With the ever increasing popularity of electronic dance music infiltrating our generation’s youth, this new movement of infectious, adrenaline infused sound has made it possible for producers such as Zedd to draw such EDM-hungry crowds to frequented venues like the Ritz Ybor this past Saturday night.
The 24 year old, Russian-German electronic music producer, certainly isn’t a newcomer to the game. Having grown up immersed in essentially all genres of music along with the instruction of parents who were both classically trained musicians, it’s no wonder Zedd has experienced such global success within his short term career (“Clarity”, “Spectrum”, “Codec”). Judging from the extensive sea of neon, fist-bumping fans present at his Ritz Ybor performance, I’d say I’m not the only one who agrees.
When it comes to instrumental composition and production, Zedd is undoubtedly an expert. However, beyond his musical expertise are his unparalleled skills in the use of lights, lasers, LED’s, etc. By incorporating such visually stimulating electronic components which meshed so perfectly with the music itself, it gave the crowd something even more tangible to grasp onto than the sound. Like an orchestra conductor at the forefront of his symphony, Zedd commanded the lights with as much prowess as the tracks themselves; each song accompanied by a hypnotic visual effect. This along with his implementation of unpredictable confetti explosions and blasts of CO2, Zedd left the audience with more than just a few catchy tunes to hold on to.
One of the EDM superstar’s most recent hits, “Clarity”, was an eagerly anticipated portion of the performance. The moment those familiar, whimsically reminiscent notes hit the crowd, the place became one huge singalong. Fans belted out the lyrics by British singer Foxes as if their lives depended on the zealous intensity with which they spewed out the words. Another prominent track played by the producer was “Spectrum”, sung by vocalist Matthew Koma, which the audience welcomed with nearly as much enthusiasm as they did “Clarity”. Essentially a tidal wave of gyrating, bobbing rave-goers, the crowd was ultimately just looking to get their EDM fix, so expertly provided by Zedd.
One rather unexpected aspect of Zedd’s performance involved that of his extended remix of “Stay The Night”, his newest single with Paramore’s lead singer, Hayley Williams, which recently came out. Following the much anticipated play of “Clarity”, Zedd transitioned from DJ’ing his own songs to those of other renowned EDM producers such as Daft Punk (“Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”), Deadmau5 (“Suckfest9001”), Calvin Harris (“Awooga”), Avicii (“Silhouettes”), along with his own remixes of producers such as Swedish House Mafia (“Save The World”), Skrillex (“Breakin’ a Sweat”), and Empire of the Sun (“Alive”).
Aside from the drug related scene that EDM is commonly associated with, Zedd is a prime example of how many producers are aiming to detract from the attention their brand of music has centered on drug use and instead, glorify it for what’s truly important: the music. And besides, with performances and tracks with as much quality as those of Zedd, why should fans need drugs to properly enjoy themselves? Score: 8.5/10
Hannah Crosby/News Editor