On Sept. 16, Miami's Ultra Music Festival teamed up with New York — based dance label Ultra Records to present a stripped-down Ultra Music Festival New York in Central Park. With a lineup including the Chemical Brothers, Danny Tenaglia, Paul Oakenfold, Mylo, Erick Morillo and Timo Maas, the festival was poised to be the most significant dance event to take place in the city in years. Approximately 5,000 tickets were sold (a sell-out according to the Website), revealing that the increasingly mundane N.Y. dance scene still has some excitement left in the tank.
However, despite an enthusiastic and early-arriving crowd, a few kinks prevented the party from getting off on the right foot. Sound problems on the main stage kept Maas and Mylo from performing, which resulted in two sweltering side tents packed full of sweaty bodies. But the fans made the best of it with little complaining. Later, things picked up significantly when partygoers had the choice between Oakenfold on the main stage and Tenaglia in the Ultra tent. Capping off the night was a live set from the Chemical Brothers, when Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands proved once again that nobody is even close to eclipsing their standard for live dance music. The hit-laden set featured all-new interpretations of classics such as “Hey Boy Hey Girl,” “Out of Control,” “Block Rockin' Beats” and “The Golden Path,” and the Brothers' superb live remixing still stands as a model for all other live electronic dance acts.
— Justin Kleinfeld
The few technical flaws aside, props go to the Ultra Music Festival people for making this happen — nobody else has the guts to do this type of event in New York. The fans also deserve a hand for being patient and such good sports. If this had been a rock show, you probably would have seen chairs flying.
— Justin Kleinfeld