Well, it's over. In the end, Ultra 2016 saw
At 18 years of age, Ultra has matured into a well-oiled festival, running smoothly from the Porta Potty to the Main Stage. Yesterday, the third and final day of
There's just no real instruments in dance music. Like, would it kill these guys to use a guitar? When's the last time you've heard that one? It's a common complaint launched at EDM and dance music by those suspicious of the genre. Well, the next time you hear someone say that, show them Pendulum's live set from the Main Stage of Ultra last night. Closing out the festival — and ending a four-year split — Pendulum played one of the most unconventional yet wonderful sets Ultra's Main Stage has seen in years. Last year's festival finale ended with a flurry of pop-star appearances: Bieber and Diddy both danced around to the delight of thousands. This year, the only special guests brought out was Tom Morello and deadmau5 came by to perform a rendition of “Ghosts ’n’ Stuff.” Not too shabby. But even without any massive surprises, Pendulum's set did not disappoint. It was a refreshing demonstration of what dance music was, still is, and hopefully can become again. — by Ryan Pfeffer
You don’t need a packed amphitheater to put on a remarkable show. Peaches proved that during her 3 p.m. set at Ultra’s Live Stage. The
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If we had to choose one word to articulate Purity Ring's live experience, it would have to be "consistent." Having seen them at the Fillmore Miami Beach last September and again Sunday night as they closed out Ultra’s
Rabbit in the Moon
What in the hell was that, Rabbit in the Moon? Nothing, absolutely nothing, could have prepared Miami for what was, hands down, one of the best sets of Ultra 2016. What vocalist Bunny and producer David
Expectations were high when Deadmau5 took the stage for A State of Trance. He's talked a lot of trash on Twitter about the brand's representation of the genre, and when ASOT leader Armin Van Buuren invited him to try his hand, a lot of people took notice. He didn't stray far from his techno roots, but he did work in an extra level of groove. He surprised people even more when he dropped Motorhead's “Ace of Spades.” It just wouldn't be a Deadmau5 set without a little bit of trolling. — by Kat Bein
Miike Snow might have played to a half-empty amphitheater on Friday, but when Christian Karlsson (AKA Bloodshy) took over the Main Stage with Linus Eklöw (AKA Style of Eye), an endless sea of bodies that stretched to Biscayne Boulevard jumped along with every beat. As Galantis, this is the duo’s second Ultra appearance, and it looked like the crowd hadn’t gotten enough the last time around. Their sets are unapologetically EDM, filled with sugary-sweet pop. From reworkings of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” and the White Stripes “Seven Nation Army” to original material like “Peanut Butter Jelly,” their set was frenetic and filled with nonstop crowd pleasers. “We are Galantis, and we are going to celebrate dance music, house music,” they yelled from atop the stage before debuting a new track, “No Money.” Like anything that touches Swedish hands, it was EDM pop perfection with a chorus made for singing along at festivals like Ultra. I’m not personally a fan of the direction popular dance music is headed these days, but every now and then you just want something that goes down easy, and in that regard, Galantis delivers, and it does it better than most. Everything in moderation. — by Jose D. Duran
Wave Racer took the crowd at the Worldwide Stage on a fanciful journey through a USB port. We swam through a bubbly sea on pink and blue dolphins, stopping at the street corner to trap with the jelly fish and collecting a few gold coins along the way. The Australian producer mixes '90s R&B soul with hyper-active pop sounds ripped straight from your old Nintendo 64. It's a futuristic style that taps straight into millennial childhood nostalgia, and it was the perfect way to get hyped up for Ultra's final hours. — by Kat Bein
Keeping consistent with the whole ’90s-are-back theme at Ultra 2016, Duke Dumont delivered a set filled with touches of ’90s handbag and acid house. In some ways, it’s depressing, because while the Ultra Worldwide stage was packed with an endless sea of revelers, I’m betting few know — or care — about house music's origins beyond its current EDM form. Dumont seems very much aware of its beginnings as he is able to repackage it with a modern twist. (