I made sure to get there before midnight as I was interested in hearing Otto Knows, the latest young producer from the Swedish house scene. “Building to nowhere” is the best way I can describe his set. His transitions lacked difficulty as he waited for each track to nearly finish before flipping out of it. He had some solid builds but instead of culminating with a heavy beat drop the track went back to monotone bass. Everyone was ready to jump – instead they were left standing there – waiting. I don’t want to be too critical. He was good as an opener because he didn’t steal the show and built a lot of anticipation by not throwing down anything with high energy. I’ll give him another chance down the road, but had I not known who he was, I wouldn’t have been impressed enough to ask someone.
Alesso was up next and after hearing mixed reviews from his set at Ultra I hoped he’d come out swinging. The energy immediately changed inside the Kool Haus when he took the decks. Girls jumped up on guys shoulders, hands in the air as Alesso dropped his hit “Calling” early to wake everyone up from the lull following Otto Knows. Midway through his set, I noticed a familiar face lurking in the shadows beside Alesso. His unmistakable gait and tattoos gave him away. Deadmau5 was working the CO2 for the young swede and seemed to be having a great time.
Alesso kept the energy level high with his a number of Swedish inspired tracks. The crowd was one of the friendliest groups I’ve been around in quite some time. My friends and I were able to move right up to the front and then back out without having to force our way through. Alesso had the crowd primed, and by 2am Sebastian Ingrosso was ready to take over the Kool Haus.
The Swedish House Mafioso wasted no time pulling the crowd back from the patio as he dropped “In My Mind” and “Trio” within the first 20 minutes of his set. Deadmau5, who had switched from CO2 controller to lighting engineer, joined the crowd and was rubbing shoulders with his fans. Ingrosso was about halfway into his 2 hour set when he tossed on Tommy Trash’s track Cascade which was the peak of the evening. Open water bottles and Freezies were thrown in the air and even the stragglers and fringe fans made their way to the main dance floor.
As someone who has been to countless shows and festivals around the world, I can tell you that it is important for the DJ’s to perform well and tailor their set to the crowd’s desire. It is equally important to have a great crowd of people in attendance. As EDM grows in popularity, so does the diversity of people interested in such events. It was my first time back to the Guv since Ferry Corsten’s Halloween show, which was a disappointment. Thankfully, Decadence was as great as it was in 2009 and 2010 (the other times I’d attended). It seems to attract a group of people only interested in having a good time. Toss in some world class performers and you’ve got yourself a great night.