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High winds shut down EDC main stage, Kaskade Saturday night

Updated May 19, 2019 - 9:14 pm

Mother Nature huffed and puffed and blew Kaskade down.

The superstar DJ was one of a handful of performers who had their sets canceled on Saturday night at the Electric Daisy Carnival as a precautionary measure due to high winds, which shuttered the main Kinetic Field early, recalling 2012, when the same thing happened.

Still, the show went on and there was plenty to see and do before and after the plug was pulled in some places.

To wit, here’s five of the coolest moments we’ve seen from EDC thus far.

Dubstep at Kinetic Field?

Yeah, we get it, dubstep’s often dismissed as the EDM equivalent of guzzling a Busch Light tallboy from a brown paper bag while everyone else is downing flumes of Dom Perignon — and to be fair, dubstep fans probably do guzzle Busch Light tallboys from brown paper bags. (Kidding! We all know they prefer room-temperature Schlitz.)

Seriously, though, with its incessant bass wobbles and blunt meat cleaver rhythms, the music is the black sheep of EDM — the populist, bro choice; the scene’s Nickelback — at least to some electronic dance music snobs, err, purists.

As such, dubstep acts are seldom featured on the massive Kinetic Field.

And so when Canadian dubstep favorite Excision took to the stage at 3 a.m. Saturday, it was a chance to experience that signature pummel in a larger context than the smaller Basspod and Wasteland stages where the music normally reigns.

And Excision took full advantage of the platform.

There’s a certain primal thrill in getting waylaid by beats that hit like an angry landlord pounding on the door of a late-paying tenant amid a monstrous crowd of 20,000 or so, a number of whom were headbanging.

Look, there are times in life when everyone else is playing touch football, musically speaking, and you just want to knock the snot out of someone, you know?

Smashing cars with robot hands

(Big giant metal) hand in the air if you want to smash a car with a big giant metal hand.

Yeah, us too.

And so we did just that on Saturday night.

Per usual, there are tons of cool art installation pieces at EDC — 80-foot-tall, flower-adorned towers that belch flames, tree-looking sculptures that belch flames, flames that belch flames — but undoubtedly the coolest this year was The Hand of Man, a massive robo mitt with which you pick up a junkyard car and further destroy it.

A smashed car is seen by The Hand of God during the second day of the Electric Daisy Carnival a ...
A smashed car is seen by The Hand of God during the second day of the Electric Daisy Carnival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 19, 2019. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto

Here’s how it works: First, a nice lady with a British accent wearing a leopard-print shirt gives you some pointers on how to work the thing (you have to dig into the car with your robo-thumb to get a good grip, then you flick upward for maximum crushage).

Next, you sit on a hydraulic platform, get buckled in, slide your pathetic human hand into a metal glove contraption that controls the awesome robot hand as a friendly fellow with a ponytail offers you words of encourage while elevating said platform 10 feet in the air.

Now, you slowly maneuver the hand down, its movements highly deliberate, dig that thumb into the engine block, flick back the wrist to lift up the soon-to-be-flattened car, then drop the sucker in an intensely satisfactory whoosh as onlookers with eyes flooding with envy watch from behind a chain link fence.

And then it’s time for a big giant metal handed high-five for us.

Saturday’s not-so-secret secret

The surprise wasn’t really a surprise, but no one cared that the surprise wasn’t really a surprise because of who the surprise was.

“We’re in the biggest party in the whole wide world right now,” Skrillex howled during his unannounced performance at the Circuit Grounds on Saturday, word of which had made the rounds by the time he hit the stage at 10:30 p.m., hence the super-sized crowd he drew, this Big Gulp of people.

With legs like pogo sticks, Skrillex seldom stops pinballing around the DJ booth, often clambering atop the thing, and his musical tastes are similarly restless — he’s likely the only dude here who’d segue from Daft Punk to Pantera, which he did midway through the meticulously cultivated chaos of his rabidly received set.

In terms of song selection, Skrillex both bounces and broods, at times favoring R&B as bright as the jellyfish that pulsated across the massive video screens all around him (his collaboration with Poo Bear on “Would You Ever”) and equally buoyant, chest-pounding hip-hop (“Febreze,” his cut with Diplo and 2 Chainz).

But this is the former frontman of post-hardcore emotives From First to Last, remember, and he applies the same outlook to his music now as he did back then: Why say something when you can scream it?

David Lee Roth goes EDM?

There David Lee Roth was, mouth moving at speeds rivaling the 126-beats-per-minute pace of the Van Halen classic he was speaking of.

The song was “Jump,” which house mainstay Armin Van Buuren recently remixed.

With Van Buuren set to perform at EDC on Sunday, Roth hit the fest on Friday after performing with the DJ-producer at Kaos at the Palms earlier in the day.

Holding court in the press lounge, Roth expounded upon his appreciation for dance music, technology and the 24/7 city Las Vegas, all of which he deemed to be interconnected.

Dubbing himself the “patron saint of midnight,” Roth mentioned that he was visiting various Vegas properties for a potential residency here.

“I’m not just a singer, I’m a perspective,” he said more than once.

Perhaps we’ll hear that again here on a regular basis.

Get to the Cosmic Meadow, A$AP

“Peace, tranquility, harmony and s!@#.”

That’s what A$AP Rocky said that he had heard that EDC was all about — along with, you know, free drugs and half-naked women.

The New York City rapper announced as much from the stage during his 30-minute, 1 a.m. set at the Cosmic Meadow on Sunday.

Were his expectations met?

Didn’t matter, really, because if there was any peace, he was out to disrupt it.

And as for the drugs and the women, he is in no short supply of either — if his eclectic songbook is to be believed.

About that songbook, he aired all corners of it, from the languid psychedelia of “LSD” to the Caribbean-underpinnings of Mura Masa’s “Love$ick” to the raw-lunged bluster of “Dirty Sprite” to the breezy electro pulse of “Energy,” his collaboration with producer Burns and singer Sabrina Claudio, the latter of whom joined him on stage.

Rocky’s allotted set time was over pretty quickly, which he didn’t seem to be all that happy about.

But unlike DJ Khaled two years earlier on the same stage, he didn’t make too much of a fuss about it, because, you know, peace, tranquility, harmony and s!@#, right?

Contact Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow @JasonBracelin on Twitter.

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