Any music lover would agree that they've had enough of their family considering they spent it with them on Thanksgiving and Christmas. New Years Eve is the last of the holiday season and therefore should be spent at something a little more epic, which is why we traveled out to San Francisco in search of its biggest party. It didn't take long to find our winner. The first ever 'The Big One' landed in Bill Graham Civic Auditorium with a wild combination of artists including The Flaming Lips, Tycho, Ratatat, and much more.
Cover photo by Tony Contini
Our night began at the main stage with Geographer, an indie electronic group that performed as a live band. Their set slowly reeled in an audience as the floor filled up to their eclectic sounds. We roamed the venue to find an extremely comfortable setup that included fresh water fountains, bars, coat check, massage specialists, and the seating stands that gave us a phenomenal view of the performances. On top of all this there were several art installations on the second floor including an 'Art Science' exhibit that demonstrated how chemistry and physics could create interesting visuals.
Next we were joined by Tycho's live performance which was as beautiful as usual. For those who have yet to catch a live show by Tycho you could expect something dream-like and surreal. His work as a graphic designer correlates perfectly to his music with vivid visuals that follow through the journey of his performance. We were also lucky enough to catch his DJ set later in the night that went way deeper into minimal progressive house music.
Next up we had a solid round Dirtybird with performances by Will Clarke and Worthy. We had to admit that both guys threw down the most dance-worthy sets of the night. Their abilities to psychedelically mix booty-poppin tech house beats fit in perfectly with the vibes of the event while taking things into a much deeper level.
As midnight got closer we headed into The Flaming Lips' headlining performance. The energy of their set was beyond anything we could have ever imagined. These guys played their hearts out with some the trippiest indie rock style we've ever heard. Their performance progressed in unpredictable ways whereas their stage antics made us feel like we were in the middle of our favorite childhood cartoon.
The countdown eventually began leading to an explosion of confetti and hundreds of colorful balloons on the dance floor. The group tore it up with a powerful ambient track that fit with the emotionally optimistic excitement of the audience. They continued to kill it for the rest of their set that easily became our favorite performance of the night.
We were joined later by the electricity of Ratatat, a real treat for everyone in attendance. Ratatat's cult following made their set one of the most anticipated and talked about sets of the night. They performed their biggest tracks from their past five records with a perfected sound quality that completely blew us away. The lasers lit up the crowd as the duo tore through their guitars and various instruments in a perfect combination of rock and dance music. The performance was almost unreal, we could not believe that we were witnessing something so epic on New Years.
The night closed off with a bass-heavy set from Gramatik on the main stage on top of performances from Thiftworks and Pumpkin on the side stages. Overall we experienced one of the most lucidic New Years events ever and the Bay Area crowd was nothing but positive vibes as always. We were extremely satisfied with our experience and we look forward to checking out more events by Another Planet Entertainment in the future.
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