On Friday, December 27th, Zeds Dead played their first of two shows in Chicago. This one was not sold out like the second, but it was still entertaining. Local duo Milk N Cookies opened first, getting the crowd hyped up for the night. Grandtheft was next, playing a variety of genres, but it was mostly rap and trap oriented. One of the crowd favorites was a remix of “Heads Will Roll” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. There were two more opening acts that added some different beats to the mix – Dyro and Madeon.


Dyro was absolutely amazing. While he has been making music and remixing on his own since last year, he really wasn’t on anyone’s radar until he was in the spotlight with Hardwell at the most recent Ultra Music Festival. The “Never Say Goodbye” collaboration with Hardwell featuring Bright Lights definitely put Dyro on the map, and he has become more well known in the EDM world because of it. He of course had to play it during his set on Friday. Dyro was even channeling Hardwell during his set; he asked the audience, “Where’s the energy?,” something that can be heard in many of Hardwell’s sets. Dyro played lots of hard hitting beats including “Sunrise (Won’t Get Lost)” by The Aston Shuffle and Tommy Trash, “Stay The Night” by Zedd featuring Hayley Williams, “Heads Will Roll” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and “Ghost” by Pink Is Punk & Benny Benassi featuring Bright Lights.


Another energetic set by Madeon came next. He has been remixing since he was 11, and won a remix competition for Pendulum’s “The Island.” At only 19 years old, Madeon, in my eyes, is an EDM genius, producing fun and innovative content for ravers. He interspersed original and remixed tracks, opening with an original track, “Technicolor.” Remixes that he played included “Illmerica” by Wolfgang Gartner, “Heads Will Roll” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Easy” by Porter Robinson and Mat Zo, “Raise Your Weapon” by Deadmau5, “The Night Out” by Martin Solveig, “Booyah” by Showtek featuring We Are Loud & Sonny Wilson, and “Stay The Night” by Zedd featuring Hayley Williams. Other original tracks that Madeon played were “The City,” “Icarus,” and “The Finale.” The last song was a medley of “The Island,” “The Night Out,” “The Finale,” “The City,” “Raise Your Weapon,” and other tracks he played during his set.


Zeds Dead kept the momentum going by playing a variety of EDM subgenres, including dubstep, trap, hardstyle, moombahton, and drum n bass. Both original and remixed tracks were played. One of the fun originals was “Ratchet.” Remixes that were played included “Aerodynamic” by Daft Punk, “All White Everything” by Young Jeezy featuring Yo Gotti, a trap mix of “Animals” by Martin Garrix, “Breathe” by The Prodigy, “I Don’t Care” by Icona Pop, “Watch Out For This” by Major Lazer featuring Busy Signal, The Flexican, & FS Green, “Blow The Roof” by Flux Pavilion, and “Eyes On Fire” by Blue Foundation. The music, for the most part, kept everyone raging, but there were a few moments when the crowd seemed to be lacking in energy and engagement in the show. At the close of the set, however, the audience shouted for, “One more song,” and did not want Zeds Dead to end.


Overall, the night was a success. The opening DJs brought different music with every set that was played, and Zeds Dead dropped tracks from other genres to basically cover the entire EDM spectrum. The lights and background screens added to the entertainment, especially when the lights were shot directly at the disco ball in the middle of the ballroom to make the whole place light up. From what I could tell, it was a good warm-up for the second show on Saturday. Everyone walked out in typical EDM fashion, chanting “U.S.A.” I’m not sure why it’s been yelled at the end of most electronic shows in Chicago, but I’ve noticed the trend, and when people do that, you know it’s been a good night.