moon. It was the least resplendent object in their site, but they tried nonetheless.
Sandwiched between the sonic anchors were carnival rides, hammock areas, a Heineken igloo, a huge room on a truck with Play station video games, art installations, food vendors, a rock wall and The Red Bull Energy Station where I understand they were giving DJ lessons. Niiiiice.
Were there any drawbacks? Well there was rainageddon. It rained so hard Saturday afternoon that the event was evacuated and all the ground under my car was washed away, leaving me to escape the largest mud puddle I had ever seen in a 2-wheel drive coupe. It also cost ten dollars for the campers to take a shower. 10 dollars? That’s beer money. Needless to say, some of the revelers were ummm… naturally scented. But when you are as committed to the cause as these folks were, a little musk is par for the course. The energy these kids gave off far exceeded the smellies and watching them rage into the night made it obvious that a little monsoon could not steal their thunder.
Who’s gonna save the world tonight? I have no idea. But I do know thousands of young folks across the country will be saving their money so next September they can try to figure it out, by dancing the night away.
See you next year.