Editor’s Note: EDM.com proudly publishes four installments of annual year-end coverage: Industry Leaders, Performances & DJ Sets, Music Producers and Songs.


To honor their creativity and deeply influential work to challenge the boundaries of performance, the EDM.com staff recognized 10 of the year’s best sets from around the electronic music world.

In no particular order, discover the best DJ sets and performances of 2023 below.

Skrillex

Red Rocks

If there were ever a “you had to be there” moment in the storied career of Skrillex, it was his unprecedented five-hour DJ set at Red Rocks in April.

Skrillex laid the groundwork of a stateside EDM revolution in 2010, when he released his first two EPs, My Name Is Skrillex and Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. His seminal debut album, Recess, then opened the floodgates in 2014.

But the music in its wake lived in a Potemkin village, an external façade that concealed a deepening fissure in Skrillex’s personal life. Following the tragic death of his mother, he turned to alcohol as his sense of self eroded, and he eventually devolved into the doldrums of depression.

Skrillex’s historic set at Red Rocks was the end of his elusive search for identity. He found himself on that stage, and on the strength of his palpable connection with those in attendance, the show was also a reminder that his inner demons were worth battling in the name of preservation. The night featured zero special guests—just Skrillex and his fans.

The concert was full-blown catharsis for the dubstep icon, who said it was “one of the best nights in [his] entire 35 years on planet Earth.” Somehow, five hours wasn’t long enough.

Words by Jason Heffler.

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Chase & Status

Boiler Room: London

Drum & bass made an explosive comeback on the global stage in 2023. And it’s tremendous that these 20-year veterans could not only play their part, but also dominate.

Pioneering drum & bass duo Chase & Status had a monumental year, but their epic “Boiler Room: London” performance was the pièce de résistance. Accompanied by Takura and Flowdan, Chase & Status’ Saul Milton broke the Internet in September with a high-octane set comprising fan-favorite hits and then-unreleased songs from a new album.

Everything about the set is perfection. Dressed in a plain white tee and looking like a dad running a pizzeria, Milton effortlessly had a packed room of sweaty youth moving at breakneck speed. Having fun is timeless, and no performance better represented that truth this year.

How many sets have you seen that ran back the same song four times in a row, with an even bigger reaction from the crowd each time? Repeat rinses of Chase & Status’ global hit “Baddadan” erupted the set into a fever pitch, putting the cherry on top of a bona fide masterclass that celebrated a banner year for the ageless duo.

Words by Carlie Belbin, Shakiel Mahjouri and Nick Yopko.


Keinemusik

EXIT Festival

Whether you know them from their sun-kissed marathon DJ sets dominating social media—beloved even by stars like Drake—or their original music effortlessly blending electronica, Amapiano and house, Keinemusik are masters of the groove.

The Berlin collective’s superb song selection and silky-smooth transitions were on full display during their sunrise set at this summer’s EXIT, a festival in an 18th-century fortress in Serbia. Keinemusik anthems like “Les Gout” and “The Rapture Pt.III” thundered amongst unsung gems like Jean Claude Ades’ remix of “Mektoub.”

On top of that, Keinemusik’s performance shrewdly incorporated the innovative TEIL2 Revelo from Rampa’s own hardware company, TEILE. Eschewing the hollow frills of fireworks, lighting and visuals entirely, they masterfully tethered tracks to deliver three hours of unfettered dance music in a one-of-a-kind performance.

Words by Saad Masood.


Alesso and Martin Garrix

Tomorrowland

Sparked by a fan’s imaginative suggestion, the story of Martin Garrix and Alesso’s back-to-back set evolved into a monumental affair at Tomorrowland 2023.

A blend of chart-topping dynamism and melodic prowess, their performance transformed the festival’s Library Stage into a realm of palpable nostalgia resonating with golden-era mainstage classics.

This unanticipated set, which was not livestreamed but immortalized through videos and in the hearts and minds of the fans, stands as a testament not only to Garrix and Alesso’s evolving artistry, but also the magic that can spontaneously arise in the extraordinary world of electronic dance music.

Words by Cameron Sunkel.


Rezz

Brooklyn Mirage

Rezz’s hypnotic visuals and the Brooklyn Mirage’s colossal outdoor screen were a match made in heaven during her performance in June, which served as one of electronic music superstar’s largest headlining shows of 2023.

In a gigantic set comprising nearly all original music, Rezz displayed her prowess as an innovator and trendsetter within the bass music world in an unmatched way. Her visual and production teams flexed their skills to meet the moment, offering lucky attendees a transformative audiovisual spectacle steeped in grandeur.

Words by Konstantinos Karakolis.


John Summit

The Caverns

When John Summit announced that his first-ever curated camping event would go down in a nowheresville cave in Tennessee, nothing could have made more sense.

The house music superstar, who recently nabbed a spot in Forbes‘ “30 Under 30” list, ultimately sold out the doubleheader within just a couple of days of its announcement as eager fans waited to get swallowed into the depths of the psychedelic abyss of The Caverns.

Descending on a natural amphitheater millions of years in the making, Summit headlined a preternatural “cave rave” in the subterranean concert venue, its first foray into house music. Each night reverberated with rumbling techno and deep house fervor, leading to a mystically unorthodox party for the ages.

Words by Mikala Lugen.

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Madeon

Good Faith Forever: The Final Show

Madeon’s spectacular “Good Faith Forever” was one of the most popular live shows of 2023. From its kaleidoscopic visual aspects to Madeon’s stunning performance therein, his sophomore album morphed into an unforgettable live music experience that consistently left his fans in awe.

This year, Madeon opted to retire the show after three of its biggest headlines to date: Red Rocks, the Brooklyn Mirage and finally, LA’s famed Shrine Expo Hall. The lattermost performance functioned as a poignant farewell to a world from which fans have long refused to disenthrall, but it also signaled the beginning of an exciting new era for the French dance music virtuoso.

Words by Niko Sani.


ISOxo and Knock2

Shrine Expo Hall

ISOxo and Knock2 first crossed paths in 2015 at the San Diego County Fair. Little did anyone know they’d emerge as the electronic music scene’s most promising young talents eight years later, when they were the cynosure of all eyes during a remarkable four-night run at LA’s Shrine Expo Hall.

Despite their youth at the age of 23 and 24, respectively, ISOxo and Knock2 effortlessly commanded the stage. With unbridled energy and show-stopping production, the rapturous fervor surrounding their performances only grew each day. 

The pair set quite a precedent for 2024, when ISOxo will take his stunning debut album on the road and Knock2 will release a debut album of his own, nolimit. Their momentum appears unstoppable.

Words by Andrea Nguyen.

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Skrillex, Fred again.. and Four Tet

Coachella

After a historic rave at Madison Square Garden, Skrillex, Fred again.. and Four Tet did the unthinkable during Coachella’s second 2023 weekend. In an unexpected twist, the trio replaced Frank Ocean in the wake of his controversial Weekend 1 performance and delivered an electrifying showcase that marked a totemic cultural moment for electronic dance music.

The performance seamlessly melded the styles of three electronic titans from different generations—the persevering Gen X stalwart Four Tet, Millennial force Skrillex and innovative Zillenial Fred again..—to deliver a monster headlining set that will ripple through Coachella’s lore for years to come.

Throwing down uninhibited on a 360° stage, they effortlessly weaved through house, breakbeat, drum & bass, dubstep and everything in-between, offering lucky attendees one of the decade’s most raved-about DJ sets—and plenty of memes.

Words by Brooke Bierman and Lennon Cihak.


Pretty Lights

Suwannee Hulaween

Pretty Lights returned with a bang in 2023 after a long hiatus. It’d been nearly five years since his last performance and expectations were high for his new “Soundship Spacesystem” tour, which landed at Suwannee Hulaween for a mind-melting two-night run over Halloweekend.

Pretty Lights designed a goosebump-inducing journey that transcended genres in a vintage performance, sprinkling in brand-new tracks alongside many crowd favorites like “Hot Like Sauce” and “Rainbows & Waterfalls.” The crowd fed off his energy as he and his band effortlessly rocked the drums, keyboard and synthesizer like no time had passed, emanating a palpable energy that turned back the clock for longtime fans of the iconic producer.

Each of Pretty Lights’ sets at Hulaween’s 10th anniversary festival were euphoric in nature, and they had everyone at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park on cloud nine. After actualizing a comeback many thought would never happen, he made a bold statement for the future.

Words by Rachel Freeman.

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