Choose instruments over computers at festivals

One of the biggest things currently on my bucket list is to go to a huge music festival. Growing up in San Juan, Puerto Rico didn’t give me many opportunities to check it off. Since then, however, I’ve constantly stalked everyone who has had the opportunity to go to one, mainly Lollapalooza since many of my Marquette friends are either from Illinois or Wisconsin.

I promise I’m not a judgmental person, but I’ve judged everyone who had the opportunity to go a festival and spent their time seeing DJs.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit it: I’ve fallen into the trend of electronic dance music, or “EDM” as it’s commonly called. It’s fun, catchy and repetitive and it instantly gets the party going. What’s not to like?

Electronic music has been growing steadily over the past few years, growing from underground raves to famous DJs and other electronic artists headlining festivals across the nation, including Coachella and Lollapalooza. The music has clearly risen from the underground and into mainstream Top 40 radio. Deadmau5, one of the most popular artists in the genre, even made the cover of Rolling Stone in a special issue dedicated entirely to the rising popularity of the genre.

Even though I would call myself a fan of EDM, I’d rarely ever choose a DJ over a live band. Recently, there’s been a large debate over whether DJs are mixing their music live or just hitting play on their computers. Even if they were mixing their beats live, why would I choose that over musicians who are playing actual instruments?

I’m not discrediting DJs. As I said, I’m a fan of the genre and have been to a few EDM events myself. As much as I enjoy dancing to “Levels,” however, if I were given the chance to see Avicii or Jack White perform, there’s no doubt whom I’d choose. Even if they were mixing their music on the spot, there’s just something about actual live music that a tricked-out computer just can’t replicate.

In the end, as enjoyable and fun as dance music is, I can’t help but think that it’s just another trendy type of music that rose to the mainstream and will go back underground soon. Jack White may be playing his comeback tour at Coachella in 30 years, but I highly doubt that Skrillex will be doing the same.