Last weekend, valley ravers were treated to a sensational lineup as Zeds Dead came through with their Deadbeats Arizona event! Not only did we get a killer selection of artists featuring Dimension, NGHTMRE, and of course, Zeds Dead, but we also had the chance to explore a totally new venue. Relentless Beats has been throwing amazing events for well over 10 years with the majority of that time having Rawhide Western Town as the home for all events. Following their massively successful Decadence New Year’s event last December, featuring an impressive megastructure and production value to match, I was a bit hesitant to move to a new venue as home base. I’m thrilled to say I had absolutely nothing to worry about! Phoenix International Raceway (P.I.R) provided a spectacular background for Deadbeats Arizona. Easy parking, wide open dancing, and crispy sound quality make P.I.R. a triple threat. I can only imagine the production value we’ll be experiencing as more events come to P.I.R.
After exploring the grounds a bit, I dropped everything and sprinted to the rail the moment I heard Rossy drop a subtle, but oh so meaningful, string of notes. As an avid and lifelong fan of the Avatar: The Last Airbender show, when someone samples “Avatar’s Love” there is nothing getting in the way of me soaking in every note. The delicate chord progression provided a wonderful contrast to the powerful and high-energy set Rossy was delivering. What a special treat she tucked in an absolutely explosive set. This was my first time seeing Rossy and you can bet I will be scouring lineups to get my next Rossy show in the books!
When it comes to a show’s artist roster, you get some hits and you get some misses. I was beyond stoked to see Dion Timmer take control of the decks as his reputation in the headbanger community is known far and wide. I’m deflated to say my excitement fell a bit flat. Dion hit some solid runs throughout his set, but he couldn’t keep me locked in for the whole ride. Now, don’t get me wrong, he had me tapping into my inner bad bitch when he dropped a truly glitchy and wonky remix of “Toxic” by Britney Spears. A song that has been sampled backward and forwards, Dion managed to breathe new life into this 2003 smash hit. But let’s be real, you give me Britney, bass, and space to shake my ass…? I’m a happy camper!
The next heavy hitter to come up and take the reigns was NGHTMRE! He started his set off with a surprising sample, taking sultry and smooth energy from “Feeling Good” by Michael Buble. How does he manage to get us bouncing with his choppy beats and still deliver such a smooth performance? I’ve seen him at many a festival and he has never once disappointed. I am always extra excited for a NGHTMRE set because he tends to feature some mind-bending visuals. I had skulls dancing in my dreams for days to come! In true NGHTMRE fashion, he closed out his hour with his classic staple, GUD VIBRATIONS. It felt like the crowd was already at level 10 before he brought us to a close with GUD VIBRATIONS. The way he slams into that drop is iconic! He managed to pack easy listening hits in with some of the most earth-shattering bass lines for a winning combination! My personal highlight from his set was his feature of “Heads Will Roll” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It was like a dramatic disco vibe hit the crowd and we were all there to vogue and headbang! Delicious set start to end, not a single complaint!
Apparently, I have been living under a rock because Dimension was another fresh name to me. I can’t even express the buckets of regret I have for only just now discovering Dimension! I was in DnB heaven. Driving BMP, heavy bass, and a crowd positively losing it on the energy scales. I felt like I was 18 at my first rave again! I don’t know what it is about DnB that reignites this misfit fire deep in my soul. All I could think of as he hit banger after banger was “HE DOES NOT SLOW DOWN AHHH”. I couldn’t catch my breath as he was taking us on a psychotic journey. Dimension will definitely be a household name in my home moving forward. After the DnB journey he took us on, I now understand why he is such a notable name in the European scene. Deadbeats Arizona was his first time in Arizona and thankfully he was treated to some gorgeous weather all evening. Maybe we can entice him to come back for another round soon!
Finally, the duo we all came to see took to the stage. Zeds Dead was met with slight technical difficulty but moved right past it and dove headfirst into an intense rollercoaster ride! I always make it a point to check out the DJ dance moves each artist features while they are commanding the decks. The duo, Dylan and Zachary, were bobbing and clearly enjoying every moment of their performance. For me, it brings a deeper level of enjoyment to know the artists are truly soaking in every moment as well, like it’s a shared experience.
They gave us a tasty little sneak peek into a new song they collaborated with Jauz on. It featured a heavy bass line with delicate vocals paired with it. I will be fiending for this track until it’s officially released. Another track I will be dreaming about for years to come was a suburb reimagining of The Beatles‘ “Elanor Rigby”. Mixed into a glitchy version, this made for a very unique dish that pleased even the pickiest of musical pallets. Now, you may not believe me when I tell you about the surprise guest because, frankly, I’m still not sure it was real! Zeds Dead led us towards a “Gangster’s Paradise” type of vibe and suddenly, Coolio and Kylian Mash were right there rapping “Gangster’s Paradise”! It felt like a fever dream at the moment, but it actually happened! Never thought I would get the opportunity to hear the 1995 rap hit IN PERSON!! To complement the 90’s vibe, Zeds Dead took us just a few years later to 1999 by sampling the iconic track “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child. It’s almost like they set us up for a bit of a historical ride with their sample list reaching as far back as 1966 and ending with their 2009 remix of “Eyes on Fire” originally by Blue Foundation. Not a single moment of disappointment was had through their entire set. The only disappointment came when they said goodnight!
Amazing sets, incredible artists, and an awesome new venue! Relentless Beats has come out swinging to establish a new normal post-pandemic. A new normal that calls for bigger venues, more shows, and the rave community continuing to grow! Be sure to keep your eyes and ears open as Relentless Beats shows no signs of slowing down heading into the summer months! Click here for a full photo roundup of the night!