Writer’s Picks: Favorite Live Sets Of 2022

Live sets have returned, and it’s hard to believe we lived without them.

In looking back on the pandemic, a lot of people appreciated life slowing down, providing a chance for reflection. But now that live music is back, it better not go anywhere ever again.

Team EDM Maniac spent 2022 traveling all over the world hitting some of the most celebrated festivals of the year including Coachella, Tomorrowland, Dimensions, Shambhala, and EDC Las Vegas.

With so many great events under our belt it was hard to pick a favorite live set, but we managed to do it.

1. Portals: Sub Focus and Wilkinson @ EDC Las Vegas

This year was my first time attending Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas. After two years of not attending a single show or festival, it was my first event back. To say I was excited is an understatement. The first night was like stepping into a whirlwind adult playground of light shows, insane production, and the best electronic music playing everywhere, all at once.

My most memorable set of 2022 is the Portals set from that night. I have always been a fan of drum & bass, but this set completely changed my life. It was during this set that it all settled in; that I was finally back doing what I love, with people I loved, in the community I loved. – Merinah Buller, Editorial Writer

2. Kx5 @ The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

This year, I had the opportunity to experience many first-time sets and festivals, so nailing down a favorite felt like a conundrum. But, after a while of reflecting, I’ve come to the conclusion that Kx5 at the L.A. Coliseum is by far the best.

Stepping foot into the Coliseum for the very first time felt magical. This paired with the sounds of Kx5 resulted in the feeling of nostalgia rushing over me, moths kicking in my stomach, and memories of being a baby raver flashing back.

And to top it off, I was standing in the same spot EDC 2010 took place while listening to two of the most influential artists in dance music culture. After raving for 11 years, this one encounter really made me feel like I’ve officially earned my raver badge. – Paloma Abarca, Editorial Writer/MANIAC BLVCK Content Specialist


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3. DRAMA @ Portola

DRAMA is an American duo who are best known for their 2021 collaboration with Gorgon City, “You’ve Done Enough,” and while Gorgon City was also at Portola, DRAMA’s set blew me away.

Their sound is pure positive energy with painful lyrics that resonate with anyone who’s ever had their heart broken. At Portola, they did that cheesy bit where everyone gets on the floor and jumps up, but this time it was one of the most magical moments. It felt like true PLUR from the 90s had resurfaced and the ego was completely stripped back to just people who love music. – Danielle Levy, Senior News Writer

4. Adam Beyer B2B Cirez D @ ARC

My favorite set for this year was Cirez D B2B with Adam Beyer at ARC in Chicago. The whole time during the set, I had my fists clenched and felt the intense energy run throughout my body.

Something about listening to techno live is surreal. Right after Cirez D B2B with Adam Beyer closed out mainstage at ARC, they headlined the ARC Afterparty at Radius which was one of my highlights of this year. – Jobby Kurian, Staff Writer

5. Above & Beyond @ Banc Of California Stadium, Los Angeles

The top spot on my list of favorite sets of the year goes to Above & Beyond from ABGT500 in LA because the energy from the music and the crowd made it one of the most wholesome festival experiences ever. – Federica Brandi,  Editorial Writer

6. Roza Terenzi B2B D. Tiffany @ Barbarella’s Discotheque, Pirovac, Croatia

To everyone reading this, Barbarella’s has to be on your dance music bucket list. By far the best club I’ve ever been to, and to be honest, its because it really isn’t a club. It’s a discotheque.

There is no fancy production or anything reminiscent of bottle service. The DJs stand in a both that looks like a take out window, everything is outdoors, and the sound is pure and premier.

Roza Terenzi and D. Tiffany had the 3AM-6AM slot following a day of epic partying at Dimensions festival just on the other side of the bay and let me tell you, it was like that concrete platform started floating. Watching the sky change from deep indigo, to green, to orange, with the rising sun, it was like an ascension into house heaven. – Harry Levin, Managing Editor

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