In March 2011, Swaager.com went global (well, not really, but we did launch!), and since then we have covered more than 250 shows for you all.
We fist pumped, conducted interviews in bathrooms, dined with musicians, wiped sweat off our faces in Miami, charged and recharged our cameras, cured hangovers and forced ourselves to come up with unique verbs and adjectives to use in our reviews—all doing what we love, raging to our favorite bands and DJs with our closest friends.
In honor of the New Year, we racked our memory to share with you our five favorite shows, festivals and Red Rocks performances. So, come relive our favorites of 2011:
FAVORITE SHOWS OF 2011:
1. Kid Cudi
Cudi used The Cannabis Cup as a platform for his first show in five months, entertaining hipsters, gangsters and stoners alike with an unforgettable performance.
This duo took our breaths away at Bonnaroo and the Ogden Theatre with their syths and visuals including holograms of musicians, emotion-displaying videos and an above average light show.
As if the music wasn’t entrancing enough, the gyrating hips of belly dancer Zoe Jakes kept our (male and female alike) eyes glued to the stage. Beats also premiered a remix of Bassnectar’s “Voodoo.”
The sold-out show had no crazy lighting or gimmicks - just raw talent. The Gothic Theater provided a cozy, intimate space for the engaged crowd to experience this unforgettable night together.
After slamming the festival circuit, SBTRKT dawned their masks to deliver funky UK beats to a jam-packed Bluebird Theater.
FAVORITE SHOWS AT RED ROCKS IN 2011:
Part of the Swaager crew grew up with Pretty Lights from their house party days at CU, but bias aside, Pretty Lights made the rocks come alive—especially Derek’s mother who was in attendance that night.
Crunch, crunch, crunchy goodness at the Rocks. Between the bands synergy from endless touring and a devout following, every STS9 show seems to wow (no matter how many times we’ve seen them).
After the rocks was transformed into mom’s living room (chandelier, sofa and all), we watched as musicians danced in and out of the spot light, singing in multiple languages.
The mau5head graced us at Red Rocks and Ultra Music Festival—both in conjunction with drummer Tommy Lee. It’s DeadMau5, need we explain more?
They hold the record for most shows played at Red Rocks, but it’s still a treat each time, and this three-day run, which kicked off summer, is engraved in our memories.
FAVORITE FESTIVALS IN 2011:
Three rounds of GDF at Red Rocks was rough, even for the elite partiers of the Swaager crew. But a lineup of our favorite EDM creations like Avicii, Empire of the Sun, Skrillex and Benny Banassi drew us to Red Rocks every day and the result was our favorite festival of the year.
2. Ultra Music Festival
For Swaager, this was our first venture behind the tents and into the world of interviews and on stage photos—all in addition to getting rowdy in Miami. We danced and sweat to hype-building acts like Deadmau5, Cut Copy, Rusko and Afrobeta.
A mix of folk and bluegrass, this carbon neutral festival gave us a break from the grind with a slower-pace lineup including The Head and the Heart, Cornmeal, Railroad Earth and Mumford & Sons.
A hippie fest—because if you go to San Francisco, you should have a flower in your hair. Like a Bonnaroo on the West coast, Outside Lands brought top acts like Arcade Fire, Phish and Toro y Moi to Golden Gate Park without the heat and never-ending amounts of dust.
A nonstop, touring EDM festival: Sheer genius! Although Miami’s was canceled, Aoki, Booka Shade, Arojack, Kaskade and more tore it up in Las Vegas.