Living in Denver means an insane amount of EDM DJs come to town, so I wanted to share my top 10 for 2022 that I personally saw live. All of the DJs listed here are creative and influential in their own ways, so it is hard to rank them. I have only ranked 1 and 2 because they are my obvious favorite and top shows. Other than those, I am unable to rank the rest, so here’s my take on the top 10 along with some honorable mentions!
Odesza lays it all on the table when they preform live. Not only was there a drum line, but Naomi Wild was there to preform her songs with them. Odesza just kept pulling out more surprises and instruments by the minute. There were fireworks, confetti, and an insane amount of energy coming from the stage and audience. I truly have never witnessed something as incredible as this show. It it an event you need to witness for yourself. Odesza has been one of my favorite artists for over a decade, so it is special being able to see them. I will NEVER miss an Odesza show. (photo featured is from show)
The energy you feel at GRiZ shows are on another level. The love and respect is so palpable in the air since everyone is there for the purpose of bettering themselves and making connections with each other. Not only are you there to listen to groovy tunes, but you are able to hear motivating words from him and enjoy the high vibrations. GRiZ ends every show with saying “Show Love Spread Love” which is his motto along with telling us to pick up our trash on the way out. It is refreshing coming out of his shows because you are able to take that energy back into the real world.
I was able to see him 3 times last year – a rooftop pop up set in Denver, his event Another World, and at the NYE festival Decadence. All of these were incredibly different from each other, but all had the same energy in the air. If I had to rank these events individually, it would be the pop up set, Another World, and then the NYE Decadence Festival show. I will also never miss a GRiZ show.
In No Particular Order:
Swedish House Mafia
Swedish House Mafia is one of the first EDM artists I ever remember hearing on the radio. Being able to hear “Don’t You Worry Child” in person brought back childhood memories of happiness and comfort in seeing how far I have come since it came out on the radio. This was their first (and hopefully not last) time playing in Denver as they brought the heat to Ball Arena – quite literally. I have never seen so many open flame pyrotechnics inside a building and you could feel the heat all the way in the back. Hopefully I am able to see them again before they retire – or break up again.
I was able to see Liquid Stranger three times in 2022 and it got better each time. I saw him at Global Dance Fest during the summer as he played during the sunset with the Mile High Stadium in the background. Then, I saw him twice at Mission Ballroom – once for a throwback set and once for a regular set. All three were incredibly different, but my favorite was the regular set at Mission. Being on the rail there is such a special feeling and seeing his visuals that close is fascinating. I will never miss one of his shows!
I saw Illenium twice this year and both were insanely different. First was at Bonnaroo, and the second was during his Saint Nick’s Charity Drive at Temple NightClub. At Bonnaroo, he had all the fire, lights, and visuals; where at Temple, it was just him and the dj board where he played whatever he wanted. To enter his Temple set, you had to donate 20 non-perishable items. We also were able to meet him beforehand! I hope he does this every year because it was the perfect way to start my Christmas break.
In 2022, I was able to see Flume 4 times at Bonnaroo, Mission Ballroom, Red Rocks and NYE Decadence Festival. Each set was a different atmosphere which made it stunning each time. My favorite set out of all of these was Mission Ballroom. It is a medium sized venue and we had amazing spots with perfect views of the visuals and his live singers. He brought out Vera Blue, Laurel, and Kučka for these shows. Kučka was at each show and she always slays.
Being able to see Rezz twice in a year in two different settings was epic. Bonnaroo and Red Rocks were both incredible. Nightmare on Rezz Street 2 was spectacular to see at RR, and we were in row 6 so being fully immennced in the visuals enhanced the experience. This was over Halloween weekend, so the spooky vibes were the perfect match for the time of year. Rezz’s visual, production, and music alone all create a person show experience. Rezz Rocks 2023 here we come!
Zedd was my first ever show at Red Rocks. He played all of his bangers and it was even the 10 year anniversary of “Clarity”. His visuals were on another planet (literally felt like I was on Mars at one point) and unlike any other artist’s I have ever seen. He was one of my first EDM loves and floods back memories every time I listen to his music. It was a perfect way to start my Red Rocks addiction, and I am ready for the 2023 season to start!
Chris Lake B2B Fischer
These two go together so well and put on amazing show. They throw an annual Under Construction show in Denver, so it is a must for everyone. There were over 10k people in attendance and it was outdoors at the National Western Complex during the Summer. This duo plays at so many festivals around the world and knows how to capture their audience. There was a ton of dancing and amazing vibes in the air. This is an event I will have to attend every Summer now!
Fred put on the most simple yet high energy shows I have ever been to. His minimal visuals and lighting helps you fully experience the music itself. He played old, new and unreleased music creating a night we would all remember. I am craving another Fred Again… show and hopefully he plays Red Rocks soon!
Slander at Red Rocks
LSDream at NYE Decadence
Clozee at NYE Decadence
Excision at GDF, Mission Ballroom, and 1st Bank Center
Ganja White Night at NYE Decadence