The Chemical Brothers at Ultra Music Festival 2011 Day Three, March 27

Halfway through the Chemical Brothers' Ultra-closing set Sunday night, when a skyscraper-size screen repeatedly flashed the words "Don't Think," complying was a given. The British duo's live performance was an all-encompassing sensory experience so powerful in its force, any thought was quickly crowded out by lights and sound. 

Oh, and there was the fact that most of the thousands watching had made it through a bit of history: the first three-day edition of Ultra, the first edition of Ultra to sell out in advance, and, quite possibly, the first three-day electronic music festival in the U.S., full stop. All that history-making is tiring.

Luckily, Chemical Brothers appeared to soothe tired souls. While Tiesto's and Deadmau5's closing sets on Friday and Saturday, respectively, were epic, a more old-school -- and live! -- act seemed like the best way to send off the entire festival. 

Not only were the Chemical Brothers among the first acts to score crossover success in the heady '90s, but they're one of the few that can handle an arena-size crowd. Not only do they bring an entire set design and mega-high production values -- this time, they performed under a colossal, cage-like lighting structure -- but everything performed is live. Equipment takes up the entire stage, and there is always room for changes and minor variations.

And no disrespect, but unlike many of the other biggest acts at Ultra, the Chemical Brothers understand the emotional and entertainment value of drastically varying tempos. They came out of the gate strong and fast, with the Q-tip-featuring "Galvanize," but then carefully structured the rest of the flowing set into noticeable peaks and valleys. 

Unlike Underworld on the festival's previous night, who allowed breaks between songs to emphasize the live-ness of their act, the Brothers kept things flowing nonstop. "Galvanize" and its hefty hip-hop flavor eventually gave way to thudding, more minimal, straight-up techno, then to romantic ambient, then back to the big beat they helped pioneer. With a number of selections coming from the pair's most recent releases, though, there was a marked emphasis on melody that was welcome.

Still, with 150,000 people to please, the Brothers kept things largely uptempo and forceful, building up to a conclusion of their hour-and-a-half set with, what else, "Block-Rockin' Beats." It was a marriage between old and new that nicely concluded the weekend by linking up rave culture's past and future. 

Partial Set List:

"Do It Again"
"Get Yourself High"
"Horse Power"
"Chemical Beats"
"Star Guitar"
"Hey Boy, Hey Girl"
"Don't Think"
"Out of Control"
"Setting Sun"
"Escape Velocity"
"Acid Children"
"Leave Home"
"Block Rockin' Beats"

Location Info


Bicentennial Park - CLOSED

1075 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

Category: General

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Esrever Backwards
Esrever Backwards

The park only holds 50,000. it is a misquote. The 150,000 number is 3 days x 50,000.


There SHOULD HAVE been 150,000 people watching Chemical Brothers that night because the show was that AMAZING! But I don't blame all of them; Sander Van Doorn is totally a must-see as well.

Either way, Chemical Brothers were the perfect ending to an awesome three-day festival...


Certainly not 150k attendees. It was about 50k attendees, each day at Ultra (of which at least 10k were at Carl Cox / ASOT Superstructure tent and not at the Main Stage).

Coachella is about 65k attendees each day.

Nevertheless fab performance by the Chemical Brothers and fantastic crowd.

However please get your facts correct.

Jesus Fuentes
Jesus Fuentes

The best performance period! Chemical Brothers ROCK the house!


"150,000 people to please" where did that attendance # come from? Seems like 100k was even high.

Carlos D
Carlos D

Pretty sure the attendance figures for festivals (Coachella included) misleadingly sum up the overall attendance for each day and release that as one number. So for the 150k people, they really mean 50k each day x 3.

Arielle Castillo
Arielle Castillo

For Chem Bros specifically? Okay you're right. I guess 150k would be "people to potentially please" as that was festival attendance. I have no idea how many people were watching Chem Bros specifically. As far as the festival, I have no doubt attendance was very damn near close to the number of tickets sold -- you could feel it when you were waiting in the bathroom lines!

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