The most memorable and iconic sets of the decade
Out with 2019, in with an entirely new decade. This new decade is a chance to start fresh, but it is also a chance to look back upon the 2010’s and reminisce over what it has given us particularly in the ever-growing world of electronic dance music. Unarguably one of the best decades for electronic music in history so far, there has been more iconic and awe-inspiring moments than anyone could list and a lot of those has been within the festival and live show circuit. In the spirit of feeling nostalgic, We Rave You has decided to list just a few of the most memorable and iconic sets that this decade has given us (in no particular order).
Eric Prydz – Tomorrowland Weekend One 2019
Although Eric Prydz has certainly put on many Tomorrowland performances over the years – becoming somewhat of a staple act for the ‘Disneyland’ of EDM festivals – there wasn’t a set that was talked about quite as much as 2019’s during the first weekend of the two-weekend Belgian spectacle. Named ‘Holosphere‘, this was his most ambitious and perhaps most technically advanced setup to date so far. Taking place at the inside Freedom Stage, a large sphere was placed onto the stage – where Prydz himself would be inside of – which would display graphics perfectly fit to the spherical shape (such as an eyeball that would look down upon the huge crowd). Unfortunately this was only seen once as the Freedom Stage tragically collapsed inwards during the few days before Weekend Two began, forcing Tomorrowland to turn it into a temporary outdoor setup in which the holosphere could not fit.
Swedish House Mafia – Ultra Miami 2013
Back in 2013, the Swedish House Mafia mainstage set at Ultra Miami was the most hyped up and talked about set of the entire weekend, and with it being their last ever show at the time before their split, it was no wonder as to why. This set was so momentous that it had every news outlet talking, and not just EDM-related ones with Rolling Stone even running a review on it. It felt like a highlight reel of the previous five years that the trio had spent dominating the scene together and as solo artists, so it felt completely right to choose the mainstage of Ultra Miami once again in 2018 to come back as big as ever.
Avicii – Creamfields 2012
This particular Avicii set was hailed as perhaps one of his ‘great ever’. Enjoyed by many artists and fans across multiple sub-genres in the scene, the diversity of the setlist was what was so enticing about it – it had something in it for everyone. It was so popular in fact, that BBC Radio 1 got a hold of it and Pete Tong premiered it as part of their iconic ‘Essential Mix’ series that sees the biggest and best DJs take over the decks for an extended mix. The 60-minute Saturday night set will live on as one of the biggest and best things to ever grace Creamfields to this day.
David Guetta – Minus 424: Dead Sea Rave 2014
Known as the party that was 424 meters under the sea in Israel, David Guetta took to the stage for one of the most unique and legendary events to have ever happened. Known as the lowest point on earth, approximately 13,000 people gathered from 7pm until 7am and it has been likened to the Middle Eastern version of Tomorrowland.
Hardwell – Tomorrowland 2013
Named by many as the ‘best set in Tomorrowland history’, Hardwell outdid himself in a big way with his Tomorrowland Mainstage 2013 set. The golden age of EDM is encapsulated perfectly in this set with a spectacular tracklist and a massively appreciative and energetic crowd. The live recording was even taken for an episode of Hardwell’s radio show, Hardwell On Air (episode 127).
Marshmello – EDC Las Vegas 2016
This set will go down as being memorable for a particular reason. It was the time where Marshmello revealed his identity to be: Tiësto?! Poking fun at the big mystery surrounding his real identity, the masked mogul teamed up with the Dutch powerhouse to playfully ‘reveal’ who he was and it had some people fooled for even just a short while. The moment itself has over 23 million views on Marshmello’s YouTube channel, and is what has helped this set to become so memorable for many.
Porter Robinson & Madeon – Coachella 2017
Marking the finale of the Shelter Live Tour which had seen them travel all over the world for their duo headline live set, Coachella in 2017 was set to be the place where Porter Robinson and Madeon’s Shelter journey would culminate. Named as one of the most memorable electronic collaborations in music history, they went big for the grand finale and took to the main stage for two of the biggest sets (one each weekend) of their careers. It was suitably emotional and beautiful, and was the perfect sendoff to an iconic tour that had been going on for a year.
Skrillex – Ultra Miami 2015
Setting the mainstage ablaze with hard-hitting drops with huge-scale pyro to match showed that Skrillex does everything on a big scale and there is simply no stopping him. Packing out the entire crowd space, it’s packed with plenty of iconic moments (such as when ‘First Of The Year [Equinox]’ is played or when DJ Snake comes out) but the biggest had to be when it unexpectedly turned into a Jack Ü set when Diplo joined in on the fun. Giving the attendees two sets for the price of one, they brought a lot of friends with them including Kiesza, Kai (who Skrillex sung live with), CL and Puff Daddy but the most screams came when Justin Bieber rocked up for some live vocal goodness. All in all, this set showed that Skrillex is one of the best multi-talented hard workers out there.
Above & Beyond – ABGT150 Sydney 2015
Taking to Allphones Arena, in 2015 Above & Beyond delivered one of the finest sets of their career. Evoking emotions like no other through the strong and diverse set list, their Group Therapy sets prove to be a spectacle that every fan has to witness at least once in their lifetime. Years later and this set proves to never get old!
Solomun – Boiler Room 2015
One of the most popular Boiler Room sets to this date (the video alone has over 41 million views on YouTube!), Solomun mixed old classics with newer tracks for crowds to fall in love with. It isn’t easy to create a set that can still be as timeless years down the line, but this set is one of them. With two hours of pure thumping beats, this is a testament to Solomun’s crazy talents.
Carl Cox – Space Ibiza Closing Party 2016
There’s absolutely no question that Carl Cox brought us one of the most insane sets of the entire decade with his nine hour marathon set for the closing of Space Ibiza in 2016. With well over 100 tracks in this monster set, history was made that night. Shutting its doors after 27 years of iconic parties and events, Carl Cox gave Space Ibiza the send off it truly deserved.
Skrillex – Red Rocks 2014
Red Rocks Amphitheatre is one of the most iconic venues in the world, and headlining is a great achievement for many artists. Back in 2014, Skrillex brought the full Mothership setup and one of the most insane setlists packed to the brim with classic Skrillex tracks. This set will forever be known as one of the best nights in Red Rocks history!
Salvatore Ganacci – Tomorrowland Weekend One 2018
Of course, before this set Salvatore Ganacci had a big fanbase but it was this set that truly put him on the radar. When this went viral online due to his crazy and eccentric dance moves and stage presence, the whole world was talking about it and it spread like wildfire. Videos of the set were hitting upwards of a million views and everyone fell in love with his unorthodox dance moves.
Armin van Buuren b2b Hardwell (II=I) – AMF 2017
One thing that AMF has done that sets them apart from any other event in the industry is the completely unique II=I (Two is One) concept.For the first ever II=I set, they went big and brought in two of the biggest artists in the game, Armin van Buuren and Hardwell. This moment was so big in fact, that on the lead up to it (during ADE) the announcement was made at Dam Square where they performed a mini set and showed fans what to expect.
Swedish House Mafia – Madison Square Garden 2011
Selling out roughly 20,000 tickets in around just 9 minutes, Swedish House Mafia became the first electronic act to headline the iconic venue. Undoubtedly a pivotal moment for the electronic scene as well as the trio, this was a moment that reminded us of the extreme power that the Swede’s have on the music scene as a whole. The set itself was the golden age of EDM encapsulated into one set, and it never gets old.
Steve Angello – Creamfields 2018
Everyone knows that a solo Steve Angello set is something special, but what sets this particular set apart from any other is the fact that it was his brand new ‘LIVE’ show. Like Avicii’s Creamfields 2012 set, this set was also chosen for a very special Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1 much to the delight of fans, as he chose not to have his set live streamed due to the pressures of debuting it for the first time with possibilities of messing something up. Unsurprisingly though, he didn’t mess up and it turned out to be one of the best solo Steve sets in history.
Kaskade – Coachella 2012
Fans – and Kaskade himself – shed a tear when the iconic Coachella 2012 set was deleted from SoundCloud but luckily, it has been uploaded to the internet again where it forever live on. “Honestly, I started thinking about my next Coachella experience shortly walking off of the stage in 2012” said Kaskade, and it was that same set that helped to solidify his place on the main stage later in 2015.
Porter Robinson – Second Sky Festival 2019
Porter Robinson’s ‘Worlds Live’ concept has changed and influenced the electronic live show scene so much that we knew we had to include it in our list but after playing so many of them over the years it was hard to pick which set exactly. It then became obvious: his only ‘Worlds Live’ set of 2019 at the first edition of his very own festival Second Sky. This set was extremely special to Porter fans all over the world as the famed show had taken a brief backseat to welcome Virtual Self into the picture, but it was back and with some added features. The most notable added feature was the addition of the Madeon collaboration ‘Shelter’ in which Madeon joined Porter on stage for a mini Shelter Live show reunion.
Eric Prydz – Space Miami 2015
Being hailed as one of the most diverse mixes in Eric Prydz’ career so far, the impressive 5 hour set included music from the likes of Jewel Kid, Gesaffelstein, Adam Beyer and many more amazing artists. As a gift to fans, Prydz uploaded the whole mix himself for people to enjoy and over the years it has become a fan favourite for many.
Martin Garrix – Sziget 2015
Closing out the festival in 2015 – where he has returned to multiple times and become a staple act for the festival – to a crowd of a monumental size who loved every minute, lots of fans are calling this his ‘best set ever’ and are still listening and watching religiously years later. The festival stated that Martin Garrix didn’t even want to stop playing, so much so that when he left the stage he continued with a 90 minute backstage set for friends and workers whilst it was pouring down!
Boris Brejcha – Château de Fontainebleau 2017
Performing an exclusive and intimate set for Cercle, it saw Boris Brejcha perform at the beautiful castle which is one of the largest French royal châteaux. With a set filled with his own music, this made for one of the most legendary sets ever performed by the ‘High-Tech Minimal’ artist.
DJ Snake – Arc de Triomphe
Paying tribute to his French roots in the most DJ Snake-like way possible, he became the first DJ to do a set on top of the iconic monument Arc de Triomphe. One of the most ambitious things to do, it was complete with an LED floor and one of the most beautiful backdrops for a set possible with the lit-up Eiffel Tower in the background. Complete with stunning drone shots, this is a must-see set and definitely one of the most rememberable ones of the decade.
deadmau5 b2b Eric Prydz – Electric Zoo 2017
One of the most anticipated sets in the New York City festival’s history so far, the electronic world was not prepared when legends deadmau5 and Eric Prydz put their talents together for an incredible run of b2b performances. One of the most memorable though has to be from Electric Zoo, where each and every fan who turned out to see the unforgettable set filled the atmosphere with electrifying energy that wasn’t to be forgotten any time soon.
ODESZA – Coachella 2018
ODESZA fans know that the duo always go above and beyond when creating their live audio and visual spectacles, so it was no doubt that they were going to deliver something truly massive for Coachella and that’s exactly what they did. Taking to the main stage, they debuted brand new lighting concepts, live instruments (like a breathtaking drum line), vocalists and – wait for it – actual drones! The drones were lit to form the shape of their logo and left witnesses with their jaws on the floor in a moment that no one will ever forget.
Armin van Buuren – Armin Only Embrace Vinyl set 2016
The trance legend has done some show stopping sets over the decade, but one that deserves a special mention was during his ‘Armin Only Embrace’ show in 2016 where – for a straight hour – he DJed exclusively on vinyl. With vinyl making a strong comeback within the last decade, it was a nice change of pace and interesting to see Armin switch up his style of performing once again.
Axwell /\ Ingrosso – Tomorrowland 2015
Bringing one of the most diverse sets to the Tomorrowland Mainstage, Axwell and Ingrosso brought their energy and best hits to the people of tomorrow. Featuring one of their best set intros ever and a track list that can only be described as mind blowing, it was a moment in history for the iconic festival and Axwell and Ingrosso too.
The Prodigy – Roskilde Festival 2010
Count yourself lucky if you have seen The Prodigy perform live. Forever one of the greatest acts to witness live, the energy is always off the chain with these guys, and their performance at Roskilde Festival is no different. With a massive crowd that roared with excitement every time they dropped one of their bangers, you can feel the energy and vibes of the set through the video.
Of course, we couldn’t include every single memorable and iconic sets that have happened over the 2010’s (that would be impossible!) but the ones above are just a handful of ones that deserve special mentions! What is the set that has defined your decade? Let us know in the comments below.
Image Credit: Rukes.com