Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations actively keeps a keen ear to the ground and an attentive finger on the pulse of live music’s ever-evolving landscape. Its a year-round job, and we are proud to provide our community with the best of the best in live entertainment. We aim to bring the most sought-after DJs and performers to the Valley while also keeping an eye out for the next up-and-coming talents, to always ensure that a roster of fresh, dynamic talent keeps your calendar marked up all year long. 2016 saw dance music climb to new and exciting heights. Being at the forefront of event production and promotion in Scottsdale, it has been remarkable to see the parallels between dance music’s growth globally, and Scottsdale’s growth nationally into one of the most desired entertainment destinations in the country this year. In reflecting on an amazing year for music, we’re taking a look back at 10 of our favorite shows of the year.
Editor’s note: Our list is presented in no particular order or ranking and we want to hear from you about your favorite shows of the year in the comments! Without further adieu:
- Odesza at Māyā Day + Nightclub:
Odesza graced the decks of Māyā Day + Nightclub for Labor Day Weekend in September, delivering a poolside-primed set chock full of their infectious blend of house, futuristic bass and electro-soul. The Seattle-native duo have built a name for themselves behind their immersive mix of electronic genres, and they have been pushing the boundaries on live electronic production since 2012. The pair formed their Foreign Family Collective in 2015, and since have adopted a significant tastemaking role in dance music’s emerging wave of new talents. Proctoring one of the most memorable performances at Māyā all year, Odesza easily land on our list of highlights from 2016, and we look forward to having them back soon.
- Party Favor at Livewire:
Trick or treating turned into twisting and twerking with Party Favor in the booth at Livewire for Halloween. The edgy LA-based DJ who is known for his remixes for top artists like Diplo and Dillon Francis, kept the fists pumping and hips shaking through All Hallow’s Eve and into the first hours of November. Party Favor has found massive commercial success behind his bubbly brand of chaotic dance fare, and his Halloween party in Scottsdale was a shoe-in on our list of top shows this year.
- Dillon Francis at Māyā Day + Nightclub:
Dillon Francis is one of the brightest, and most exciting producers and performers within today’s electronic dance music spectrum. The Columbia Records recruit is just as famous for his larger-than-life brand of main stage EDM as he is for his hilariously spastic sense of humor. Touching down at Māyā’s pool for one of the biggest weekend celebrations of the year, Dillon and his now beloved sidekick, Gerald, helped us honor July 4th in boisterous fashion. The 4th of July is always a memorable benchmark for us each year, but with Dillon’s beats still bouncing through our brains, his special set at Māyā stands out as one of our favorite shows from 2016.
- GRiZ at Marquee Theater:
Detroit’s favorite son, Grant Kwiecinski, best known as GRiZ, hosted one of the most spectacular evenings of music in the Valley all year long. Upping the ante on his craft as a DJ by incorporating his impressive affinity for playing saxophone, GRiZ is a triple threat unlike many others in the realm of dance music today. He’s a sharp producer in the studio, a classically trained saxophonist, and a force to be reckoned with in the DJ booth. Touting a message of relentless positivity, delivered through his irresistible blend of electro and funk, GRiZ brought his signature sound to Tempe’s Marquee Theater for a night of hybrid beats and triumphant horn arrangements. Needless to say, we cannot wait for what GRiZ has in store for 2017.
- Chromeo DJ Set at Māyā Day + Nightclub:
Purveyors of their self-dubbed “#LarryDavidFunk” Dave1 and P-Thugg of Chromeo always bring a charming performance that straddles the divide between club-ready electro and delightfully vintage disco. Stationed at Māyā ‘s pool in late July, Chromeo’s ultra-cool bravado was a welcomed momentary break from the summer swelter. The “Fancy Footwork” duo brought a grooving good time to the pool from behind the decks in the DJ booth, making for one of the most memorable Māyā afternoons all summer long.
- Thomas Jack at Māyā Day + Nightclub:
In Feburary, Thomas Jack brought his ever-popular brand of tropical house to a packed venue at Māyā Day + Nightclub for his Scottsdale debut. The 23-year-old Australian DJ, known for his laid-back dance tracks and breezy beats didn’t disappoint with a variety of upbeat remixes and original tracks alike. We grooved into the evening with amazing energy and it was clear Thomas Jack was having just as much fun from the booth as the glo-stick waving crowd surrounding him on the dance floor. Largely responsible for the explosive popularity that tropical house continues to garner across the globe, Thomas Jack’s burgeoning career is just beginning, and we look forward to even more nights at Māyā with the young producer in the future.
- Wake Up Call Festival at Scottsdale’s W Hotel:
We were pumped to be a part of the first-ever Wake Up Call: A W Hotels Music Festival. No two ways about it. The weekend-long event was full of endless poolside fun matched with a great lineup of music, which included De La Soul, Matoma and Bebe Rehxa. Defined by crisp sunshine and good vibes as summer 2016 wound down, the first annual Wake Up Call definitely brought the city to its feet. Blending Scottsdale’s second-to-none entertainment culture with a distinguished roster of talent, the WET Pool Deck hosted one of the year’s most outstanding music events in late September and into the first days of October.
- Nervo at Māyā Day + Nightclub:
The platinum blonde Aussie twins always attract thick crowds, but they really made a splash in April for their latest appearance at Māyā Day + Nightclub. Providing an afternoon of poolside fun flanked by bikinis, briefs, and bottles on all sides, the dynamic duo brought their galvanizing energy and sex appeal like never before, easily landing themselves on our list as one of our favorite shows of 2016. Expect Nervo to be a force on the touring circuit in 2017, and with a handful of past performances here in Scottsdale, we hope to see them back here again in 2017.
- Martin Solveig at Māyā Day + Nightclub:
Martin Solveig is an indisputable European house legend. Holding down the crossover spot between house and pop for over two decades, Solveig has made a name for himself in the international dance scene behind inescapable hits like “Hello” with Dragonette and “Intoxicated.” The veteran French DJ delivered a set of notable chart-toppers and electrifying dance floor jumpstarters at Māyā over the summer, standing out as one of the top moments of the year.
- Claptone at Livewire:
The Berlin-bred enigma touched down for one of the most notable sets of the year at Livewire in May, shrouded by his famous top hat and golden mask getup. Cruising through a crate of glorious house gems, Claptone brought a basement atmosphere to one of Scottsdale’s finest club venues in flawless fashion. The mysterious producer delivered a set as pointed and sharp as his famous down-turned golden beak, and with highlights from his performance still playing in our heads, we can’t wait for the next time Claptone reveals himself in Scottsdale.
From daytime pool parties to late-night club shows, 2016 was teeming with excitement, but we know 2017 is going to blow your mind! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep in the loop and stay up on all the good times ahead of us this coming year.