Thursday night, Thump launched Up Next, “the destination for what’s next in dance music” with a free show sponsored by Samsung at Pier 84 by TOKiMONSTA, Duke Dumont, and headlined by the one and only Zedd. Everyone was warned to arrive early as space was limited and everyone knows that a name like Zedd will attract a big crowd. When most people hear “arrive early”, an hour before doors open is good, even excessive depending on the event. In this case, people started showing up two o’clock. The wait to get in wasn’t too bad though, considering there was a bar right by the entrance where you could get drinks and bring them back to wait in line. I had no problem buying a bunch of drinks since I knew there was an open bar waiting for me and drinking definitely helped the time go faster. Doors finally opened at 6:45, and people slowly trickled in. You can imagine how many people amassed for a free Zedd show and open bar over the span of three hours, and even though Pier 84 is the biggest public pier in the Hudson River Park, loads of people were actually turned away. At least Zedd took the time to respond to everyone who tweeted at him about it.
If you’re like me, once you got in you went straight to the bar for the free booze. The liquor was provided by Smirnoff, so they took some classic drinks and renamed them for the night: the Drop (vodka and club soda), the Strobe (vodka and cola), and the Splash (vodka and cranberry). My friends and I were among the first couple hundred people to be let in, so we stocked up on these drinks early. Good thing we did, because the bar immediately turned into a mob scene once they let in more people. I have a feeling a lot of people spent a decent part of their time fighting their way to the bar. Surprisingly, the drinks were pretty strong, which you wouldn’t expect to see at something like this.
The artists played on an LED structure, designed by 1024 architecture specially for the event. It looked kind of like a strange light-up geometric cage, but was awesome. While TOKiMONSTA and Duke Dumont played their sets, there were Galaxy 4S phones available which people could use to take pictures to send to themselves and even control the fireworks. That’s right. You picked the type of firework you wanted, then the color, then boom. Literally. Your fireworks went shooting up behind the stage. This is what they meant when they said “interactive fireworks display”.
When Zedd came on at around 9:00, everyone went nuts and rushed the stage, it was easy to tell most people were there for him. It’s easy to see why too. He really pumps up the crowd and you can tell he loves what he does. He seriously danced his little butt off. It was a great show. He killed it. The crowd lost it when he played Clarity. The only thing is, I was expecting to hear more of his own music. Instead, he played a lot of Swedish House Mafia. When I say a lot, I mean a LOT. Personally, I had a great time, but everyone loves a reason to complain and there was no shortage of remarks about this. During the finale, the lights and music stopped for a massive fireworks show. Earlier in the day, Zedd tweeted that it was going to be the largest fireworks show in New York City history. It did not disappoint.
All in all, it was a great experience. Free show, free drinks all night, sunset on the Hudson, and amazing fireworks show…What more could you really want?