Doing New Year’s Eve in Denver for Decadence Colorado 2017 was very cold, but also very heartwarming – the perfect way to end the year!
Driving around downtown Denver can be confusing, but the Convention Center is hard to miss. The four-story building is also marked by a giant blue bear statue at the main entrance. We arrived shortly before doors were supposed to open and were extremely surprised by the fact that it was 10 degrees outside and yet they weren’t allowing anyone into the lobby. The Colorado Convention Center is one of the nicest convention centers I’ve ever been to, and it made for a great venue for Decadence Colorado.
The initial line on the first night served no purpose, as we walked straight into the lobby and were then directed to our appropriate lines much deeper into the Convention Center. The second night, Global Dance adjusted by creating a preliminary bag check right at the entrance so it made sense to enter single file.
The rules regarding prohibited items were strict, but I’m sure it’s the rules that help keep the Convention Center as nice as it is. No gum (sealed or otherwise), no totems, no large bags, and we saw droves of people being asked to go to coat check. The coat check options ranged from $5-7 and took quite a while to get through at the end of the night.
Having an area between stages helped break up the walk between them.
We took the escalator up to the main convention center area. The GA entrance opened up by the Time Vault stage while VIP opened up by The Grid stage. The Time Vault stage was lined with pillars on both sides that were covered in LED lights and running from the stage to the back of the room on the ceiling were hexagonal LED shapes. Since there were no totems, they made for great location indicators.
The Cyber District was the perfect place to chill if you didn’t have a set you were trying to get to.
Between the two stages was the Cyber District Silent Disco. It was a greatly utilized space that had two resting areas as well as the Silent Disco itself. Both sides were decorated with LED weeping willows which were beautiful and bright. The Silent Disco had great headphones that lit up according to the channel you were on so you could always tell who was listening to the same music as you were.
The decorations were on point, and a great way to fill such a large space.
In the main foyer area there were giant, colorful decorations that lined the ceiling. Their mass made you feel like you walking under planets. Also at the back of the foyer were the merchandise tables and other light toy vendors. They also had a wall of resolutions for 2018 where attendees had filled almost every white space.
The event didn’t have a selection of food vendors but instead ran the convention center concessions which were limited to pizza and hot dogs, which made sense since there’s not really a way to bring a kitchen into the space.
Decadence Colorado’s lineup was stacked and we didn’t have many conflicts.
The lineup is the primary reason I chose Decadence Colorado and it was stacked! The first night we got in just after Space Jesus started. His set was different than other sets I had seen from him. He threw in the normal dub and wobble, but he also added some bass house that was completely new to me.
With not much house on the lineup, we wanted to enjoy every second we could get, and Get Real was just the ticket.
After Space Jesus, we caught Get Real with Claude VonStroke and Green Velvet. The lighting was minimal and their set was packed. When they dropped “Stop It,” the whole crowd yelled and everyone was dancing.
We also caught the rest of Louis the Child along with all their feels. Their set was more chill and beautiful than it was a rager. This was the first time I’ve seen both of them take the decks instead of just Freddy.
Moving from stage to stage became easier as we discovered the “secret” passageways. We saw the end of Diplo into Justice. The crowd change over at this point was pretty huge. This would be the third time I’ve seen Justice and their set spanned genres and was very electro house in nature. As Troyboi started on the other stage, we watched a large chunk of the crowd start to leave once again.
Bassnectar’s set made us feel like a lifetime had gone by already and we still had a few hours.
Bassnectar, for me, has good sets and just OK sets. His hour and half show at Decadence was very conflicting, in my opinion. It was both heavy and melodic at times but didn’t really seem to flow. The visuals and lasers were incredibly powerful, visible from even the farthest back location. I headed to the bar at one point and the bartender asked if Bassnectar was still playing to which I confirmed he was. He then replied, “I wasn’t sure because his set seems to be all over the place.” I couldn’t have described it better myself.
Having drink tickets instead of payment processing definitely helped make the lines shorter.
Decadence had drink tickets, which you had to purchase in advance, and there were no refunds. On the one hand, all the drinks cost 10 bucks, which for a New Year’s event is actually reasonable. The other advantage is that you went up, ordered and there was no fuss with running cards, service, or change. This meant there were never any long lines for drinks. The downside without refunds is that you had to drink whatever you bought and non-alcoholic drinks were basically $5 each.
With bottled water being fairly expensive, many people who didn’t have a Camelbak bought one bottle and then refilled it at the water station. The water station was a single row of faucets, but on all the other sides were water coolers and cups. This helped alleviate the lines from people filing bags and allowed people who just needed a cup of water to be in and out, making it easy to get hydrated in a flash.
From Bassnectar I went to Slander while most of my group stayed for Gramatik. Slander was loud and a party. Every time I’ve seen from them, I swear the venue turns the volume up. They got the crowd jumping, singing, and dancing. The vibes were incredible and everyone was very friendly. At the same time, when I rejoined the group everyone talked about how Gramatik’s set was one of their favorites. They said it was groovy and it gave them life after Bassnectar.
It was nice having so much space to dance toward the end of the night, and we made the most of it with The Floozies.
It was close to 2:15 am when The Floozies took the stage. The crowd had significantly dwindled and even half our group was ready to leave just to beat the surcharge on the ride shares. The Floozies are incredibly talented and even dropped a remix of Toto’s “Africa” that had all of us belting out the words.
By the time 3 am hit, we all felt like we had been there for a lifetime. We called our rideshare, but the traffic was horrible. We ended up having to walk four blocks away from the Convention Center just to make it easier to leave downtown.
On the second day, we were ready to sing and embrace the feels with Porter, Rufus du Sol, and ODESZA.
The next night was the proverbial ball drop, and you could feel the excitement in the air. We arrived just after gates opened and went straight to Bass Physics. His ability to play live instruments and mix synth and bass lines really set the tone for the night.
Our plan was to see Porter Robinson to Rufus du Sol and then ODESZA for the countdown. We took a short bathroom and drink break and it suddenly became clear that everyone was heading to Porter’s set. The crowd filled in quickly and we were happily stuck.
Looking around, you could tell that everyone in the building was at Porter Robinson’s set.
Porter’s DJ sets are some of my favorites and he did not disappoint. It was beautiful, and he blended song favorites with new remixes. We all walked away a little awestruck. As we approached the main stage it was even more obvious that everyone had been at Porter’s set. Rufus du Sol took the stage and played an absolutely harmonic masterpiece. Every song felt like building energy and by the time they ended there were only smiling faces in the crowd.
The countdown is always one of my favorite parts of New Year’s Eve, and the countdown at Decadence was no exception.
Groups all around us began sitting, creating space for the main event: the countdown. The lights turned down as the spotlights on stage lit up the keyboard and drum set for ODESZA. As they came out, you could hear cheering all across the main room, and when the drum line walked out, the room went wild.
They played leading all the way to the countdown, counted down with the crowd, and welcomed in 2018 with all of us. Confetti exploded, shimmering and slowly descending all around us as giant LED-filled balloons began bouncing along the top of the crowd.
From singing every word to ODESZA to shuffling to psytrance with Armin van Buuren, the night was a journey.
My friend Grant said that he couldn’t stop singing and I think the whole room would probably have to agree. Hugs, kisses, and group appreciation was in full force. It was the pinnacle of happiness and the best way to end a very unique year.
Afterwards, we went to see Armin van Buuren. It was the first time my friends, Cameron and Jon, had seen him and it was beyond their expectations. His set was filled with some heavy hitting psytrance that brought us all back to life.
The rest of the time we all had sets to be at, so it was nice to just walk around and enjoy the Silent Disco.
Toward the end of the night, a bunch of us wanted to experience the Cyber District’s Silent Disco and chill areas. Switching channels was easy and so very fun. They had a channel of trap, trance, and a hip-hop mix.
The DJs spinning were throwing down and it was a pretty fun and casual way to end to the night. We walked to coat check and called our rideshare, saying goodnight to the staff, and goodbye to the Colorado Convention Center one last time.
Decadence Colorado was a fun and beautiful event that couldn’t have ended up any better.
Decadence Colorado had an epic lineup and a great venue, two solid cores to a great festival. They spent time on the production and the layout was organized. Although the elevation was a challenge to get used to, the distance between stages was perfect and using the Silent Disco as a buffer was a great idea. I would definitely attend this event next year given the chance and if you haven’t yet, it’s definitely worth your time!