Summer Set 2016 Recap!
by Bradley Loiederman

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Well guys, another Summer Set has come and gone with great joy and some of the best vibes this festival has ever seen! This year featured some of the best artists, coolest production, and most loving and caring feels out there, making our five year anniversary all the more special! So as we all fight through the last couple days of that festie flu, let’s reminisce on this glorious past weekend!

I made sure to take off an extra day of work and get early entry Thursday night, adding an extra night to settle in and party it up before the rush of the first day! Once Friday’s gates opened though, the real fun began. I started the day wandering around the festival grounds and checking out all the dope production and scenery set up around each stage, making my way to The Big Top for Porn and Chicken followed by SNBRN. After getting some good summer time vibes, I made my way to the Main Stage and checked out Mija. I went into her set knowing very little about her, but her mix of trap and bass really blew me away! After watching her throw down and take control of the stage as if it was built solely for her, I knew this weekend was about to be spectacular! I stuck around the Main Stage after for Flux, whose set was another that slammed me into an ecstatic state. Seriously one of my favorite moments of this weekend was when he played his track “Emotional” and then transitioned the second drop into the Must Die! remix of the same track. Super fire. I sprinted back and forth between Steve Aoki and STS9 after his set, getting amped for Chance to spit his soul-hop on the Main Stage at 10:30. And boy, was I impressed with his set! I had seen him once before at First Ave a while back, and he was so nervous that it really impacted his performance. But watching him take the Main Stage by storm and really connect with the crowd of thousands of people in front of him was really heartwarming, showing that he’s overcome his social anxiety and gained confidence in himself as a live artist. I unfortunately did not get to catch the Friday after party, but I heard that Zhu was absolutely mesmerizing and that his live band was one of the highlights of the festival!

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I decided to sleep in on Saturday and wait for about an hour after gates opened until I went into the grounds. Definitely missed some amazing opening artists, but sometimes you just gotta stay behind and get some rest. I started the first couple hours of my day at the Main Stage, getting groovy with Hippie Sabotage to an impressively minimalist yet moving set. I then caught about half of Flatbush Zombies’ set, watching them transport Wisconsin to Brooklyn with their grimy style and their insane rhythmic talent. After that, I sprinted to The Big Top to catch one of my favorite artists that’s ever walked on this earth, Illenium! Illenium was another artist at Summer Set this year that really blew me away. His first set at The Big Top was a beautiful conglomeration of his melodic stylings that moved the audience both emotionally and physically. His second set at the after party, however, was one of the heaviest sets I saw at Summer Set this year, showing that his abilities as an artist stretch far beyond melodic bass. I then went back to the Main Stage to catch Alison Wonderland, and man, can that girl throw down! I had seen her once before, and her set was primarily softer house. Definitely not this time though! Her set made every foot of the Main Stage area shake with bass. After her set was over, I took a break from dancing and went to get some food and water. Always important to stay well fed, hydrated, and rested! I made it back to The Grove in time for Grimes, who definitely was one of the most fun artists to watch perform. She was dancing all over the stage and just looked like she was having a blast! The entire time I watched her set, I just wanted to give her a hug and bop around the stage with her. After Grimes finished, it was back to the Main Stage for Bassnectar, and his set was without words. I’ve seen him at least four or five times, but every time I see him, his set just gets better and heavier. What a wonderful way to end the night! I did get to check out the Saturday after party, and my God was Jauz amazing! I have a shark tattoo on my leg for Jauz, so I was already extremely amped for his set. But watching him late night at The Grove was unreal!

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I started Sunday at The Big Top, watching two of my favorite locals, AZNpersuasion and MicDaddy go head to head for 45 minutes of insanity! I then shimmied to the Main Stage to check out DJ Mustard and Marshmello, both who stood out as some of the best sets I got to catch at Summer Set this year! I then ran to The Big Top and watched part of Mr. Carmack, whose mix of simplistic bass and melodic trap was one of the most fascinating and crowd-moving sets I’ve seen in a long while. I then jumped between Gramatik and NGHTMRE, getting a few minutes of groove mixed with a few minutes of heavy trap. And at 9pm, I made my way to the Main Stage and got to check off an artist that I had wanted to see ever since I was 16, Skrillex! All the time online, you read about how Skrillex live is an experience like no other, and that is definitely extremely accurate! His set was so heavy that it felt like an earthquake was overtaking Somerset. And my favorite part about his set was watching how much fun he was having with the crowd. It’s rare to find an artist as big as Skrillex interact with the crowd that much, but he was having such a blast! It was really uplifting to see how much joy he still gets from playing a show.

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Although Summer Set’s fifth year has come and gone, the memories made this previous weekend will always hold strong in my soul. And with that, let’s start the countdown to year six!