Best Sets of Ultra

This year marks the 20th birthday of Ultra Music Festival Miami, which is one of the biggest EDM festivals around the world. The special thing about Ultra is, that it is every year in March and therefore kicks off the festival season. Most DJs seize this opportunity to present new sets and their latest music, on which they have been working on for the past months. Fortunately for all fans around the world, the whole weekend is live streamed, and a lot of sets can be found on Youtube after the festival. Since I like to listen to these mixes, I have compiled a list of my personal Top 10 sets of the last five Ultra Music Festivals in Miami.

Honorable mentions
Before we start with the Top 10, some honorable mentions. Nervo at Ultra 2014 and Krewella at Ultra 2013 would have been strong contestants for this list, if there were high quality videos of their sets available. The sets by Tchami (Ultra 2017), Alesso (Ultra 2015), Blasterjaxx (Ultra 2014) and Fedde le Grand (2015) were also pretty good but didn’t make it into the list.

No. 10: Tommy Trash – Ultra 2015
So without further ado, let us start with number 10, Tommy Trash at Ultra 2015. The man with probably the best headbanging skills in the scene definitely took out the trash with that set. Highlights: Mixing ‘Kernkraft 400’ with ‘Check My Swagger’ from 15:17 – 16:16 and dropping ‘Pyramids’ at 17:59 and ‘Straight Up’ at 28:33. Biggest drop of the set: ‘L’Enfant’ by Bottai starting at 48:37.

Full Set on YouTube: Tommy Trash – Ultra 2015

No. 9: Steve Aoki – Ultra 2013
Bass, bass and bass! Watch this set with caution, because it might blow your ears off. Steve Aoki’s sets might be pre-mixed, but if you have ever seen him live, you may know, how he energizes the crowd with his sets and this one is no different. I mean, look at the whole mainstage crowd jumping up and down to the drop at 22:52 (also at 24:34). It’s a very entertaining set. And give Steve credit, the cake at 49:38 was on point.

Full Set on YouTube: Steve Aoki – Ultra 2013

No. 8: Tiesto – Ultra 2017
Tiesto is called a legend in the EDM scene for a reason. His sets are always great, so it is tough to choose the best one. While I liked Tiesto’s set at Ultra 2015 pretty much and his set at Ultra 2016 might go down in history as the set with most guest appearances, I think his 2017 set is the best. From ‘Infinity’ (30:13) to ‘Party Till The Daylight’ (52:10) to the ‘Red Lights’ drop (1:04:54), Tiesto absolutely lived up to the expectations.

Full Set on YouTube: Tiesto – Ultra 2017

No. 7: W & W – Ultra 2016
W & W rocked at Ultra 2016. We are used to their sets having the biggest drops, but this set had even more energy. To just name a few examples: ‘Get Down’, ‘How Many’ and ‘Bigfoot’. They also brought the Chainsmokers on stage, who had a sick set at Ultra 2016 as well, which is featured at number 6 on my list. But first, check out W & W:

Full Set on YouTube: W & W – Ultra 2016

No. 6: The Chainsmokers – Ultra 2016
Say what you want about the Chainsmokers, but that set at Ultra 2016 was lit. The energy that the two guys brought in was something else. From the ‘Propaganda’ drop at 07:36 to the ‘Roses’ remix at 22:44, to that monstrous ‘Bodies’/’Prison Riot’ mashup at 51:00, they absolutely tore the worldwide stage apart!

Full Set on YouTube: The Chainsmokers – Ultra 2016

No. 5: Hardwell – Ultra 2013
It is not a coincidence, that Hardwell became the number #1 in DJ Mag’s TOP 100 at the end of 2013. Just listen to this set! Opening it up with ‘Spaceman’, playing ‘Apollo’ (which was brand new back then), dropping ‘How We Do’, blending from ‘Numb’ to ‘Cannonball’ and bringing Lil Jon to the stage to hype the crowd even more, Hardwell turned it up with this set. By the way, with 33 million views, this set is still his most viewed live set. Tells you how good it is.

Full Set on YouTube: Hardwell – Ultra 2013

No. 4: Knife Party – Ultra 2015
Besides the reunion with Pendulum on stage, Knife Party’s set at Ultra 2015 might have been the most essential reason for them becoming headliners at Ultra 2016. Just to name a few highlights of this killer set: Parliament Funk, Plur Police and Internet Friends, and that acapella of Ghosts n’ Stuff fitted in perfectly. Check it out:

Full Set on YouTube: Knife Party – Ultra 2015

No. 3: Kaskade – Ultra 2016
The opening of Kaskade’s set was absolutely phenomenal and it might be the best opening I have ever seen. His whole set had an amazing flow and I enjoy listening to it. The music paired together with this fantastic light- and fireshow rank this set at number #3 of my all-time favorites.

Full Set on YouTube: Kaskade – Ultra 2016

No. 2: KSHMR – Ultra 2017
KSHMR tried something different with his set at Ultra 2017 and it worked tremendously. He built his set around the story of a falsely expelled prince, who comes back to reclaim his throne. Every story scene is ended with multiple songs under the help of live musicians. Wow, just wow! If you have not seen this set already, it is a must to check it out:

Full Set on YouTube: KSHMR – Ultra 2017

No. 1: Laidback Luke – Ultra 2013
You know that a set is amazing, if you have returned to it frequently over the past five years. I don’t know how often I have listened to Laidback Luke’s set of UMF 2013, but it is just great. Luke’s live mixing is (as always) on another level, the dancers and kryomen were on point and Majestic was a great MC in the middle of the set. The crowd loved it and so did I. My number 1 set of UMF Miami.

Full Set on YouTube: Laidback Luke – Ultra 2013

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