Spring Awakening takes over Soldier Field in Chicago this weekend as music lovers come together to dance to their favorite DJs. The three-day line-up is full of massive headliners and rising talent across five different stages, so to help you plan your time wisely, check out our essential picks.
1. Martin Garrix
Martin Garrix captured the world’s attention with “Animals,” which dominated clubland. With his two current collaborations “Don’t Look Down” (with Usher) and “The Only Way Is Up” (with Tiesto), the 19-year-old Dutch phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down.?
2. Dani Deahl
With massive releases on Armada, Dim Mak, and Flamingo, Dani Deahl’s music blurs all the boundaries. Her recent TED Talk challenged the status quo boys’ club of the DJ world, and when you hear her spin live you will know why she is leading the charge.?
3. Ummet Ozcan
From trance to techno to big room electro, Turkish producer/DJ Ummet Ozcan morphs his sound to fit what he is feeling at the moment. Just take a listen to his gamer-friendly electro monster “Kensei” and flashback house jam “Lose Control” for a taste of the random and vibrant energy that he brings to his live sets.?
4. Jack U (Skrillex & Diplo)
This inspired pairing is the biggest DJ supergroup since Swedish House Mafia. Their debut album topped the US chart, spawning the club monster “Take U There” with Kiesza and the rising radio hit “Where Are U Now” with Justin Bieber. For their Midwest debut, there is no telling what the two mad men will have in store for us.?
5. Nicole Moudaber
Originally championed by Carl Cox, Lebanese/Nigerian producer/DJ Nicole Moudaber has achieved the title of Queen of Techno. Her debut album Believe is essential listening to get you in the MOOD, which just happens to also be the name of her record label.?
Whether you know him as Green Velvet or Cajmere, Curtis Jones is a Chicago-born legend. You probably know his first song “Coffee Pot” better as “It’s Time for the Percolator.” Add to that “Better Days” with Dajae and “Answering Machine,” and you’ve got a trio of legendary classics. That’s just scratching the surface as Cajmere’s musical journey is one you must explore for yourself.
Grammy award-winning producer Zedd really needs our support. The German DJ is still working through his feelings after the breakup with Selena Gomez. No need to worry though, his new album “True Colors” is just as good- if not better- than his debut “Clarity.” While everyone seems to be focused on the singles “I Want You to Know” and “Beautiful Now,” check out the songs with Bahari (“Addicted to a Memory”) and Echosmith (“Illusion”) for some colorful additions to your mp3 player.
8. Porn and Chicken
Hometown favorite Porn and Chicken have expanded their Monday night theme parties into a national phenomenon. The trio of Orville Kline, Phives, and Dom Brown really are “so ready to bang.” Check out their tracks “Whatcha Want” and “Leap Frog” for a taste of their sexy sounds.
Probably best known for “Don’t Stop the Party” with Pitbull, TJR is truly the king of bounce. It is simply impossible to listen to tracks like “Funky Vodka” or “Ode to Oi” without jumping up and down. The unwaveringly energetic and happy vibe is his musical signature, which is what he brings to all of his live sets.
10. Duke Dumont
The massive “Need U (100%)” catapulted Duke Dumont onto the scene and led the resurgence of classic-vibed vocal house music, dubbed Nu-House. His follow-ups “I Got U” and “Won’t Look Back” garnered universal club play and international radio support. While we await his forthcoming tour as part of a live band, his DJ set will be just as magical.
A few more that you shouldn’t miss: Eric Prydz, Paul van Dyk, Cosmic Gate, Shiba San, Zomboy, Hardwell, Morgan Page, Pegboard Nerds, Skream, Headhunterz, Inphinity + Klandar, Excision, Lane 8, MK, W&W, Eva Shaw, Andrew Rayel, Audien, Zed’s Dead, and Justin Martin