America’s Best DJ: The Beat Goes On

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Morrison, Col.—There was no way to tiptoe around the subject: this past weekend’s Global Dance Festival was certainly colored by the national tragedy that occurred in nearby Aurora just hours before the three-day event began.

Yes, the deadly July 20 shooting was on everyone’s minds at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, but Colorado’s EDM fans still packed the 10th annual festival and did their best to enjoy themselves, despite the dire circumstances. And, for the first time, America’s Best DJ Summer Tour Presented by Pioneer DJ & DJ Times took on a bit of a surreal tone.

Colorado EDM fans at Red Rocks. Simon Alexander

Colorado EDM fans at Red Rocks. © Simon Alexander

Some of the performing DJs made mention of the shooting; a couple even halted their sets with moments of silence. Perhaps the most effective moment of reflection came from vocalist Nadia Ali. Before ending her 30-minute, main-stage set, Ali simply called for strength and unity, then offered “a lullaby” for the occasion—a sweet, if abbreviated, a cappella version of her iiO hit “Rapture.”

12th Planet rumbled at Red Rocks. © Simon Alexander

12th Planet rumbled at Red Rocks. © Simon Alexander

Of course, GDF also presented a half-dozen America’s Best DJ nominees—Wolfgang Gartner, Morgan Page, Manufactured Superstars, Dillon Francis, 12th Planet and Kill the Noise. As always, DJ Times was there to take votes for the nominees, giving fans chances to win prizes that include top gear from Pioneer DJ and a trip for two to the ABDJ Closing Party/Award Ceremony at Las Vegas’ Marquee nightclub on Oct. 7.

Morgan Page on the main stage. Simon Alexander

Morgan Page on the main stage. © Simon Alexander

A few highlights: 12th Planet remains dubstep’s most animated performer and one of the genre’s more adventurous set-builders, mixing hip-hop jams and club slammers with his steady diet of sub-busting bombs; Dillon Francis’ skittering moombahton moves dipped, dived and ultimately captured the main-stage crowd; Kill the Noise, as usual, tipped the Richter Scale with his brand of crunching bass; and Morgan Page had almost gal in the joint singing along at some point during his melodic set.

Produced by Triad Dragons, Global Dance Fest deserves plenty of credit for putting on such a successful event that trying weekend. From the moment we arrived late Thursday night until we returned on Monday—our last memory being the site of a row of flags at half-staff—it’ll be a “business trip” we won’t soon forget. Our hearts go out to all those in Colorado.

So… our next tour stop? Pacha tonight in New York City. It’s great to be home and it should be plenty of fun seeing our pals The Disco Fries and Tommie Sunshine—billed as Fries & Shine—light up the legendary 46th Street space. Mr. Sunshine is one of our very favorite spinners and the Fries have quickly emerged as one of clubland’s top production duos, so we’re looking forward to getting our groove on—and taking plenty of ABDJ votes for them. See y’all on the West Side tonight.

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