Of course there was a chick in a puffy white skirt pedaling a giant four-wheeled butterfly formed from two conjoined bicycles, at least half a dozen revelers dressed as party hard bananas and more flesh on display than a nudist camp composed solely of sumo wrestlers.
At 8 p.m. Friday at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the Electric Daisy Carnival officially began in all its awesomely absurdist glory and the need for pants and/or chest-covering fabrics officially ended.
It was a night as bright as day.
Everything seemed to glow and pulsate with color, as the 1,000 acres that formed the festival grounds emitted a supernova's radiance, and traversing the place was like entering a giant Lite-Brite or skinny-dipping in a lava lamp.
The main attraction, at least on paper, was the star DJs, the dance music prime movers who performed on six stages spread throughout the sprawling compound.
But the crowd was as much a part of the show as the artists themselves.
They came dressed as sexy bunny rabbits, sexy medical professionals, sexy superheroes, sexy Native Americans with painted faces and headdresses and sexy Ghostbusters (who knew such a thing could even exist?) if, that is, they came dressed in anything at all (bare chests, skimpy bikini bottoms and pasties were plentiful).
Aside from all the tanned and toned bodies on display, there were plenty of other diversions: Ferris wheels, bumper cars, a Tilt-A-Whirl and other amusement rides; stilt walkers covered in leafy green foliage; a black-clad drum corps stomping around; and a Fourth of July-worthy fireworks display that exploded above it all at 2 a.m.
Massive art installation pieces that looked like metallic insects or flowers or something a stoned H.R. Giger might dream up belched flames; a pair of metal towers shot bolts of purple-hued electricity that buzzed like angry wasps.
As such, it was easy to get distracted from the music, and perhaps this was the idea: rather than create an environment where the crowd merely stands and watches an artist perform, the Electric Daisy Carnival seemed more about attempting to cultivate an immersive atmosphere where the sounds were but a part of the experience, albeit a central one.
None of this is to suggest that the performers were an afterthought.
Far from it in fact, as the line-up on Friday was full of high-impact sets.
Moses couldn't part the sea of bodies that packed the Kinetic Field, where the headliners played on the biggest stage in North America, when superstar Dutch DJ Tiësto held court beginning at 1 a.m.
The capacity for that part of the grounds is 40,000, and it seemed to have reached that and then some, spilling into adjacent areas where Tiësto was a barely visible speck of red, the color of his T-shirt.
At festival gigs, nuance gives way to bombast, texture to sheer torque, and Tiësto was in full-on, fist-pumping anthem mode, playing favorites such as "Love Comes Again" to a crowd that bounced up and down like they were coated in rubber.
On the opposite side of the sonic spectrum, Richie Hawtin's set as Plastikman demonstrated that minimalist techno could still conjure maximum force.
Performing most of the time behind a circular wall of LED lights, Hawtin balanced ferocity and finesse impeccably with his heady, nonlinear electronica.
This was a night of contrasting aesthetics: as DJ Vice was enjoining the audience to go ape poo -- trust us, they needed no such encouragement -- Norway's Royksopp, one of the few acts to employ live instrumentation, was crafting alternately elegant and invigorated, meditative and poppy soundscapes while some crowd members lay in the grass in front of the stage, arms outstretched, making lawn angels.
Not long after Brits Skream and Benga unleashed enough bottom end to roil guts and cause indigestion on the aptly named Bass Pod -- a towering, circular lighting rig looked like a giant hamster wheel -- DJ Drop the Lime intermingled dubstep with rockabilly, transforming a surf standard like The Rivingtons' "The Bird's the Word" into a club banger.
Gradually, the night turned to dawn, with the reggae inflected Major Lazer providing a final burst of energy.
At one point, they played Jamaican folk standard "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)."
"Daylight come and me wan' go home," went its familiar refrain, which the crowd joined in on.
But clearly, not everyone embraced the sentiment.
To wit: As the audience filtered out into the parking lot at 6 a.m., some of them having taken in 12 hours of nonstop music, there was a dude handing out fliers for the after-party.
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at email@example.com or 702-383-0476.