On the 26th and 27th of July we were in Braga at Dancefloor, both bringing you all the action from the party on our socials and raving ourselves! During the weekend, the Altice Forum Braga received many great names from different genres of electronic music and a very dedicated public.
Following the unfortunate weather from Thursday night, FreakJ‘s performance had to be postponed, becoming this way the artist who would open it for all. With an outstanding and energetic performance, he was able to capture the audience’s attention, giving this way a really good start for what would turn out to be a memorable festival.
Emidio Meireles then followed, and through his housey vibes, he let it loose on the stage. Letting his beautiful sounds do the talking, this veteran of electronic music elevated the audience building up for the stunning performance that was ahead!
The dynamic and breathtaking duo, Mayze X Faria, who made their presence known in our 5th episode of the Imminent Radioshow, made sure to capture the audience and taking them on a journey. Playing in their home town of Braga, they knew this was going to be one of the main shows of their careers and boy did they deliver! Through their originals “Eivissa” and “Mussulo”, they were able to speak to the crowd, letting them feel their tracks and ascend to somewhere out of this world, and as for the rest… You should’ve been there to witness!
Now it was time to go a bit harder, as the madman known as Cesqeaux hit the stage. Everyone seemed eager to what he had in store for them and hitting the stage at full gas, he went above and beyond what everyone thought possible. One hard hitting bass drop after the other, Cesqeaux unleashed hell on the crowd playing his latest tracks like “Amsterdam” and “Detonate” together with Dither. The love that the portuguese crowd holds for him is notorious and by the words from the man himself, “This was insane”.
It was time to let groove speak and take over Dancefloor as British DJ and Producer, Tom Staar, hit the stage. Opening up with his iconic collaboration with David Guetta, “This Ain’t Techno“, he adventured through the tribal sounds that everyone loves. Connecting deep with the crowd, he made the transition from what was a heavy hard hitting set, to a deeper and emotional performance seamless, making for one of the most interesting sets of the whole weekend.
It was now time for an artist who took his performance and elevated it to outer-space. KSHMR, through his mesmerizing and hipnotizing story telling ablity, managed to have everyone at a loss for words. Through his tracks “Mandala”, “Festival Of Lights” and his most recent release “My Best Life”, he allowed the crowd to feel and breathe his music, leaving many to crumble and tear up.
Making his return for the first time since 2015, was the author of “Five Hours” and “Yee“, Deorro. Taking a stronger and faster approach to his set, having even played “This Time” by Kayzo, he was rapidly greeted by an enthusiastic crowd who knew every lyric and melody of his, singing and shouting along. The bounciness of his sounds gave everyone the energy they needed to push a little harder in the remaining couple hours.
To finish off this first day we’ve had two Hardstyle artists, something the festival is getting known for. Ran-D was the main man in charge of demolishing the Altice Forum with the heaviest beats. With him, he brought MC DL that did a great job of making the crowd go wild. The set was filled with tracks that the fans know very well, such as the hit “Zombie“, the “Bella Ciao Remix” from Gunz For Hire, D-Sturb‘s “High Power” and even TNT‘s “Teknogym“. Absolutely astonishing seeing everyone with their cellphone lights up singing “Zombie“!
We then had Portuguese Hardstyle master, Kaiser-T closing the night! He’s shown why he’s one of the artists that’s leading the charge for Hardstyle in his own country and delivered a set that’s full of raw energy. He premiered his latest collaboration with In-Rush, played his own remix of Karetus’ “Maluco“, the megacollab “Touch A Star” and he even found time to top it off with some tracks from Sefa!
The second day’s lineup was brilliant as well, and overall it was an even better day!
We started off straight away with Hardstyle, as this is the specialty of the DJ contest winners: Louis & Sly-R. This young duo has shown on stage why they’re so promising – the set was very well thought out, they prepared a nice intro and presented some of their own productions to an audience that was still small, but had the most diehard fans from the Hardstyle Portugal community. They’re proof that having your homework done works wonders in your live performance!
Kim Kaey took it from there. Although the change of pace and BPM drop was somewhat overwhelming, Kim didn’t disappoint in giving a feminine touch to this lineup.
Gammer was up next to blow the roof off. It was a heavy set, just as you’d expect from him, that cattered for both headbangers and hard heads. The distinguishing element from his set was his technique: Gammer is a great DJ that clearly feels at home with the turntables and has no issue at all integrating an improvised scratch routine in his set and making it look easy. Through his signature flips, heavy dubstep drops and happy hardcore sounds, he showed what he’s all about and with this being his debut in Portugal we can say with certainty, “What an absolute astonishing set this was!”
However, it was time to Switch Up as Moksi hit the stage. Filled with energy they marked their return to the portuguese crowds and through a hectic and rather fun set, they drifted from their older sounds to their tracks that were yet to be released on their “The Return of House” album. A notorious moment which was delightful to see was when they played their take on “Killa“, and everyone simultaneously shouted “Moksi Switch up”. The love that Portugal holds for the Barong Family is no surprise to anyone at this point and this was no exception, as everyone sang along to every song.
It was now time for one of the acts that everyone had come for, Yellow Claw. Following the performance from their good friends, Moksi, Jim and Nils played for an hour, which was more than enough to have everyone lose their mind and voice as they sang and screamed to their sounds. The first half of the set was softer but then they fastened their seatbelts and hit the gas, building up the tempo and elevating the atmosphere to over the roof.
Up next we had Kura, an unavoidable artist both in his home country and internationally as well. He’s one of those artists that can connect with the crowd, see exactly what they want to hear and lead his show in a way that pleases everyone, and that’s exactly what he did. Kura took the crowd on an escalating journey that culminated with stepping on the gas hard while presenting his latest collaboration with Nevlin, a track that’s yet to be released and that is an interesting crossover between Big Room and Hardstyle. The crowd reacted very positively to it and it was one of the highlights of his set.
And indeed, Kura knew he could step on the gas however much he wanted when finishing his set, because up next we had more Hardstyle legends, this time the duo D-Block & S-te-Fan! They were clearly prepared to smash the house and made a very energetic set that deserves our praise. The crowd showed how well they know this duo by singing the melodies from top to bottom. It was really great when the DJ’s lowered the sound and everyone was singing along almost every melody, including “Twilight Zone“, “Darkest Hour (The Clock)” and “World Renowned“.
Overall, Dancefloor was a nice experience. It was also something we didn’t see elsewhere this summer, given the fact that it was indoors! The switch to Braga was also a good bet – not only does the location cater best to a foreign audience that can help take the festival to the next level, but there’s also an improvement in sound quality that’s inherent of indoor stages. The stage was also simple and well designed, but not unique – it could improve with scenery in between the led strips that double as screens. The lineup was absolutely stunning, however, the timetable was probably not the best, as some artists with softer styles were mixed in with artists that had higher tempos and generally heavier sets.
It was clear from the crowd’s response that they’re into heavier stuff: Hardstyle artists and Barong artists had the biggest attendance, as well as Gammer who delivered a twist through his Dubstep and Happy Hardcore, and KSHMR with his astonishing visuals. So hopefully these are things that the festival will bet on in the future, given that they’ll return next year, in what we hope will be an even bigger and better edition of Dancefloor.
Review by: Tomás Deleu & Diogo Pinto