After a long weekend of heat, sweat, and non-stop dancing, true zoo animals headed to one or more of the Electric Zoo after parties on Sunday night and kept the party going for a perfect end to an unforgettable Labor Day weekend. Zedd and Hardwell packed Roseland Ballroom for a crazy night filled with surprise guests, birthday cake, and of course, great tunes. Fans of these two young stars were treated to what I can only call two of the most fun performances I’ve ever seen (and heard) in a while. True, both DJs tend to err on the “mainstream” side of the EDM spectrum, but they kept the crowd dancing and had a blast doing so. I should also mention that Sunday, September 2nd was not only the end of Electric Zoo but Zedd’s birthday, ushering in a slew of cameos from fellow DJ’s such as Porter Robinson and Skrillex.

Zedd opened with his own “Spectrum”, mixing Gregori Klosman and Tristan Garner’s recently released ‘Knight’ remix. Even though this was easily one of the most played songs on Randall’s Island, no one seemed to mind hearing it one more time from the creator himself. He continued through his set playing club hits such as Skrillex’s “Devil’s Den” and Swedish House Mafia’s “Save the World” while mixing in Zedd fan favorites such as his “Legend of Zelda” remix. About halfway through Zedd’s set, he was joined by Porter Robinson for an hour long back to back set, a brief preview of their upcoming Poseidon tour where these two are billed to go back to back every night for crowds around the country. This was a pleasant surprise to attendees and once again, only added to the fun-factor of this unique show. The crowd went wild for Robinson’s “Unison” followed by the Mega remix of the classic “I Like to Move it”.

At this point, the music is cut and Skrillex appears with a cake and a slew of other friends and DJs for Zedd’s 23rd birthday. This added a nice familiarity to the scene—despite being superstar DJs, they still came together to celebrate each other. It was cool for fans to see such a tight knit group of producers that genuinely care for and support each other along the way. Even when Porter Robinson hijacked Zedd’s laptop and ironically played “Le7els” in the middle of their set, Zedd took this in stride and joked “this is my favorite song in the entire world; it’s called Levels by Swedish House Mafia!” The love and energy backstage translated through the speakers and into the crowd which kept us tired zoo animals raging for the rest of the night. Zedd closed by playing the ever popular “Don’t slam the cinema” mash-up followed by “spectrum” one last time before bidding Electric Zoo goodbye.

If Zedd’s shenanigans weren’t enough, the party kept going with a heart-pumping set by Hardwell, another young producer leading the electro-house pack lately. He started with a beautiful but haunting edit of his hit “Spaceman” that slowly built from a slow instrumental into its unmistakable hook, which spread through the crowd like wildfire. Not only did he keep the crowd dancing through his entire set, but backstage Porter Robinson and Zedd could be seen jamming out as Hardwell played hit after hit.Other highlights included bangers such as Alvaro’s unreleased “Make the Crowd Go”, Basement Jaxx’s “Where’s your head at?” and Bingo Player’s contagious “Rattle”. Hardwell made it a point to acknowledge Zedd’s birthday once more, with a second round of singing “happy birthday” and a unanimous eruption of cheers. Despite being a little too saturated with overplayed singles such as “Internet Friends” and “N***** in Paris”, Hardwell put on a set that pleased the neon crowd of zoo animals. For the late night animals, Treasure fingers kept everyone dancing with dance classics like “pump up the jam”, keeping the playful atmosphere that was prevalent the entire night. Hardwell and Zedd made a great combination that would please any lover of EDM. For future zoo attendees, I highly recommend mustering up the energy to attend any or all the after parties for an awesome continuation to an already amazing weekend!

Review and photography by Maggie Popovich

This post originally appeared on Electronic Nightlife, now a part of beatcue.

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