Watching Fatboy Silm at this year’s Lockdown Festival, I gained a new level of appreciation for the DJ legend.
Known more as dance music here in Europe and the UK, the popularity of EDM is at an all time high. The sub-genre has grown from pill-popping, white-powdered raves in the 80’s and 90’s into a musical powerhouse, with the likes of Marshmello having adoring 5-year-old fans – what a contrast.
Modern artists like Calvin Harris earn a reported $3o0,000 per show in Vegas, whilst Diplo’s Major Lazer dominate the charts alongside Steve Aoki and Chainsmokers. Regardless of your taste in music, you can’t deny the serge of EDM dominance over the last decade. These are now the figure heads that will inspire the next generation but who inspired them? Music from everywhere probably but most definitely the Tiestos and Fatboy Slims of the world.
One of these dance music legends headlined the main stage on Saturday night at Lockdown Festival 2017. Fatboy Slim found himself hypnotising the Devonshire crowd for well over an hour at Powderham Castle in Exeter.
Unlike most other artists, Norman Cook is still relevant now, 20-30 years after breaking into the music world. Somehow, the 54-year-old was still the most energetic person in the field. He played the crowd like puppets as he blended a continuous sound of electronica and recent hits mixed in with some unlikely tracks such as White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’. It was captivating to watch him as he let his air horns blast, rolled around on the floor and, of course, danced like a dad. Not in a cringey way though but in a way that makes you want to join in. With nearly 30-years of performing experience under his belt, it’s fair to say Fatboy Slim has nailed down his set.
Lockdown Festival’s large screen on the main stage worked as a perfect backdrop for Fatboy Slim’s customised animation that really added to the performance. While ecstasy pills were spinning around on the screen, it became apparent that for new DJ’s entering the music scene, Fatboy Slim is the level of professionalism they should strive towards. Despite performing for so long, Fatboy Slim dropped current chart hits as well as renowned Ibiza bangers and all-time vintage classics that slung you back 20-years. Can you honestly see Chainsmokers doing this in 20-years time? Not impossible, but unlikely.
The next generation will fall in love with EDM because of currently popular artists. However, legends like Fatboy Slim and Tiesto have set the standard very high and nearly unreachable. It’s not a playlist of lit songs to these guys; it’s about curating an unforgettable experience for the crowd whilst they’re on stage. That is what emerging artists should strive to achieve.