The next day Tiësto’s protégé Porter Robinson hosted a surprisingly packed party in the Riverside tent. As he took over the booth, the crowd that had gathered during Beardyman‘s (cooler) set shoved forward in order to sweat all over each other more successfully. Where moments before Beardyman had live-mixed his beat-boxed vocals and raps, Porter Robinson was wasting no time in tearing off his shirt.
Robinson is well aware of the hype surrounding him, and, boy, is he a peach about it. It would be hard to find a kid around his age who wouldn’t act that annoyingly swag onstage, right?
To Robinson’s credit, his music was neat and well-produced, and he didn’t bring his most obnoxious friend onstage to bleat mind-numbingly idiotic phrases into a working microphone. As Kid Sister proved, that is a surefire way to steamroll an otherwise solid set. The M.I.A.-ish MC, looking positively American Apparel adorable, allowed her DJ to ruin the show by a) looking like the Situation and b) broadcasting stupid things the Situation would say in an attempt to hype the crowd. Kid Sister seemed fully capable of holding her own without him, talking at Nicki Minaj speed, freaking with a red-haired friend who appeared from backstage and leading stretches.
Kid Sis wasn’t the only one to let some loser take over a set with unbearable douchebaggery, because Sub Focus played. While he spun some indistinguishably uncreative dubsteppish noises, a complete assclown walked around the stage yelling “Somebody scream!” again and again and again and again. And then again. And then just one more time. He could have said anything onstage—just think about the infinite possibilities of what a human being can say into a microphone while following social and festival guidelines, like comments on last night, the concept of infinity or how asparagus makes your pee smell funny. But this guy settled on “New York Electric Zoo 2011 new Sub Focus tracks” and “Sing the lyrics if you know it” as Sub Focus launched into a new song, whose only lyrics were “The sun’s shining.” Somebody, please, scream.
Two of Saturday’s strongest performers played early, forcing festivalgoers to choose between manic and poppy with DJ weirdo Daedelus on the main stage at 12:05 and hyped bassaholic SBTRKT in the Riverside tent 10 minutes later. Daedelus played the biggest stage to the smallest crowd, an oddly intimate experience in such a huge venue. While the festival promoters reported that about 85,000 people cycled through Electric Zoo throughout the weekend, Daedelus played a fidgety set to around 100. He looked like he had just stepped out of the shower and into his alt-Victorian clothes, his hair stringy and hanging down to his burgundy suit jacket. Instead of the exaggerated mannerisms of Moby and Rusko, Daedelus kept his enthusiasm close to the belt, jerking his hands and body toward his booth with a creepy grin as he switched from genre to genre. His remix of James Blake, a work of art, brought Blake’s high croon down to a deep wobble.
Meanwhile, SBTRKT hosted a hipster house dance party while sporting his signature Zulu mask (which doesn’t cover his little bald spot!!). Without Sampha and Jessie Ware to sing over his beats, SBTRKT deviated from the tracks on his debut album and dropped Big Sean and Drake toward the end of his set. He’s something of a low-key DJ, one that would be at home spinning in a cabana somewhere in the Mediterranean.
David Guetta happened, but you don’t even need worry about it.