Sensation America: Electric Dance Music Concerts

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Upon entering the Barclays Center in New York’s Brooklyn this past November, I was engulfed, mesmerized. Sensation America is one of the many Electric Dance Music concerts emerging around the U.S., in what some call a cult-like revolution. I stepped into the stadium and into confetti, pyrotechnics, lights, makeup, the modern day go-go dancers; an entirely transformed and alternate universe. My primary goal in attending a concert like this was pure interest and curiosity, experiencing and witnessing something that was relatively alien to me. This EDM movement has resurrected the kind of euphoria, spiritual sensation, and union of the famous Woodstock, creating in a way its own religion and following. Music and visualization work together in tandem to create a kind of uniformed state that is in fact a modern manifestation of these indigenous and tribal, cultural gatherings that have happened since time in memorial. “It’s just chaotic. It’s loud. The music is hypnotic, people are dancing. Funny outfits everywhere. It’s mystical.” My best friend and I had never been to an event so dedicated to both interpersonal and intrapersonal experience in an atmosphere that allows the mind to explore a fantastical, divine realm. What began as an underground movement of house music has surfaced into not only just a techno style deejays but an entire incorporation of the mind, body, and soul of participants. The most poignant observation I made was the connectedness shared by the entire audience. In fact, the members seem to be more of a congregation of basic human understanding. Sensation America was a stadium filled with no predominant group, language, race, or religious affiliation. The music, the lights, the mysticism of the event was their re... ... middle of paper ... ...een the people and the atmosphere, I felt like I was in a different realm, somewhere between fantasy and reality. This relates back to the Balinese idea that immortality belongs to Taksu. In my feeling of being a part of a different realm, it can be assumed that in a way, I did feel immortal. It is a fleeting moment. The nature of the EDM phenomenon is shared experience. Music is a an indigenous part of humans, a universal means of communication. The music serves as the common ground, the fast pace beats, the slow build before “the drop”, it is all an understanding of human interaction with space and each other. The music peaks and splinters off but returns back to the original base. As simple as it is, this gives the people something to hold onto, and ultimately, fully submerge in the power, collaboration, and escape of the electric dance music experience.

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