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Electric Zoo 2016 Day 1 Recap: Harambe, Bass(nectar), Anna Lunoe & More

By Ryan Middleton ryan.middleton@musictimes.com | Sep 03, 2016 01:15 AM EDT

Just like that, Electric Zoo 2016 Day 1 is already done and dusted. The festival got under way on Friday at three p.m. with acts across its five different stages. It was a heavy dubstep day, with like Bassnectar, Datsik, Flux Pavilion and Spor all joining the party. Others outside of dubstep who were highlights include Anna Lunoe and Way Out West, while Harambe was about as ubiquitous as he is on the internet. RIP. We were there to give you a play by play.

2:52 - There are some colorfully dressed people doing pullups on the scaffolding right around the block from my apartment on the approach to the 103rd street bridge. This should be interesting,

3:30 - Sound bleed is pretty bad during Illenium's set from Tigerlilly on the main stage. Update from later. The issue goes away during later acts.

3:55 - Illenium finishes off his set, which would be one of the best of the day, with his upcoming remix for Flume "Never Be Like You" and then The Chainsmokers "Don't Let Me Down." The set ended on the melodic dubstep he became famous for, but not before hitting some heavier dub and trap in between. He had the largest crowd of the hour. The hilltop tent is some sort of quasi winter wonderland with large icicles hanging from the ceiling and blue mesh along the back end.

4:05 - It is obvious that the crowd is here for dubstep and Bassnectar in general. There is so much Bassnectar apparel.

4:20 - Sam Feldt's crew is smoking a hookah in the media lounge. I thought I had seen it all.

4:48 - It took long enough, but there is the first Harambe shirt and certainly not the last. This one is the douchiest of them all, asking for "tits out for Harambe." Cool guys.

5:00 - A purple gorilla installation, which is usually at Electric Zoo, is by far the most popular animal there. Groups of people are waiting to take a picture with E Zoo purple Harambe.

5:10 - Second trend spotted - Pokémon. People are dressed up as Pikachu, have Pokémon signs or other apparel. Team Valor seems to be well represented #squad.

5:15 - Shaun Frank keeps the crowd on their toes with a mix of genres, veering between trap and electro, but keeping a base in house where his productions lie. The stage is the exact same octopus set up as last year. Somewhat disappointing considering all of the others were changes.

5:30 - The Sunday School Tent looks like the newly built Oculus. It is slightly different with two structures coming together in the middle allowing for some spillover to the outsides and space to look up.

6:00 - Spor was not for the lighthearted. The onslaught of drum and bass and dubstep did not stop or even slow down one bit his entire set. The fans loved it and he seemed to enjoy it as well.

6:20 - At this point the crowd is starting to fill in nicely, but it is clear this is the dubstep day. Felix Jaehn, who normally plays to crowds of several thousand at festivals, only has a maximum of one thousand people in front of him. He is putting on a very good set, but there aren't many people there to enjoy it. He has the Avicii hand moves down pat.

6:22 - More Harambe shirts. This time they are tasteful, saying just "RIP Harambe" with his face on it. RIP.

6:50 - Yotto keeps the mood at the Anjunadeep takeover of the Sunday School Stage, which can be hard to just pop into at times because the music is best suited for clubs or grooving for extended periods of time.

7:45 - The sunset is something drawn out of an impressionist painting and Instagram glory. It is stunning.

8:15 - Anna Lunoe is a beast. She mixes together whatever she likes and it works. Whether it is a house tune with "One Dance" or "Fade," or some harder house, she can do it all behind the decks.

8:20 - The Harambe trifecta is complete. Dicks Out For Harambe shirt spotted.

8:46 - Way Out West have the Sunday School Tent in a trance. Nick Warren is working a drum machine from time to time, which Jody Wisternoff busies himself on equipment in front of him. Their mixing is flawless. The set picks up energy as it comes to an end at 9 p.m.

9:15 - Lane 8 gets a few "woop woop" from the crowd - the ultimate sign you are crushing it.

9:35 - At last the moment all of the bassheads have been waiting for - their god, Bassnectar. The front rail is shaking pretty violently because of the people head banging with each drop.

10:20 - It has been a whirlwind set from Bassnectar. The hip-hop-infused dubstep has been on full display. He mixes in plenty from his new album Unlimited, but also digging back a little bit for some crowd pleasers. The visuals are the trippy and colorful look you expect from Lorin. The bass rattles you to your core well over 100 yards away from the stage.

10:40 - A water refill station has the sign "tips out for Harambe." They win. Of course I gave them one dollar.

10:50 - Cool down for the night before leaving with Âme and his very melodic, hypnotic house music.

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