I was walking inside Kinetic Field, pushing onward through the crowd. Overhead, Tiësto’s swooning trance beats took over the air, hypnotizing those within earshot. In front of me, a pair of guys hoisted two women onto their shoulders, the girls fist-bumping in the air. All around, costumes were packed with blinking LED lights—shoes, pants, glasses, backpacks. Every article of clothing seemed to be pulsating with the rhythm.
The Dutch producer launched into his remix of Alan Walker’s “Faded,” then “Sir Duke (Festival Mix)” by Firebeatz and Fafaq, the latter featuring Stevie Wonder’s legendary vocal riff on repeat—“You can feel it all over!”—and his disco-driven piano, all wrapped up inside bouncing, energetic synths.
Toward the end of his set, Tiësto welcomed his most recent collaborator to the stage, soul singer and pianist John Legend, as the pair dipped into Legend’s best-known single, “All of Me,” before the duo’s live debut of “Summer Nights.”
It was one of the most talked-about moments during all of EDC, yet somehow Tiësto managed to steal the limelight a second time on Sunday, pranking the audience by pretending to be the man behind Marshmello.
“Show your range and be dynamic,” Circle Talent Agency manager Steve Gordon (and manager of Marshmello himself) had said at EDMbiz just a few days prior, stressing the importance of not just the music, but the brand and the stage show. Having witnessed it firsthand during Tiësto’s set, it’s the winning combination that turns DJs into saints and EDC into the Garden of Eden.