Mad Decent Block Party, Washington D.C. [Event Review]

August 6, 2013 -

Brett Blackman

As an avid fan of Diplo and the empire he's built, conveniently called Mad Decent, I was excited to cover such an event for Daily Beat. Arriving at the venue, party goers dressed in ridiculous outfits (neon tank tops, snapbacks, unicorn heads, and telly-tubby suits) flocked the main stage of Merriweather Post Pavillion, where acts such as Anamanaguchi, Lunice, RiFF RAFF, SBTRKRT, and many others were set to perform. Let me take you readers on what I (and Lyle, our photographer) thought of the highlights at the Mad Decent Block Party 2013.


mdbp-30Lunice, better known to be 1/2 of TNGHT, put on a dark, hip hop infused underground "trap" (if you must,) set, which revolved around tracks written by him, TNGHT, and many other well known hip hop artists. The highlight track of his set was definitely when he played "Body Party" by Ciara, in which he prompted the crowd to "take a breather, because I like to breathe."

On my way to the event, my friend (huge fan of dubstep) was excited to see Skream preform his signature dubstep DJ set. But was that the case? Following the recent controversy revolving Skream feeling "uninspired" by dubstep, we got a taste of his new interest in house, UK bass music, and disco. The highlight track of his set was Jack by Breach.

RiFF RAFF, or Jodi Hirolla, stepped on stage with a plethora of props. Champagne, vodka, squirt guns FILLED with champagne, and his posse stormed the stage, relentlessly squirting the crowd, and being an overall menace to the press photographers in the photo pit (no hate though, that was definitely fun. He performed 3 or 4 songs before RiFF himself yelled into the mic "F*CK Y'ALL," dropping the mic and leaving the stage. The crowd was flabbergasted, the music was cut, and I was very confused. We later found out (according to his twitter) that, well, you can interpret it for yourself.

Screen shot 2013-08-04 at 1.03.01 PM


Thankfully, Aaron Jerome, better known as SBTRKT, was there to save the day. He put together an intricate and varied set, opening with Hold On, and flexing his song choice skills by playing tracks that ranged from his own Wildfire to Started From the Bottom by the champagne papi, Drake. Knowing both SBTRKT and the kind of crowd that was present at the event, I would be lying if I were to say that I was nervous about how people would react to his set - but I was pleasantly surprised to see that people were vibing out to it.


Ah yes. The kings of turning up, rolling up, and everything in between. Flosstradamus played a set you would expect them to - lots of hip hop, and that signature combination of 808s and hi pitched synths called "trap." The highlight of their set was definitely when they debuted their remix of Major Lazer's "Bubble Butt" (the world's catchiest song), which the crowd instantly reacted violently to (not the bad kind of violence... the kind of violence where your trap arms wander so far out that you're hitting other peoples' trap arms).


The masters of dirty wobbles took the stage after Flosstradamus, putting on the first act where the intensity of the bass actually disturbed my well-being. Zed's Dead put on quite the eclectic show, switching up the genres and bpm often - going from the typical 140 to 110, to 128 to even drum n bass. These dudes impressed me, and I got more out of what I was expecting of them. Highlight track played: Eyes On Fire (Zeds Dead Remix) - Blue Foundation.


And of course, Major Lazer put on the most outrageous show out of them all. The amount of excitement was palpable as Diplo, Jillionare, & Walshy Fire took the stage. The trio began by throwing whistles into the crowd, followed by signature crowd interactions which included: taking our shirts off and throwing them to the drop of Jah No Partial, bringing girls up to the stage during Express Yourself and Bubble Butt, performing a crowd sit-down (then jumping at the drop of Cannonball by Showtek & Justin Prime) and finally chanting "MAJOR LAZER" at the end of the last track, Get Free (Andy C Remix). Amazing, amazing energy throughout the entire show - if they ever come to your town, do yourself a favor and experience their performance. Highlight track of the set: Get Free (Andy C Remix) - Major Lazer.

And with that, I bid you festival goers a good bye and see you soon. Enjoy more upcoming festival & event reviews on Daily Beat in the future!

P.S. for more photos and to see our stunning Instagram photos, follow and check out the one below!


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