There are always a million shows on New Year’s Eve. I always have the best intentions of going to one but typically find myself ringing in the new year asleep on my couch. I mean, come on, when majority of your life is spent at shows and you only dream of nights where you can be in bed at a normal time instead of being out until the wee hours of the morning on a work night, it’s something you take advantage of. This year was different for me. I signed up to cover a giant EDM festival because– well, why not.
I have spent the past two nights in a world that I have only experienced in passing. Sure, I’ve been to electronic shows before but never to a weekend long festival where I knew absolutely nobody and only knew a handful of the performers. But, again, why the hell not. Snowta was so much more than just a music festival. With an indoor skatepark, indoor snowboarding, human bowling, laser tag… this was a whole world that had been set up inside the Minneapolis Convention Center and it was a world that I was prepared to get lost in.
Sure, I didn’t quite get the fact that majority of the females in the crowd had next to nothing on. I saw more ass cheeks and cleavage than I think anyone really needs to see but apparently that’s how things work in this world (even though in the real world the temperatures were a bitter -40 windchill). Again, not my world and it was clear to majority of the people that I ran into that I was not a normal visitor of this realm but that didn’t stop me from having fun. I spent my weekend lost in this unknown atmosphere and truly loved every second of it.
Not all of the music was for me. Through the two nights majority of the music was of the wub wub variety (you know, that techno music that leaves that “wub wub wub wub wub” sound in your ear after it stops) but there were definitely some treasures in there. I absolutely loved the fast-paced beat of Joyryde and being able to see Gucci Mane was pretty cool although I couldn’t quite hear his vocals. I found some new artists that I will surely be diving into this coming week while sitting at work and found some acts that I will be sure to avoid next time they come to town but, here’s the thing with the festival, even if I didn’t like the music, there was plenty for me to watch or do and at no point did I feel like I was actually alone.
Out of all 50+ acts that performed at Snowta, I definitely had my three favorites:
- Bear Grillz performed on Saturday. Although his name was familiar to me, I had no clue what his music was going to be like but as soon as I saw him take the smaller “Gray Duck” stage, I knew I was in love with him. Wearing a giant bear costume that was completed by a giant bear head, Bear Grillz had a sound that seemed to blur the lines of metal and techno. With lyrics about banging your head and fast beats that made you want to move, it quickly became clear to my why there’s such a crossover between the metal and EDM scene.
- Prof was pretty early on on Sunday night. Now, if you know me or have been following my blog for awhile, you know that I absolutely love Prof. His music is catchy, his live shows are electric, and there’s something about him that just screams “real human”. I’ve seen Prof too many times to count but have never seen him in front of such a large crowd. Just like the previous times I’ve seen him, he and his DJ Willie Wonka commanded the thousands in front of them with ease. His set was complete with confetti and champagne being showered over the crowd leaving the hour long set feeling more like a party than anything else. I will never get bored seeing this guy perform.
- Ho99o9 (pronounced Horror) was the reason I decided to sign up to cover this entire festival. Hailing from New Jersey but currently based in Los Angeles, Ho99o9 is one of those bands that I stumbled across a couple of years at a small local festival and it striked up an obsession that has left me craving a chance to catch them live again. Well, New Year’s Eve was my chance for that and their set was absolutely everything I could have dreamed of. With their unique blend of hip-hop, punk, and just pure energy, I was instantly thrown back into love with this trio. Their recordings just don’t do them justice. Ho99o9 is one of those bands that you absolutely have to see live. It’s impossible to explain, unlike aything I’ve ever seen and something more than worth your attention.
I could go on and on about how insane the past two days have been. Prior to Snowta, the EDM/techno scene never really left a good taste in my mouth. I hated the crowds, the music always sounded the same to me and typically left me with a raging headache but something clicked with me this weekend. Although I don’t see myself becoming a regular in this world, I don’t see myself continuing to be a stranger either. Sure the scantily clad crowd was young and I may have been the most sober person there, but absolutely everyone I interacted with made me feel welcomed and like I wasn’t spending my New Year’s eve alone.
With most New Year’s Eve’s spent on my couch, the moment when the balloons and confetti showered over me at midnight was like something you may see in the movies. I had only ever dreamed of being part of a celebration like this and it was finally happening to me. I didn’t have any friends around me, I had a bottle of champagne in my hands even though I had no clue where it was from, and I was hugging people I had only just met. It sounds weird but that’s how I’ve always wanted to ring in the new year and, as Excision started to play his set of dubstep beats, I found myself dancing like I had never danced before with a smile on my face that hurt due to the sheer size of said smile.
I welcomed in 2018 all alone at a festival that I knew nothing about. It was absolutely perfect.
I went to 194 shows in 2017 and saw over 1,100 bands. Here’s to hitting 200 shows and 1300 bands in 2018. Happy New Year everyone! Cheers!