Phoenix started its festival season with a boom last weekend. Relentless Beats brought Phoenix Lights to the Valley for the second year with an A-list line up with names such as Kaskade, Eric Prydz, Excision, MK, Tritonal, Bakermat, Claude VonStroke and many other rising stars of the EDM world, not to mention a roster of local electric talent.

Thousands of fans filled the grounds at Margaret T. Hance Park to dance the night away. The tunes were booming and the energy radiant, fueling us as we danced our bodies into exhaustion with solid build-ups and hard drops to keep us moving.

Upon arrival, festival goers were welcomed by a clever little monster of a stage (looking considerably like the Nickelodeon ‘Real Monsters’ character) just inside the entrance, where the DJ’s dropped their beats from inside the mouth of a monster (an over-sized LED screen). The creepy presentation was topped off with two floating LED panels for its menacing eyeballs and six articulating legs that shifted and churned as the beats dropped.

As the sun set and the sky darkened, smoke pooled from the stage made it even more spine-chilling. Home Grown Arizona Native Bijou played back to back with Ryan Collins, dropping the beats hard their version of Ghetto House Sound, killing the stage with drops of “F*ck The Police” and their collaboration, “Back it Up,” their sounds as monstrous as the stage.

Monster Stage

Dancing further into the festival, I quickly entered a state of shock from what I saw. On my right sat the main stage, the Mothership, bigger than any EDM stage at any other festival in Phoenix. Complete with larger than life visuals, lasers, confetti and of course, a massive sound system. Big names such as Kaskade, DJ Snake, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Eric Prydz and Yellow Claw to name a few throwing down major beats while keeping the crowd dancing all night long.

The favorite of the weekend, of course, was the EDM King, Kaskade took to the tables for an hour-and-a-half set, without disappointment (other than the end). Starting his set with his mashup of “Move for Me vs. Enceladus,” instantly started the crowd bouncing together and chanting to the song. He played fan favorites perfectly timed to strobing lasers, while mixing in a range of new sounds like Missy Elliot’s  new track, “WTF (Where they From),” then halfway through jumping up to dance and sing “Atmosphere.” He ended the night perfectly by winding us down and taking us back in time to the beats that made us love him,  “I Remember” perfectly timed lasers and unforgettable fireworks that lit up the Phoenix sky.

Kaskade - Phoenix Lights

Relentless Beats, no doubt, took Phoenix’s live music to the next level making it hard to fill the shoes for the next guy.  Left behind in the music scene, no more, Phoenix can officially say they’ve joined the ranks of the big boys. Really looking forward to seeing what’s in store for year three.