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Kevin Kerslake

Insomniac's Electric Daisy Carnival Experience

(Ultra; US DVD: 10 Jan 2012; UK DVD: 17 Aug 2012)

“Being an adult sucks,” opines one Tressa Barwood, a go-go dancer for the Electric Daisy Carnival Experience, who appears as if she legally has been an adult herself for a matter of years. And that’s about as deep as the philosophical insight in Kevin Kerslake’s documentary of the 2010 festival gets.


The music, dancefloor-filling fare spun and played by the likes of Kaskade, Steve Aoki, Moby, Swedish House Mafia, Travis Barker(!), and others, is kickin’. And the dayglo, neon, often pyrotechnics-enhanced crowd and performance shots are infectious, to a point. After a while, the shots of pretty people dancing their butts off and DJs jumping up and down and gesturing at the audience become repetitive. Aren’t those DJs supposed to be, like, cuing records or something?!?


The interviews with various DJs, producers and promoters are generally pat, though at least the troupe named the Dorks have a sense of humor about it all. Probably in spite of all involved, Black Eyed Peas’ Will.i.am comes across as the most insightful and interesting.


Yes, electronic dance music has come a long way. And make no mistake, the annual Electric Daisy Carnival Experience looks like one hell of a good time. But, ultimately, a good time you had to be there for.

Rating:

John Bergstrom has been writing various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2004. He has been a music fanatic at least since he and a couple friends put together The Rock Group Dictionary in third grade (although he now admits that giving Pat Benatar the title of "first good female rocker" was probably a mistake). He has done freelance writing for Trouser Pressonline, Milwaukee's Shepherd Express, and the late Milk magazine and website. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids, both of whom are very good dancers.


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Electric Daisy Carnival Experience - Official Trailer
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