For a festival that’s always associated with mainstream dance music, Ultra’s ability to curate a Live stage with the world’s best live performers (every single time) comes as a wonderful surprise.
Since its inception, the Live stage has served as an alternative to its older siblings, inviting a focused audience who tend to drift away from the realm of the mainstream. The term “live” is often misunderstood, because most people imagine a guy with a guitar and a microphone doing some John Mayer-stuff whenever someone mentions the word. This clearly isn’t the case at the Live stage, with performers across all spectra of electronic music unleashing their definition of “live” on stage. Here are some must-see live acts at this year’s UMF!
Excision, Downlink and KJ Sawka (of Pendulum fame) have been prime figures in the bass scene for a very, very long time. Their vision of a live bass outfit is how Destroid came into being. Several cryptic videos of this newly-formed supergroup appeared on the Internet, and their first-ever show in San Francisco became a massive hit.
Machinery dominates Destroid’s overall theme, with the three producers in robot costumes equipped with flashy guitar MIDI controllers, drum pads everywhere, smoke guns and much more. While Excision and Downlink have been performing regularly as solo acts, Destroid has only had sporadic appearances in recent times, which is why this becomes a big deal. With some of the hardest-hitting releases in the bass scene, it’s good to watch Destroid come back to what they do best: unleash violence!
Scott Hansen’s brainchild Tycho has made some serious waves in the electronica space. With a focus on moody, downtempo music, Tycho’s music helps you attain (almost) instant tranquility.
The electronica act’s live shows are a different story altogether. Visuals are an integral part of a live Tycho set, and they don’t disappoint at all. When live, Tycho performs as a 4-piece band. The act has toured the world with their soundscapes, mesmerizing fans and first-time listeners alike.
3. Chet Faker
It’ll be an offence framing an introduction for this guy. Chet Faker is one of those few electronica acts that have made it big in the industry. Widely praised for his productions and live shows alike, Chet Faker knows how to run a crowd.
He, along with Flume, constitute some of Australia’s finest contributions to electronic music. The two prodigies have also collaborated in the past, on the massive “Drop The Game”, currently sitting on more than 20 million SoundCloud plays.
Relatively new to the scene, Fakear is coming up fast, as one of France’s most eclectic artists. The French native specializes in indie dance and nu-disco, switching to downtempo at times. He has toured his country extensively, having played at various festivals like Printemps de Bourges and Montreux Jazz Festival among a few others.
The talented producer is also known for adding classical and Indian elements to his tracks. A solo artist in his own right, this is Fakear’s first time at Ultra Miami, and only bigger things are headed his way.
5. NERO Live
One of the most influential dubstep/bass groups in recent times, NERO has been around for a better part of the century. What really got the word out for the 3-member group was the Skrillex remix for their mega-hit ‘Promises’, and there was no stopping them after that.
Their live performances are nothing short of spectacles, and they’re probably going to test out new stuff from their much awaited ‘Between II Worlds’ album, scheduled to hit stores on September 11. Their stage presence is unmatched, and their live shows promise a theatrical experience every single time.
6. Icona Pop
The Swedish duo of Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo are best known for their smash hit ‘I Don’t Care’ which peaked at #1 for several weeks on multiple charts in different countries. Since then, Icona Pop has transitioned into a truly international act, performing at sold-out shows around the world.
Icona Pop has opened for some of the world’s biggest acts, most notably Miley Cyrus and One Direction. They’re bringing their peppy beats and in-your-face lyrics to the Ultra Live Stage.
7. The Prodigy
In the electronic world, The Prodigy are legends in every sense of the word. For a band that has been around since 1990, The Prodigy has seen all the phases. Indulging in big beat, hardcore, rock and electronica, The Prodigy has amassed an ardent fan following over the years.
The Prodigy is considered as one of the major propagators of modern electronic music, and they’ve come a long way. Fans are in for a treat at UMF 2016 as the iconic British band marks its return to a live setup.
AlunaGeorge is an amalgam of the duo’s first names: Aluna Francis and George Reid. Formed in 2012, AlunaGeorge is a part of a new wave of electronic music vocalists/producers that has invaded the scene, with some huge collaborations with notable names such as Jack U and DJ SNAKE.
The duo’s silky vocals and futuristic sound design stand out from the rest of the crowd, and they’re bringing their unique style to Ultra Miami.
9. Thomas Jack Live
Tropical house had a very successful year in 2015. Artists like Kygo and Thomas Jack paved the way for several emulators trying to capture the essence of tropical house. Both these influencers have live sets, and the latter is bringing his to UMF’s well-stacked live stage. 2016 marks Thomas Jack’s return to Ultra Miami. He was a part of 2015’s lineup too
This energetic upcoming duo from Miami, Florida is a wonderful addition to this year’s Live lineup. Smurphio and Cuci Amador, the people that make up Afrobeta, have their own take on electro-funk, switching up and down tempos with every release of theirs. Afrobeta’s performance will be one for the locals to revel in.
If you’re at Ultra Music Festival, Miami this year, make sure you don’t miss out on these amazing acts!