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Escape From Wonderland – An Overview
This post has been a long time coming, Halloween weekend was a little while ago now, but the epicness that was Escape From Wonderland lives on strong in memory. Insomniac events never cease to impress me – they do it bigger and better every year, and every event the production is just so huge. It’s a shame that Go Ventures dropped the ball with Monster Massive this year; Armin Only is quite a selling point, and I know a lot of people were looking forward to catching his set. That being said, Escape proved to be quite the event and I’m sure that anyone who ended up switching their plans from Monster to Escape was happy with the outcome.
I got there a little later than planned, and the first set we saw was AN21 & Max Vangeli on the main stage (“The Slaughter House”), which ended up being one of my favorite sets of the night. They killed it, and the stage production on the main stage was just mind blowing, with visualizer screens lining the sides of the tent just like at Nocturnal. The energy at that stage was undeniably insane. Unfortunately we didn’t get there early enough to catch Thomas Gold‘s set, but I heard that he spun a fantastic set and I agreed after checking out the recording of his set a couple days later.
We stayed a little bit for Benassi afterward, but I wasn’t feeling it as much as AN21 and Vangeli… from what I remember it was mostly rather repetitive big room dutch sounds. So we left and checked out Moguai for a bit, which also wasn’t quite what I expected. He was playing more mainstream sound than I thought I would hear from him, given his unique style.
We wound up at Afrojack at the Ghoul’s Graveyard stage, and even though he played pretty mainstream as well, I have to admit that he’s a good DJ to have fun dancing to because his shows are always high energy and the laser shows on stage were creating a really cool vibe.
We didn’t stay for too long because we lost one of our friends, and wandered over to the tech stage, Cannibal’s Tea Party, to check out Marco Carola. I was blown away by this set – some of the coolest, bounciest techno I have ever heard live. I remember thinking, if only this music was on the main stage, it would be game over. Carola spun an awesome set, but there’s something to be said about the environment having an effect on how much you enjoy the experience of seeing the DJ. Even though I might have been feeling the music more at this stage, nothing could top the energy of the main stage with the sheer numbers of people, the lights, and the sound system.
We decided to see Markus Schulz to close out the night, and I have little regrets about seeing him over Steve Angello because I’m a big fan of Markus’ big room sound. He seemlessly blends all the best elements of house into his sets – from techy and progressive stuff (check out Koen Groeneveld – “Slides“), to emotional trance (Schulz – “Not The Same“) and gritty electro (Tommy Trash – “Future Folk”). It was my third time seeing him and I thoroughly enjoyed his set. Although I didn’t catch Angello, I was told that he was really great, but I feel that it would’ve been a more predictable and less dynamic set than Markus Schulz’s.
Overall it was a great night. I didn’t catch a lot of the DJs I would’ve liked to see – namely Umek, Thomas Gold, Paco Osuna, Wally Lopez, Dash Berlin, and Jochen Miller – but nevertheless I had an awesome time and was again thoroughly impressed by the magnitude of events that Insomniac continues to put on.
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