The Mad Decent Block Party has become a premiere event of the summer over the past few years, and 2012 was its biggest year by far. Founded in Philadelphia, Diplo's Mad Decent label has been running this party since 2008, and has developed quite a reputation since then. Having grown too large for the side streets around the Mausoleum at 12th and Spring Garden, the MDBP moved to the Great Plaza this year and it still wasn’t big enough. The throngs of people infested the grounds the second doors opened, and it just kept filling up all day.
The crowd was passionate, energetic, and for the most part, engaged the entire time. While there were some grumblings about the selection of the lineup, one must dismiss that as misguided bitterness. The Mad Decent Block Party is an experience that is like few others; a completely free event with some of the most talented artists in music today. Mad Decent has done a fantastic job representing that talent.
This event started in Philly, it promotes the style and flavor of Philly, and as we all know, Diplo is a Philly hero. The Mad Decent Block Party has grown and transformed into a massive summer celebration nationwide, but for those who attend the Philly showcase each year, you'll always remember where it got its start. Here are a few highlights from Saturday afternoon.
We couldn’t have been happier that Flosstradamus was added to this show. Their stock has been on the rise since their remix of “Original Don”, and they showed us why they are such a hot commodity. Trap has made a resurgence in the music scene, and this Chicago duo is at the helm of the revival. The set they threw down fit in perfectly with the vibe Mad Decent was going for on Saturday, and they had countless selections that were spot on. A trap remix of Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games”, their “Hood Fantasy” mix, and own original “Test Me” were great picks, but what really highlighted their set were three of the biggest trap remixes out right now; Luminox’s “Epic” remix, Baauer’s remix of their own “Rollup”, and Candyland’s “Sandstorm” remix. This summer has been huge for Trap music, and you can bet that any show Flosstradamus plays their exposure is going to keep increasing.
When you look at Riff Raff you just have to smile. This guy has created (and owned) a number of eccentric looks and styles, and it really just translates into his flow perfectly. Rapping over numerous Dubstep and Moombahton drops, Riff Raff definitely put on a high energy, high quality show. Whether it was heavy bass or Luvstep, Riff Raff found a way to fit his verses to the tracks. The highlight of his set was definitely a verse over Flux Pavilion’s remix of “Cracks”, a track that music lovers have come to embrace as one of the top Dubstep anthems. Goofy style or not, this guy knew how to put on a show.
This Aussie heartthrob has become a familiar name in the Moombahton movement, and her set was a great example why. No selection was questionable, everything flowed and fit in very well with what the crowd expected, really playing on each reaction quite well. Her collaboration with Reija Lee has gained her notoriety over the last few years, as well as all of her releases on the Mad Decent imprint, and one particular track grabbed the crowds attention above any other; Dillon Francis’ remix of “Broken Hearts”. Great Plaza exploded the second that track dropped and became one of the high points of the entire day.
Bonde Do Rolê
While Bonde Do Rolê has garnered an international following, the Brazilian trio received mixed reviews from the crowd on Saturday. While they sampled a number of popular tracks and brought a very high energy to the stage, their overall set was somewhat unfamiliar to the audience. Nonetheless, they brought a party to the stage, whether it was fans chugging milk or Taco costumes. Some big tracks from their set included the international hit from Portugese superstar Michel Telo “Ai Se Eu Te Pego”, a wicked sample of Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough”, and the crowd-pleasing selection of “Riverside”.
DJ Sega has been a staple in the Mad Decent Block Party since it’s inception, and it was only fitting that he perform before Major Lazer. His mastery of the turntables was apparent throughout his set, mixing and selecting tracks that were truly awesome. You honestly just found yourself saying “How does he do it?” What also set his performance aside was the number of Diplo tracks he played, considering Diplo would be performing a Major Lazer set and not his own. We all know that the inexperienced and relatively new fans of the MDBP were there for Diplo, so it was only right to get a few of his tracks in. A Philly Club Music remix of “Express Yourself”, “Original Don”, and what seemed like a 30 minute mix of “Internet Friends” highlighted his set, providing the perfect bridge for the main event, Major Lazer.