Ultra Miami got its mojo back. It has been some time since the festival’s Zenith. And due to multiple factors like the COVID-19 Pandemic and a battle with the city of Miami, Ultra’s 2022 return after a two year hiatus left much to be desired. This year however, I will give them props for upgrading the experience and truly capturing the 2018 era energy that we all missed. With an insane (as always) lineup, seven stages, and limited time, it was impossible to see everyone on my wishlist this year. But here are my (emphasis on “my”) top three sets of the weekend.
Gryffin, has been on a meteoric rise for many years now and this marks his first time playing on Ultra Miami’s MainStage. Having released two well received albums, Gryffin has solidified himself in the dance world as a talent musician known for his melodic synths, guitar skills and sick mixes and drops. He’s collaborated with big names like Illenium, Kygo and Seven Lions. His Ultra set was a perfect combination of hard driven melodic bass with euphoric vocals and brand new remixes. He has posted his set on YouTube for everyone to relive.
“I used to sit at home and watch the live streams, dreaming that one day I would be able to play that stage. The fact that it actually happened this weekend is still giving me goosebumps.”— Gryffin in an email to fans
The last time Swedish House Mafia was at Ultra was in 2018 and it was one for the history books. Given their recent comeback to the Dance music world, expectations were high for this year, And they delivered. As the last set of the weekend, SHM did a perfect job of closing out a weekend full of insane production and high energy sets.
They went above and beyond in the use of strobes, haze, lasers and fireworks — all of which were time synced to perfection. Dropping several popular remixes from their latest album, it was a very well deserved homecoming to Ultra Miami and a welcome one at that. In fact, SHM blew past the 10pm curfew for Sunday and played 10 minutes over. Normally artists that go over the strict time stop get their music cut, but clearly the rules did not apply to SHM. You can watch the insane set here!
Eric Prydz has not brought his HOLO show back to the US since New Years weekend 2019/2020. I was there for two of the three shows that he performed at New York Expo Center and HOLO was seared into my mind as one of the most cohesive and immersive music experiences in the world. Since then, Prydz has been able to make updates to the show, incorporating the huge leaps in technology and animation. Words really cannot describe how mind-blowing this show is. There’s no official video uploaded, and to be completely honest, I don’t think there ever will be(given the nature of this show). However, you can see DestinationEDM’s YouTube video of a pretty decent recording in 4K! If you want to experience this live though, the next US show dates for HOLO will be at Coachella and ARC Music Festival.