Published: March 28, 2013
Photos by: Emily Brie Equi (audibleimagery.net)
Story by: Esther Rubyan
SnowBall isn’t your typical festival in more ways than one. The height of ski season in the mountains of Colorado isn’t your typical setting, for one. Flip-flops are considered more common festival footwear than snowboarding boots, but boy did the latter come in handy. Not only that, but you’ve got these enormous names playing intimate festival sets, and even more intimate after parties for die-hard dance fans waddling around in snowsuits like kindergartners on their way to the bus stop.
And it was the headliners who really came through at the festival. The small acts were great, but ones whose names graced the top end of the flyer pulled out all the stops and delivered memorable sets to fans who made the effort to get up to Winter Park, CO, slip and slide their way to the front of the crowd, and dance the night away in the sub-freezing temps.
Big Gigantic has had arguably their most successful year behind them, and with 2013 fresh as the driven snow, their headlining set the first night was a statement: “Hey Colorado, did you miss us?” The hometown heroes were clearly thrilled to be back in the Rocky Mountain state, and the energy was palpable. Stimulation, passion, and intensity were the watchwords. Big G’s lightshow was undeniably strong at SnowBall, really coming into its own with the new setup.
The rush of Porter Robinson’s music pulsed through the crowd making the audience melt at every drop. One of the few straight up electro acts on the bill, Robinson has a depth and charisma of acts twice his age. Like a perpetual motion machine, his high-caliber performance heated up the cool Colorado air.
Pretty Lights did it again. The man who put the state on the electronic music map came home to deliver another dramatic performance. This year at Snowball, PL ended his set with a sick fireworks display, befitting the starring role Derek Vincent Smith holds in the community. Every time you witness his performance, you can’t help but feel a mixture of excitement, chaos, and absolute bliss.
Though PLM family member Michal Menert’s set was held at the beginning of the day, thousands of loyal supporters packed out the Groove Tent. Menert’s set (as usual) was filled with love, and good vibes were flying all around. Menert even spat a few rhymes just for shits while drummer AC Lao pounded away behind the kit.
Grizmatik was on point, on key, and on fire. As the sun set behind the mountains on the last night, the packed audience stayed warm as they danced to the groovy swag beat of this dynamic duo. GRiZ’s energy was flying through the roof, while Gramatik kept it cool, secretly holding in his excitement.
Even though the weather was freezing cold, somehow, festivalgoers kept warm. Whether it was the amazing music, or the non-stop dancing and running around in the snow, nothing stopped thousands of festi-goers from raging all day and all night long. Winter Park provided an epic landscape for a killer line-up of amazing music.
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