EDMTunes Icebreakers #8: What Is The Best Set You’ve Ever Seen Live And Why?

For many of our writers, joining the EDMTunes family has been a life-changing experience. Even though we all love our job, that doesn’t mean there aren’t aspects of it that sometimes get under our skin. One of the biggest issues is that we don’t often get the chance to voice our true opinions, which is why we have come up with a new series called ‘EDMTunes Icebreakers’.

When writing about song releases or news stories, we often remain objective in order to leave our biases out of the articles. That being said, we wanted to give our writers a chance to speak their minds as well as give our readers a chance to get to know us better. Every so often, our editors will ask our writers a question and they will answer with a few sentences. A handful of these responses will then be compiled into an article for you to read and react to. We hope the ‘EDMTunes Icebreakers’ series gives you a glimpse into our personal music preferences and helps bridge the gap between reader and writer.

The question is: What is the best set you’ve ever seen live and why? (It’s hard not to notice our team’s admiration for Porter Robinson and Eric Pyrdz)


The best set I’ve ever seen is without a doubt Eric Prydz at Ultra 2015. From the beginning, Prydz sucked everybody in, but the set reached legend status as soon as Rebel XX and those lasers kicked in. Those 90 minutes simultaneously felt like hours and also a split second. After Ultra 2015 it was the set everybody was talking about, and for good reason.


My favorite set has to be Gesaffelstein at Coachella 2015. I vividly remember leaving the tent completely blown away and satisfied. There’s something about the combination of his dark techno sounds, the black and white clothing with a cigarette in hand and the simple, eerie lighting that creates a performance like no other.


Wow, this is a hard one…but I will always remember Pumpkin’s Woogie Weekend set as one of the best sets I’ve seen. I was filled with so much joy listening to his intoxicatingly happy tunes as it started pouring rain. A bunch of house hippies singing and dancing in the mud, it made me think “this is what Woodstock must have felt like.” Listening to it now I’m still filled with that feeling of ultimate bliss. Especially now that he’s no longer with us, I am thankful I can flash back to that moment and feel so much love through his music.


GRiZ’s set during GRiZmas 2016 Day 2 has to rank as one of my favorite sets of all time. After a great first night, he put on some older tracks that he doesn’t usually play and reminded everyone why we love him so much. Everyone in the fan group talks about how this is one of the best sets they’ve ever seen after seeing him 10+ times. With iDa HAWK singing Christmas carols for the encore to close out the event, I couldn’t have asked for a better set.


My favorite set was last year at Coachella. It was RL Grime, and it was incredible because I attribute it to my venture into trap music. The lights were out of this world and I had never witnessed such crazy energy from the crowd and the production. Zhu kicked off the mysterious vibes before RL came on and got the crowd pumped up.


I’ve seen a lot of great sets but I think I have to go with Skylar Spence at Mysteryland 2016. It was as close to a perfect moment as possible. The sun had just come out, the stage had the rolling green hills of Woodstock in the background. Nu-disco was just the perfect genre for that moment and Skylar just killed it.


The best set I’ve ever seen has to be Deadmau5 vs. Eric Prydz at Hard Day of the Dead 2014. Witnessing my two favorite artists play a set together for two full hours was mesmerizing and exceeded every expectation I could have ever imagined. Being able to hear Prydz’s remix of ‘Turn Around’ into Deadmau5’s Strobe is a 20 minutes that I will never forget.


Madeon and Porter Robinson’s Shelter Live Tour in Houston would have to be the one to top my list. I got to see two of my favorite artists on stage together playing their own renditions of the other’s songs. The crowd had so much energy and knew every second of each song. I can only describe that set as pure fun. You haven’t lived till you’ve heard the shelter version of ‘Pop culture’.


My favorite set of all time is still the first time I saw Porter Robinson’s Worlds in concert. This was early on in his first wave of tours right after the album came out. The album was, and still is one of my favorite albums of all time, so naturally seeing and experiencing the show in all its glory was a top priority at the time. When I heard ‘Divinity’ everything fell right into place and Porter took me on a musical journey through different universes. I’ve seen a ton of sets in my life, but I’ll never forget that one.


My favorite set of all time was Justin Martin at Dirtybird Campout 2016. Even though I’ve seen Justin a large handful of times, this set was special because it was my first small, single stage festival experience and I was surrounded by so many amazing people. This was also the first time he played his remix of Björk’s ‘The Anchor Song’. I will never forget that moment and how everyone surrounding me was in just as much awe as I was, it felt like the world stopped for a moment.


My favorite set was in 2012 when Zedd played with Porter for his Clarity tour. I know this was a long time ago but it was a defining moment for me because Zedd was still up and coming and the crowd was small, which gave the show an intimate feel. ‘Spectrum’ got the crowd shuffling all over the place and I’ll never forget the energy and vibes show had.


My favorite set was Porter Robinson’s closing performance on Sunday at TomorrowWorld 2015. A few minutes into his set, the power went out inside the tent, and 5-10 minutes went by with no fix. Half the tent left and the true die hard Porter fans pushed to the front. When the power was finally back up, he announced he wouldn’t be able to do a live set like he had intended, but still had an incredible set with all of my favorite songs by him and some I had never even heard. Not just the music, but also the energy from all the loyal fans around me is what made this best set I’ve ever seen. Perfect ending to such an awesome festival.


The best set I’ve ever seen would have to be Porter Robinson at Coachella in 2015. It was literally everything about that moment. The warm desert breeze, the anime flickering on the screen, the group of souls that I loved around me and the music…. my god, the music- magic. I wish I had a time machine to go back to moments like that.


Guy Gerber closing out the Woogie at LiB. I was on a solo journey during his set, somewhere deep in the abyss and I remember pausing and looking around at the crowd during the prolonged clap echoes in one of his tracks and thinking oh my god this is it, I’ve found it. I will never forget that feeling!


2013. Skrillex. Minneapolis, MN @ First Ave. Skrillex does a 5-stop fall tour with Valentino Khan and Bro Safari and drops a 2-hour set of total anarchy. Not only that, it was at the legendary First Avenue (made famous by Prince) which made it the most intimate show experience I’ve ever had. It was like a secret unveiling that only a few hundred lucky people got invited to witness. Oh, and Skrillex threw down harder than ever.


If I had to pick one, my favorite set would be Eric Prydz on his Pryda Generate tour in SF in 2015. We were up front the whole time for three hours of non-stop Pryda and my friend had a custom made Eric Prydz shirt on. Prydz came down, gave my friend a beer, and said “I like your shirt”.


My favorite set all time was at JACKED NYE 2013 in NYC at Pier 94. Basic, I know. It was one of the first shows I had been to. Afrojack ended up playing a solo set, then went b2b for 6 hours straight with Quintino, Shermanology, and R3HAB.


RL Grime at my first LiB experience in 2015. I took on the festival with seven male friends, and we had this glorious dance circle the entire set. This insane combination of love, excitement and just straight GRIME was being transferred from DJ to audience. Clothes were coming off and drop-it-lows were exceptionally abundant, and I don’t think I’ve ever stank-faced so hard. weewoooo <3


Probably the best set I have ever seen was Eric Prydz at Phoenix Lights 2016. He was the featured headliner on day one of the festival, and he simply stole the show. It blew me away watching how thoughtful and significant every transition he made was, and how well paired the visual production was to match his performance. His performance was just so moving and virtuosic that it has stayed with me ever since.


My favorite set of all time has to be Armin van Buuren @ UMF 2012. He opened up with his edit of Omnia’s ‘The Fusion’ and continuously mixed in the dirtiest and hardest trance and progressive tracks of that year. Such a treat to see an Armin set that showed his expertise in curating a truly beautiful [a] state of trance.

What do you think of our writers’ answers? Let us know your favorite set in the comments!