From time to time, an event, and an act, comes along that is so huge it redefines an entire genre. As soon as Eric Prydz announced details of his EPIC 5.0 show, the whole world held a sharp inhale of breath, well aware of the next-level production that would follow such an iconic live show. The Swedish genius, famed for his outlandish laser shows, and jaw-dropping visuals, had found the perfect venue to debut such a masterclass in the form of Creamfields‘ Steel Yard structure, a gigantic dome with rapidly rising pedigree within the dance community, propped in the middle of London’s Victoria Park. Always a hotspot for huge dance events, even by UK standards, this was a game-changer; with Prydz tickets selling out almost instantly on both first, and second release.
On a surprisingly hot day in the capital, the sun soakers were warmed further by performances from the Swede’s support acts; Weska, George Fitzgerald, Christoph, and Kolsch. A quartet in line with keeping the progressive feel to the day, the latter’s iconic hat-clad silhouette cut a dark and menacing figure to the rabid ravers gathered inside, with the anthemic ‘Grey’ splurging the sea of dancers into a wild frenzy. And with anticipation building, and the soft bouncy grass slowly being worn away by the moving feet of the 15,000 capacity, the time had almost arrived for the main event.
A man who can captivate an audience based on one single chord is a rarity, but in Eric Prydz, the term ‘artist’ blurs its lines between music and art itself. A perfectionist of his own trade, the preparation work going into EPIC 5.0 has been so much more intense than any of the previous EPIC shows. London slowly began to exhale, and so Pryda himself appeared, through a dramatic backdrop of smoke and darkness. A master of keeping track names under wraps through his flurry of unreleased IDs, there was no mistaking the opener, as Prydz switched between his three alter-egos effortlessly, mixing Prydz classic ‘Trubble’ with Pryda anthem ‘Axis’ and Cirez D masterpiece ‘Marquee’, first premiered at EDC Las Vegas last summer. Taking things to a very underground ‘techno’ feel, Prydz continued with the Cirez D trend, as rotating holographic images began to spin in 360 degree motions at the marvelling ravers gathered below.
With small sections of attendees still gathered at outside bars and food stalls, a sudden surge began to embark on the Steel Yard, running in through various entrances as the opening bleeps of the mighty ‘ON/OFF’ echoed around the arena. Knowing what was to follow, the thousands lifted their phones to capture the green dot flashing in the distance. What followed was one of the lasting memories of the night, and the experience as a whole, as the flash gave way to a few seconds of anticipation and darkness. In came the acapella of Green Velvet‘s ‘Hit Me With Those Laser Beams’ and the Steel Yard was transcended into a sea of thousands of flashing lime-coloured lights.
Continuing to amaze, the Swedish giant powered into the instantly recognisable progressive chords of Lillo, exiting his Cirez D phase and entering into prime Prydz territory. The track, which was dedicated to fan James Lillo, who sadly passed away after a battle with cancer, holds a special place in Eric’s heart for obvious reasons. And having tweeted his love for James before entering the stage, the DJ could be seen visibly wiping tears from his face as the track played through a stunning hologram of a rotating galaxy and solar system suspended over the heads of the crowd. Bringing in retro classic ‘Pjanoo’ and monster hit ‘Every Day’ with dark neon blue lasers bouncing to the beat, Prydz now had the crowd eating from the palm of his hand as he fused 2015 singalong sensation ‘Generate’ with the melodic chill of ‘Sunset at Cafe Mambo.’
And predictably, with the biggest track of the night still to play, the opening note of ‘Opus’ echoed out, to a huge cheer. A track that will forever be immortalised as one of the greatest dance productions ever made, the impossibility most will face is to ever locate a such an explosive drop after an almost never-ending progression. With lasers flashing, and ravers bouncing, Eric Prydz took to the front of the stage, arms aloft, to applaud his audience. At EPIC 5.0, the expectations of what to expect from a live dance show were changed forever. Eric Prydz sits firmly at the summit of production right now, and the term pioneer, often tossed around loosely, is one that is richly deserved on the evidence of this show. EPIC was the personification of epic, and Eric… we salute you!
— Eric Prydz (@ericprydz) May 28, 2017