Electrifying displays at EZOO

Electrifying+displays+at+EZOO

Jon Manarang

Jon Manarang, Staff Writer

In its eighth year on Randall’s Island, Electric Zoo returned to New York City for three days of pulsating EDM. Taking place during Labor Day weekend, the festival holds its own as summer’s last stand.

Throughout the weekend, the acts were divided into five stages; the Main Stage, resembling a looming, massive cobra, the Hilltop Stage adorned with large crystal prisms, the Riverside Stage with the glowing eyes and stripes of a towering tree frog and, the two smaller stages, Sunday School and the neon cube of Treehouse.

With headliners like The Chainsmokers, Steve Aoki, Hardwell and Tiesto, the fest brought out big crossover names in both EDM and pop. While heavy on DJ acts, this year brought out more true live performances than in previous lineups with artists such as the horn-equipped Big Gigantic and Hermitude.

The diversity of up-and-comers with rising acts saw everything from Drake mixed into The White Stripes.

Also boasting more rap acts than in years past, Lil Dicky’s persona of near self-awareness and immaculate technique culminated in his performance of radio hit “Save Dat Money.” 3SixMafia member Juicy J ripping through solo tracks and inescapable bangers like his Katy Perry cosign “Dark Horse” and “Bandz A Make Her Dance.”

The theme of this year’s festivities was “Wild Island,” with the island decorated in jungle themed art installations. Almost serendipitously, a neon colored gorilla was prevalent among the multitude of Harambe paraphernalia worn by meme-loving teens, as if the untimely death of the Cincinnati Zoo animal is somehow the peak of comedy.

Yet, in a year where David Bowie is dead and Donald Trump is running for president, anything is possible.

Surprisingly the derision of a gorilla’s gruesome demise was not the worst thing, given that cultural appropriation was rampant among attendees.

Yes, the end of festival season means the last time in months for these kids to break out their Native American war bonnets, forehead jewelry and of course dreadlocks/cornrows.

Although not to give an entirely disparaging impression of this festival, Electric Zoo truly captured the essence of millennial culture with both gym rats alongside gender-defying people straddling the line of femme and masc aesthetics.

At the end of the day, the great equalizer was the music and the bright, neon adornments amongst a sea of iPhones revelling in three days of uninhibited festivities.