Radiance New Year’s Eve was introduced in 2018 as a brand new midwest New Year’s Eve celebration. The debut of the event boasted a bass-heavy lineup of some of the hardest hitters in bass music to help you ring in 2019.
Radiance called The Wisconsin Center, in Milwaukee home for the night, and thousands of music-hungry fans flocked to Wisconsin to join the countdown to 2019 with some throttling dubstep. After hosting Jawbreaker Festival for Halloween – it seems that The Wisconsin Center may be a mecca for midwest events to come.
The first ever Radiance New Year’s Eve featured performances by Spock, Whipped Cream, Riot Ten, Bear Grillz, and a double-headed headlining monster of Zeds Dead and Excision. It was my first time at the venue – and the logistics could not have been better. Lines were moving fast and due to the brutal midwest weather, they had a huge room purely dedicated to coat check with multiple lines so getting in and out was a breeze. The main hall was fairly spread out, with a good amount of bathrooms dedicated to one corner and an outdoor smoking venue that was easy to come in and out of so the hall was not in a constant haze of cigarette smoke. Take note promoters: If you give smokers a place to go, they won’t do it inside. All of the amenities above combined with multiple hotels within walking distance, it was a dubstep dream.
Along with the mainstage, the one night festival had a secondary stage hosted by Planet Filth and Dub Hub that hosted some of the best local talent around Milwaukee and Chicago. I had the chance to watch the always exciting Porn and Chicken and a bit of Birthday Partyy. Birthday Partyy is set for a break out 2019 – their bass house anthems have a way of getting you moving that most artists just can’t do.
As the clock kept inching closer to midnight, a palpable excitement started creeping through the crowd and the performers fed off all of it. Bear Grillz, in his Bear Grillz 2.0 helmet, delivered a set that had people having to stop to catch their breath – and it was only the beginning of the end.
Zeds Dead followed suit with a classic Zeds Dead set loaded with originals. The highlight of the night was seeing the crowd sing along with every word to “Collapse” before Zeds Dead unleashed everything they had in them in what might have been the most satisfying ‘drop’ of the night.
In all my years of going to shows, I have had the chance to see a lot of Excision sets – from his days of playing at 3pm at festivals to his new massive tour production, The Paradox. I can safely say that Excision’s set at Radiance was the best set I have ever seen from him. It was the perfect blend of Excision originals, and a who’s who of bass music without being an ‘all-banger’ set which a lot of Bass DJs seem to use as a crutch. From the moment the clock struck midnight till about 1:30 am, Excision led the crowd in their first set of 2019. He proved once again, why he is such an integral piece of the bass music scene today.
If Radiance was any hint of how well 2019 is going to be – then we are in for a good year. Can’t wait to see what they come up with next year.
All photos courtesy of Radiance New Year’s Eve