2015 SnowGlobe Festival Preview: Our Top 10 Must See List
Once again, the people who put together the SnowGlove Music Festival seem compelled to outdo the certifiably insane festivities from the previous year. Indeed, we figured that the lineup from 2014, which included Skrillex, Porter Robinson, Zedd, and Flume, would be untouchable. But building upon their burgeoning brand recognition within California and beyond, this year’s production once again proves to be the biggest and best that we’ve seen. At the top of this year’s stacked lineup is Jack Ü, Kaskade, Dillon Francis, Chet Faker, G-Eazy, Eric Prydz, Ghostland Observatory, and Duke Dumont, but this just to name a few of the 52 total acts that will be gracing the south shore of Lake Tahoe between December 29th and 31st. And what’s more, they just released a truly delectable set of after-party lineups, which in previous years have provided the cherry on top of each face-melty, jam-packed evening. Remember, you have to buy your day passes first, and then you can buy the after party tickets here.
In no particular order, here are the artists that the Rabbits crew is most excited to see this year:
If there is one artist you just cannot possibly miss…just one individual who will command the stage with such brute strength and originality that to offer your valuable time to someone else would be to blaspheme his name, we at Rabbits would have to say this individual would be none other than NGHTMRE, who is a bass savaging, trap legend in the making. And no lie, this guy has barely even warmed up. Just a little over a year ago, the recent college finance grad turned producer hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina was merely a blip on the radar screen, if that. But things done changed after he was given an opening spot on the Electric Daisy Carnival lineup, and seizing this once-in-a-lifetime moment, he gave one of the best performances of the entire festival, thereby firmly staking a spot in the dance world. And by now, this guy has completely separated himself from the chaff. After remixing a veritable anthology’s worth of material, including everything from fellow trap icon Lookas to GTA’s smash hit, “Red Lips,” NGHTMRE is perhaps the most exciting rising artist gracing the stage during the three days of SnowGlobe. Make sure to see him on the very first day of the festival, and check out his after party later that night, which he will be co-headlining with his favorite collaboration partner, Slander!
Jai Wolf, like many on this year’s lineup, is an emerging talent who has recently built a reputation on infectious trap remixes of more established artists. But whereas his counterparts tend to turn the dials up as loud as possible, Jai has whittled out a little nook for himself on the lighter side of the genre. In place of the bone-jarring 808s and sub-bass that have come to define the trap scene, Jai incorporates nuanced, playful melodies overtop whimsical drum lines. Take, for example, his heady rendition of Odesza’s “Say My Name,” or the slightly turnt down, gorgeous rehash of Alesso’s and Tove Lo’s “Heroes.” This is not to say he won’t be bringing the heat when its his turn to take the stage smack dab in the very middle of the festival, but you should also expect him to dial it back a bit for a spectacular, one-of-a-kind sonic medley that will be sure to give you the right kind of chills.
This year, SnowGlobe has noticeably upped their hip hop game (which we seriously welcome), and the inclusion of Bay Area legend E-40 is therefore a perfect fit. Let’s get something straight, SnowGlobe has made its name as a Northern California music festival. Thus, while it attracts artists and attendees from all over the world, its setting of Lake Tahoe it is firmly owned and recognized by the Bay Area as one of it’s own. Los Angeles has Big Bear, the Bay Area has Lake Tahoe. That’s just how it works. So it’s only fitting that SnowGlobe gets the presence of one of the Bay Area’s prodigal sons straight from the early days of Bay Area rap. E-40 came from the streets of Vallejo and recording with his sister and cousin and rose to the top of the Billboard charts alongside artists such Lil Jon and Too $hort. We’re sure that a sizable contingency of locals will show up to demonstrate their support for Bay Area native, but considering that E-40’s crossover hits have resonated across the country in recent years, this set will be sure to appeal to everyone at the festival. Whether your favorite song is “Snap Yo Fingers” or “Sprinkle Me”, this is going to be party for all in attendance.
Run The Jewels
Another solid addition the lineup in the way of hip hop is Run the Jewels, who made an indelible impression on the Bay Area earlier this year at Treasure Island Music Festival, if not during their bruising main stage performance, then when they came out to rock the microphizone with the very recently assembled Big Grams (comprised of Big Boi from Outkast and Phantogram). Coming fresh off the campaign trail where he met with and introduced democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at his Atlanta stump speech, vocalist Killer Mike will be keeping it true to form and taking no prisoners alongside El-P during the super-duo’s new year’s eve set. Although these guys haven’t been collaborating that long, and therefore don’t have a ton of material to check out, what they have released so far is straight fire, and needs to find its place in your music library immediately. Songs like “Close Your Eyes (And Count to F**k)” and “Blockbuster Night Part 1” put these guys on the map, but perhaps no song captures the spirit of the season quite like “A Christmas F*cking Miracle,” which you can check out below.
Can we give some credit to the dancing and dynamic duo of Ghostland Observatory? The band has been lighting up dance floors and clubs with LEDs and laserbeams since before the phrase “EDM” was even coined. It’s hard to even imagine the new generation of electronic new wave bands without the influence of Ghostland Observatory. The two longtime friends, Aaron Behrens and Thomas Turner, spent 10 years gathering fans around the world at moderately sized venues before their star reached it’s highest point with their 2007 album Paparazzi Lightning, which featured singles “Piano Man” and “Sad Sad City.” There were two albums after that which added to their catalog in impressive fashion, but the band called it quits abruptly in April of 2013, citing the desire to relax and bathe “in the cosmos.” At long last, this past April (signifying a full two years since the beginning of their hiatus), the band returned to play a few select gigs and festivals in their home state of Texas, to which we hailed, “Welcome back Ghostland!” The only problem is that their shows have been sporadic and poorly announced. In fact, a quick trip to the band’s website doesn’t even mention the SnowGlobe gig! Regardless, we are relatively sure they are going to be there…and true to form, will feature an ensemble of instruments and synths that will blend together to form tantric electronic jams. And even if the music isn’t quite your style, the smooth moves of front man Aaron Behrens will definitely entertain. Who knows, perhaps following this show they will retreat back to their hibernation among the cosmos, so you had better check them out while you can!
When it comes to electronic music of any type, there is one rule that really should go without saying: always make it a point to see Eric Prydz if he is featured on a festival lineup. As one of the most prolific producers in the dance music industry, Prydz has an unprecedented library of music spanning his 15+ year career, and he has never even attempted to rest on his laurels. During this headline performance, expect to hear some of his festival mainstays (including “Opus” and ”Pjanoo”), but also be ready for something exclusive and unreleased, as he likes to do for big sets like this one. In fact, though it’s crazy to picture, Prydz is actually known for hammering out entire tracks in the cab ride to a venue he’s about to play. And it’s a long ride from the City of Angels to Tahoe, so who knows what this mastermind will be cooking up for the special people attending SnowGlobe. Not your typical EDM, Prydz’s style of progressive house will be sure to keep you moving and warm enough throughout his set on the second night.
If you’re looking for some of the freshest, most syrupy sweet beats that SnowGlobe has to offer, then look no further than Vanic. Hailing from the great white north (yes, even further north than Lake Tahoe), Vanic is has unexpectedly burst onto the scene from his home of Vancouver, BC, and even claimed the first edition of SnowGlobe’s coveted SnowTape mix series, which he released a couple months ago. While new to the scene, this man is not lacking any confidence (nor should he), as he proclaimed on his Facebook profile: “Huge step today. Quit my job to pursue music full time. Nervous and excited. Wish me luck!!” Knowing he only had 11 months to spruce up his portfolio before his festival opening set, Vanic dropped several of the most banging remixes of the year. Take, for instance, his remix of Lana Del Rey’s “West Coast.” The track opens with deep, exquisitely rich bass, and upon introducing elements of reverb and synth magic, Lana’s impeccable vocals take over. The end result is nothing short of nirvana. Similarly, Vanic spun Zella Day’s “High” into another plush remix that is (dare I say at such an early point of his career??) classic Vanic. In need of the feel good remix of the winter? Vanic’s got that too with his remix of “Can’t Sleep.” Try not to smile as you ride the bubbly ebbs and flows of this one…we dare you. If you need to quell some seasonal affective blues, this particular set will surely fit the prescription.
Morgan Then and Fletcher Ehlers first met at an EDM awards show hosted in Australia back in 2012. The duo that is now Slumberjack quickly realized their musical chemistry and thus started working together, releasing their first tracks the following year. Their breakthrough single, “Felon,” encapsulates their affinity for dynamic and ear-splitting percussion, which resonates perfectly underneath an equally varied set of crisp melodic samples. Slumberjack’s most recent self-titled EP (as well as their “Remixes” EP) continue to showcase this trend-setting style on tracks such as “Body Cry” and “Horus.” Together, their uncompromising approach to production and DJing is sure to keep dancers moving and shaking early in the evening on the third and final day of SnowGlobe. But don’t get caught thinking Slumberjack has one speed. Their music covers a wide range of tempo, intensity, melody, and mood. This is because their primary objective is to show you something familiar but also take you somewhere you haven’t been, so you should expect them to play off what came before them in the festival and try to shake things up. Regardless of what they decide, you can count on dancing until you sweat, even in the frigid Sierra Nevadas to which Tahoe calls home.
Hailing from Rabbits’ hometown of Los Angeles, 22 year old Justin Jay will be getting the ball rolling on a day chock full of fellow Dirtybird artists, including Claude VonStroke and Justin Martin. Although Jay might be the youngest member of the Dirtybird clan, he is definitely no stranger to the stage, and made his meteoric rise within the LA-based HARD festival circuit. Lately, he has been working tirelessly to branch out, and has spotted spinning his light and enigmatic grooves across the globe, including hitting venues in the United Kingdom, New York, and Canada. We couldn’t be happier that he’ll be treating us Northern Californians (and Nevadans) to his fresh, yet established repertoire of house genre music that ranges from deep house, techno, and even jazz. Let’s just say this, if his adept and fluid deejay style caught the attention of the world-renown Dirtybird fellas, it must be pretty damn noteworthy. Expect Mr. Jay to start to bring his San Diego swag to set the tone early on the first day of the festival.
David Burd, aka Lil Dicky, first emerged onto the scene with his YouTube music video “Ex Boyfriend” which hit over 1MM views within the first day of its release. Building on that success, he continued to release similar comedic-tone music videos such as “Staying In,” “White Dude” and “All K.” His buzz grew as he continued to carve his own lane with amazing concepts for each song and corresponding videos, while still managing to showcase great lyrical skills and overall solid hip hop songs.
Burd is originally from Philadelphia and began rapping simply for fun. He moved to San Francisco to work at an advertising agency, but always knew he wanted to be an entertainer. He had constantly been referred to as a ‘funny guy’ so saw comedy as a solid option to be an entertainer. He then saw hip hop as an avenue to get his foot in the door in the comedy world, and the more work he put into honing his rap skills and creating beats on his laptop, the more he realized that this was actually his calling. He began creating a catalog of concept driven songs and shot music videos for most of them, knowing that once he published something online he’d have to hit it hard. That’s just what he did, and Lil Dicky was born. If you’re asking “why the name?” Well, it simply entails his whole music style: hilarious concepts and lyrics while not sacrificing anything musically. He’s fully aware of how silly the name is, he’d prefer you just call him Dave.
To get a quick sense of what Lil Dicky is all about, check out his latest music video for the single “$ave Dat Money” off his debut album. Burd isn’t going anywhere and is only going to continue to grow, so make sure to check him out at SnowGlobe!