May 16, 2016


Alison Wonderland's Electric Daisy Carnival Set Is One Emotional Party

Marc van der Aa for Insomniac
Marc van der Aa for Insomniac

Alison Wonderland got off a plane from Japan and headed straight to New York’s Electric Daisy Carnival on Sunday (May 15). Well, not before a stop at Guy Fieri’s Times Square restaurant (gotta get in those delicious tacos before you crush your DJ set, right?).

The Australian DJ played plenty of her own tracks from 2015’s Run when she took the Cosmic Meadow stage in her signature black Adidas T-shirt, but she chose to start the party with Kanye’s “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 2,” which got ravers reaaally going when Desiigner’s “Panda” verse appeared. Most of the people were either sunburned from the previous day or very windburned from the gusts of freezing air blowing crust and garbage throughout the crowd, even though they barely noticed when Alison (born Alex Sholler) was onstage. A sea of pink, toasted arms stretched out to her as she screamed out for them to put their hands in the air.

We could see her hair flying in all directions. Multiple cameras blasted all angles of her set on towering screens, her “AW” logo emblazoned in the middle. Her hands were flying too, spinning and tweaking mostly hip-hop beats, although she managed to mix in a bit of Baby Bash’s “Suga Suga,” Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?” and Spice Girls’ “Wannabe.” She wildly thrashed on her platform, lifting herself up on the table to get as high as possible and even hoisting her left leg up next to her equipment.

A roll of toilet paper was being bounced around as the DJ intro’d “U Don’t Know.” “I wrote this song about depression. It gets better,” she said. “Tell your friends if they’re not there for you in the hard times, then they’re not your fucking friends.” Toward the end of the song, she mixed in Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On,” encouraging fans to give her their all after getting vulnerable with them. She’s been known to open up on about her ex-boyfriend’s infidelity during her sets, and she made it seem like he was there at EDC. “I want you to go hard for that motherfucker today,” she yelled.

She used live vocals for her song “Carry On” and things got even more emotional with “Run,” where we heard her recorded, echoey vocals sing, “I need you another way / Give me up and that won't break me.” To add to the we’re-at-a-rave-but-we’re-being-fucking-honest vibe, she slipped in a clip of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine.” But there was some sunshine, as the sun was setting ever-so-quickly, blanketing the stage with a golden glow and leaving Alison Wonderland’s EDC fans with a rainbow to make everything even more magical.