Review — Decadence Closed Out 2022 With Luxury, Light and Wubs

To round out 2022, night one of Decadence took all attendees through tunnels of light, each in a unique shape and color. Large glowing flowers that served as lounge chairs littered the dark stretching floor. These tunnels directed the crowd past the silent disco and towards a dark wall with large atomic structure sculptures hanging from the ceiling. Light from the nearby stage bounced off the many faces of each sculpture. No outfit was too extravagant or too scandalous. Anything from long luxury coats and glowing rave goggles to Akatsuki uniforms to fishnets and cat ears was on theme. Hula hoop dancers were set on a platform behind the audience, glowing with matching outfits and coordinated dances for each performer. A group in neon pantsuits and stilts moved eerily above the crowd of celebratory attendees at the Convention Center for the biggest New Year’s Eve show in Denver.

Decadence 2022

The long dark hall cut into a sharp corner and suddenly the MotherBoard Stage was visible. Jai Wolf took to the stage at 9 p.m., washing over his fans with calming waves and pulling them to their feet with airy uptempo breakdowns. A backdrop of the ocean at sunset presided over the mixing table. The audience could envision flying above the waves to the soundtrack of “Indian Summer” or “Moon Rider.” Squares of light floated from the ceiling down toward the crowd in circular motions.

Jai Wolf’s music builds a dreamscape around heart-touching lyrics. Emotions are acknowledged and built over the course of each song. It was clear that for many fans experiencing this show live, it was a very freeing experience. The crowd was sad to see Jai Wolf go but continued to grow in anticipation of Big Wild. “Awaken” brought the audience on the astral journey that is Big Wild’s discography. “Purple Sand” introduced the desert ethos, depicted on their most popular album, Superdream. Big Wild brought many new releases into their set and kept the crowd smiling through the peaceful sounds and messages they produced.

Decadence 2022Around another corner at the Mainframe stage, a chaotic space journey began beneath the glowing, circuit-covered ceiling. “What’s up y’all?” LSDREAM greeted the crowd confidently. “Look around you, spread some love,” he said with a “PEACE LOVE & WUBZ” remix to get the crowd riled up. A unique tease of “BLASTA” mixed with “STAR CHILD” pulled fans out of the convention center and into the space dream before them. 

All ranges of sound can be heard in LSDREAM’s discography, from piercing mechanical high notes to deep rattling bass, LSDREAM uses it all. Similarly, all things trippy were included in LSDREAM’s visuals. Each visual was presented through a kaleidoscope of colors and shifting patterns. Aliens peered through the screen into the audience searching for something unknown. 

Two animated characters emerged on the backdrop and began a Dragon Ball Z-esque fight in tune with the chaotic beats. This fight became a dance battle, encouraging all listeners to express the sounds through dance as well. As the battle ended, LSDREAM took a moment on stage to acknowledge the importance of this performance and encouraged all fans to enjoy their life for what it is and search for beauty in all things. “HIGH VIBRATIONS” brought the set to a close with dreamy notes and twinkling lights. 

Following LSDREAM, CloZee quickly took to the stage. “Let’s have some fun tonight,” she said with a giggle. Trees of light grew behind her on stage, much like some that were actually on the festival map as stations away from the stages where partiers could relax. 

CloZee, or Chloé Herry, stands as a revolutionary female producer. Creating a sound that intertwines electronic dance music and organic sound, CloZee makes a lasting impression on all who happen upon her. The crowd was very happy to see her onstage as the clock struck midnight, marking the last day of 2022. CloZee got down to business, taking views on a visual journey through a red twisting canon. Silhouetted by lights CloZee’s signature high ponytail swayed, emphasizing her movement with each rhythm. 

CloZee at Decadence 2022.

“Gravitate,” “Cura” and “Back To The Top” brought a unique movement to the crowd with each complex sound. Calmer wave sounds served as recovery for those who had made it through the previous set and were preparing for the intensity ahead. Fans grooved to “Neverland,” “Distancing” and “Don’t Panik” under the colorful mainframe.

As her set time was nearing its finish a new song reveal sent fans into a new level of excitement. CloZee then brought out a remix of “Breezeblocks” by alt-J with visuals moving through a dark, thick forest. A remix of “American Woman” by The Guess Who continued to show CloZee’s ability to work with any genre of music and any culture she interacts with. 

At 1 a.m., GRiZ, a versatile Denver favorite, headlined the Mainframe stage with just the right intensity to keep the crowd alive through hour six of the festival. Spiraling black and white clocks filled the backdrop and a beat built with anticipation. “Hello, Denver, how y’all doin’!?” GRiZ called out to the crowd as he was bathed in red light with the first beat drop. Lyrics from “One, Two Step” by Ciara and Missy Elliot flashed on screen as GRiZ jumped on top of his mixing table. The melody from “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio and L.V. played under a remix of “Jealous Girl,” an unreleased song by Lana Del Ray. 

Decadence 2022On the backdrop, a spaceman with “GRiZ” embroidered on his suit was pulled through space by some colorful force with the chaos of a beat drop. He then walked along the rings of a planet as the song stabilized. A saxophone, trombone and his signature trumpet all made a live appearance.

ProbCause, a multifaceted artist currently touring with GRiZ, joined the stage, hyping up the crowd and rapping over their joint song, “Dimension Expander.” GRiZ performed songs that were created with many of the other artists at Decadence this year including his work with CloZee, Zeds Dead and LSDREAM on “Color of Your Soul,” “Ecstasy of Soul” and “FUNKONAUT,” respectively. To close the festival, GRiZ sang along with the crowd to “Ecstasy of Soul” as a skeleton motorcyclist filled the screen behind him. 

“This is our last show of the year together,” GRiZ lamented as he asked Decadence fans to show appreciation for his team on this tour. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart — y’all have given me the most incredible year of my life. Denver, it’s so so great to be home with y’all, y’all hold such a dear place in my heart, thank you. Thank you.”  

GRiZ performing at Decadence 2022.

GRiZ at Decadence 2022.

All photography by Kiddest Metaferia. View the full gallery from the event here.