Electric Zoo is a festival that saw its fair share of controversy last year. Following the tragic death of two concertgoers and the subsequent cancellation of the final day last year, all hands were on deck this year to ensure that safety was the main priority. Drug-sniffing dogs, increased security, volunteer staff tasked with taking care of attendees inside the venue, and a number of other Big Brother-esque type policies were enacted, all with the goal of getting everyone through the weekend safely. But what they couldn’t account for was mother nature. Our own E-Zoo experience consisted of waiting in three separate security lines before entering the festival grounds, one beer, and 20 minutes of The Chainsmokers’ set over at Mainstage East before the music cut out, and all attendees were advised to evacuate the premises. As monsoon-level rains poured down and lightning struck not too far off in the distance, a reluctant few lagged behind in hopes of the grounds re-opening. Alas, everyone was sent home, heads hanging and with no place to dance. Artists and fans alike shared in the disappointment that was Electric Zoo canceling their final day for the second straight year. Summing up the five stages of festival grief we all went through was none other than Mat Zo: DENIAL: So im pretty sure my set is slightly postponed, hopefully not canceled — 〽️ (@Mat_Zo) August 31, 2014 ANGER: Fuck — 〽️ (@Mat_Zo) August 31, 2014 BARGAINING: Trying to find a venue to play at tonight — 〽️ (@Mat_Zo) August 31, 2014 DEPRESSION: Did you see what god did to us man?? — 〽️ (@Mat_Zo) August 31, 2014 ACCEPTANCE: My hotel bed smells so fucking good right now — 〽️ (@Mat_Zo) August 31, 2014 But lucky for us, one venue stepped in to deliver an unexpectedly spectacular lineup, appropriately headlined by the aforementioned Zo. Slake Saves the Night A relative newcomer to the esteemed ranks of the New York club scene, Slake (in tandem with AM Only as well as the historic Webster Hall) threw together a last second lineup to die for. Leading up to the official announcement, rumors were flying around, as Kaskade tried to rope JACK U into a tandem show on Twitter, DMNW favorites The Chainsmokers searched for an alternate venue, and Myon and Shane 54 lamented about their similarly cut short set. But in the end, Slake came through with a lineup so stacked, that tickets sold out within minutes of the official announcement. And suddenly the night was saved. Featuring the likes of D&B, trap, and bass heavyweights What So Not, Mat Zo, Netsky, and more, it was a night that the music alone could have carried. The very fact that Slake’s intimate underground feel made for the perfect backdrop was the icing on the cake. As we entered the small, brick hallway past security check and through the narrow winding corridors, we couldn’t help but feel like this represented the antithesis of the festival experience in all the right ways. Low ceilings, sweaty dancefloors, disco balls, and DJs you could quite literally sit next to on stage all came together to form a singularly unique club night for the ages. What began as feeling like a cursed day, ended in complete bass heaven. Slake threw open its doors promptly at 10pm, and the music played on until the wee hours of the morning, with Mat Zo taking us on a drum & bass journey to remember, unlike anything we would have seen on a festival stage at Electric Zoo. Artists like Milo & Otis, Netsky, and Kove were given the freedom to play any and everything, as the crowds they were catering to wanted nothing but grimy 808s and 185 bpm of pure unadulterated energy. To call Slake “intimate” wouldn’t be doing it justice. (Photo Credit: Christopher Lazzaro) Ending The Electric Zoo Weekend What we were expecting out of our Sunday ended up being nothing like what we experienced, but in the end we couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome. Appropriately echoing our sentiments (as he had been the entire day) was of course Mat Zo. Dirty little club > Mainstage at a festival — 〽️ (@Mat_Zo) September 1, 2014 This might be the best last minute show organisation ive ever seen — 〽️ (@Mat_Zo) September 1, 2014 Thanks to the committed artists determined to perform on a day originally marred by disappointment, as well as Slake and the promoters who gifted us with one of the best lineups we’ve seen for a single club night, the final day of Electric Zoo was officially salvaged. DMNW may not venture out to the East Coast often, but this is how the New York scene rallies in the face of cancellation, you can bet we’ll be returning soon. Peek the full album from that fateful night at Slake here, and follow them on Facebook & Twitter for updates! Nick Cannata-Bowman Pop culture junkie, dinosaur enthusiast, and proud Editor-in-Chief. While an avowed basshead, has been known to be ever-so-slightly trance-curious under the right circumstances.