Best Set:  Markus Schulz Pool Party on Sunday

Markus was slated as the headliner in the Paris Theater on Friday night guaranteeing that the Groove Cruise night one would go late into the early hours of Saturday morning.  Markus’ didn’t disappoint with a deep trance set that included only a handful of vocal tracks.  It was Markus being Markus.  While that was definitely one of our favorite sets of the weekend (and one of the longest) it was his secret Sunday set that everyone was talking about after the Groove Cruise.  Word started trickling out amongst the Markus faithful on Sunday afternoon and the crowd gathered around the pool by 5 PM seemed to be in the know that the “secret guest DJ” would be one of remarkable significance.  When Markus finally took the decks after Anthony Attalla, there was barely any standing room available around the pool as the cruise ship set sail from the port of Ensenada.  With the Carnival Inspiration heading back to Long Beach, the wind pushed gently over the crowd creating a surreal effect as the sun started to set.  It was only a two hour set but it felt like the whole night had passed by the time it was over.  While Markus’ only hinted at some of his recent hits on Friday night, mixing in only a few sequences of the tracks, he gave the crowd what they wanted with his two huge collaborations “Loops & Tings” and “Romper”.  Experiencing those tracks along with Markus’ touch on Armin Van Buuren’s “This Is What It Feels Like” on the top deck of the cruise liner while sailing in the middle of the sea was the best single set and experience a DJ put on during Groove Cruise LA 2013.  If you were there, consider yourself lucky to be a part of it.

Contributed by Ronnie

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Markus Schulz at Groove Cruise LA Rooftop Pool Deck.

 

New Favorite Artist: LuJan

The Phoenix, Arizona native is a rising star in his home city but he’s not a household name just yet.  Groove Cruisers got a good taste of why he’s so popular in AZ.  He played a two hour set at the Silent Disco on Friday, but it was his Casino slot on Saturday that really brought in the new fans.  The Casino stage was set up right in the middle of all of the stages.  If you wanted to get from the Pool Party to the Paris Theatre, you had to go through the Casino.  You knew the DJ was doing it right when the Casino stage started to get packed.  As fans went through the Casino, they stopped and stayed for LuJan on Saturday night.  Even as big time headliners were getting ready to take over the Paris Theatre, it was the high energy mixing and party of LuJan that kept a solid crowd in attendance until 2 AM.  Count us as some of the converts.

You can listen to our favorite of LuJan’s sets on the Groove Cruise right here!

Contributed by Ronnie

 

Best Party: Rising Music

TJR, Nom De Strip and Chris Lake.  We knew this one was going to be a can’t miss stage- Chris even said it himself in an interview with Rabbits Black before the Groove Cruise:

“Yeah, it’s a great party, there’s no point really going anywhere else. It’s all gonna be with us, you know. I feel sorry for anyone that’s up against us, poor bastards, no one’s going to be there.”

Well it all lived up to the hype.  The Rising Music trio wasn’t blessed with a fortunate time slot.  It was high 80s on Catalina and Chuckie and the Dirty Dutch team took a lot of energy out of the crowd dancing at Desano Beach club under the sun.  Coming  back to the boat and getting right into the swing of things wasn’t easy, but if you were able to catch this stage in the late evening on Saturday, you witnessed the best party of the weekend.  There were more DJs and artists in attendance for these three then we saw all week at any one given stage.  There’s another way you can tell it was going off beyond belief.  We talked to some of the hired dancers who were working all weekend and they even said that Chris Lake gave them the best party to dance at.  They can’t be wrong, they were on stage!

Contributed by Ronnie

 

Best Headlining Act: Morgan Page at Papas & Beer in Ensenada

We knew Morgan Page could bring it, but we weren’t prepared for what we got in Ensenada!  As the headlining act for the shore excursion party on Sunday, Morgan Page was definitely dealt a challenging time slot.  After two days of partying no one would have blamed the Groove Cruisers for being a little tired on Sunday afternoon.  We have to give credit to the Groove Cruise organizers for selecting the absolute perfect venue in Mexico for Morgan’s set.  We were a little worried when we saw that the party was scheduled for the tourist trap that is Papas & Beer, but the expansive private upstairs venue above the club was just what everyone needed to get in the mood.  With a setting that would remind any 90s raver of the underground warehouse scene that was popular during that decade, Morgan Page delivered in spades.  Mixing his vocal hit tracks with some hard-hitting deep house, it was a club-banging set that rattled the walls of the concrete floors and arena.  The huge venue was packed to the brim with Groove Cruisers and reaffirmed the fact that the Groove Cruise never stops partying.  Morgan’s transition from his single “In The Air” to the remix of “Summertime Sadness” was especially enchanting.  We were lucky to get back to the boat, because that party could have lasted forever.

Contributed by Ronnie

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Morgan Page at Papas & Beer in Ensenada, Mexico.

 

Most Played Track: Avicii’s “Wake Me Up”

Have you guys heard the new Avicii song “Wake Me Up”? Yes? Ok great, because it’s a staple in most EDM sets right now. It actually became comical when the 5th different artist played a version of Avicii’s crossover radio hit in the first day and a half of the Groove Cruise. This of course is a necessary risk in a genre of music with such a large amount of sampling and remixing in proportion to original production. Avicii wasn’t performing on the ship, however, so it’s not as bad as Modestep playing Knife Party’s biggest single “Bonfire” at Lollapalooza this year two days before Knife Party headlined the same stage. Keep it fresh.

Contributed by Ryan

 

Most Unique Set: Dsk Chk’s Sunrise Performance on Monday Morning

Dsk Chk played several sets this past weekend and has become a staple of the Groove Cruise, but he provided a truly unique and artistic twist to his sunrise set Monday morning. The entire weekend was a non-stop party with banging sets on stages, in pools, on beaches, and even in hallways, but nothing was tailored quite as beautifully for the moment as this 6am set as the sun rose over the Long Beach harbor. Groove Cruisers who had been partying for three long days filtered up to the pool deck from the various levels of the ship — from room parties, late night naps, and whatever adventures Sunday night had in store for each person. Those that were still awake or just rising were greeted by an artistic showcase. The self-described performance DJ wears a Guy Fawkes mask as a condition of anonymity which in his words “allows anyone to be whoever they want to be.” Additional masks were handed out to several members of the crowd and some people brought their own. As the dawn started to creep over the giant cranes in the Long Beach harbor Dsk Chk began his performance with a pre-recorded narrative welcoming everyone to join him in this final musical experience, easing the weary cruisers into the end of their weekend-long adventure. It really was a performance set, much like a one man EDM play. Each track increased successively in tempo and force until the sun finally rose, the beat dropped, and the pool deck was once again full of dancing cruisers. Dsk Chk expertly weaved a story line into a crafted EDM set and was able to perfectly capture that moment in time.

Contributed by Ryan

We’ll have more coverage on the Groove Cruise all this week.  Check back on Friday for our exclusive photo album from over 72 hours of Groove Cruise insanity.  We are also bringing you exclusive interviews from on-board the ship with Markus Schulz, Morgan Page, Donald Glaude and the EC Twins.  The fun isn’t over yet!

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