The first day of New York’s technofest bonanza Electric Zoo used monster DJs like Rusko, Moby and Tiësto to draw the after-work crowds. While house producer Loco Dice entertained an ardently fist-pumping audience in a far tent, main stage artists whipped up fans into a megachurch frenzy.
As performers designed to entertain hordes, both Rusko and Moby employed larger-than-life gestures to communicate to their swelling crowds. Rusko took to Mario-ish “Yeah!”s and exaggerated leaps from the DJ booth, while Moby opted for a classically techno, simple, clean and flashing-light show. Perhaps these big-name DJs overstated their mannerisms so the audience members standing in line for another $9 beer half a mile away could still see them, tiny action-figure men that they were.
With such a large crowd, big performers’ sets have to appeal to all different states of mind and inebriation, a challenge Moby was ready to meet. He often left his controls to stand on the booth with his arms above his head, punching the air with the sign of the horns or coordinating trippy lights and booming sounds via remote control. He also pointed into the crowd as if he were singling out one of the people absolutely, um, high on life near the front, even though he probably couldn’t see beyond those epileptic lights. Moby knows how to make a moment seem magnificent, its importance amplified and packed with emotion, like he’s the orchestrator of some postmodern thizz-fueled religious experience.
As for Rusko, it was clear that no one loves Rusko’s music more than Rusko loves Rusko’s music. He bobbed, he pointed straight up into the air, he burst outward like a cartoon with a floppy mohawk and screamed “All right, dubsteppers!” before cutting “Gone 2 Far” with “Scareware.” His set featured lots of recognizable O.M.G.! tracks like “Hold On” and “Woo Boost,” and at the end fellow performer Benny Benassi joined him onstage and inspired a “Benny” chant.
Tiësto closed out Friday night with maybe the lamest light show of the weekend, one that actively lowered onlookers’ IQs as they were forced to stare at several enormous screens emblazoned with the words “CLUB LIFE” or the image of some S1m0ne-like robot babe.
All photos by Carl Timpone