2012 was not only a big year for music production in the EDM sphere, but for its live production aspect as well. With artists constantly looking for ways to improve their performances, a traveling stage presence became a must have for any producer trying to take their tour to the next level.
In the past, it was always up to the local event company to provide creative stages and lighting for their shows, but as technology has advanced - fans have come to expect superstar DJs to bring a new type of performance along with them. Some of their efforts have been truly groundbreaking and here at Into the AM, we took on the task of ranking the best live stage productions that debuted in the year. Enjoy!
5. Scuba: Live
Launching in early November, Hotflush label head Scuba debuted his new live show. Just like his productions, the setup itself is very minimal but still packed a mean punch. His stage is nothing more than an array of thin lights arranged triangularly, but that was all that was needed. Tasteful and not overdone, this light rig managed to compliment his musical style perfectly and the final product ended up very reminiscent of a mid 2000's Simian Mobile Disco live show.
4. Boys Noize: Out of the Black Live
After finishing up his much anticipated album, Boys Noize hit the road with an all new live setup entitled Out of the Black. Sporting a towering skull shaped stage and a pair of LED screens, this show was not one to miss. Featuring plenty of visual antics and beaming red lights shooting from the eys of the skull, it was impossible to look away from the action. Elegant and innovative, Out of the Black Live deserves its spot on this list.
3. Datsik: The Vortex
After seeing Datsik perform at Coachella with two 20-foot-tall robots, I thought there would be never be a comparable way to see him perform again. Alas, four months later, he proved me wrong by introducing the Vortex for his nationwide Firepower tour. What was created was a megaphone shaped projection wall which redefined creativity in stage production. For an artist who has made his name with his huge dubstep sound, it is only fitting for Datsik to use such an in-your-face stage.
2. Eric Prydz: Epic
After what seemed like forever, the legendary Eric Prydz came out of hiding and brought with him an Epic show. Debuting in early 2012, Prydz treated fans not only to a number of new tunes, but an astounding stage to go with them. Some have described his setup as the Great Wall of Lights because its massive LED wall engulfes entire venues and dwarfs Prydz on stage. Truly an amazing spectacle to witness, this setup provides the perfect setting to experience what Pryda has to offer when he steps up to the decks.
1. Amon Tobin: ISAM 2.0
Without a doubt, Amon Tobin has the mother of all stage setups. Also commonly referred to as The Mutek, his ISAM stage, made up of cubes positioned at different depths and projected upon from all angles, transforms the way music is heard.
With help from the technology wizards of The Creators Project, Tobin launched ISAM 2.0 this year and nearly doubled the size of his original setup. Its visuals are unlike any other, portraying entire landscapes ranging from still shots to full on 3D movement. When attending an ISAM show, one feels as if they are witnessing a one man orchestra scoring a movie in real time. Only Tobin's show could accomplish the feat of sellling out the Sydney Opera House - twice - and leaving thousands not moving to his beats, but staring in sheer amazement.
Like the rankings? Think we missed someone? Let us know on Facebook.