“These are all the kids who ate lunch by themselves in high school and they stumbled upon this and they went…Whoa, I belong here,” says a lifelong fan of rave music and the Electric Daisy Carnival in the documentary film, Under the Electric Sky.
Set in Las Vegas in 2013, the film focuses on and chronicles several different young people and their love for, journeys to, and experiences at the Electric Daisy Carnival. There’s the “Wolfpack” of several young men from Massachusetts driving their way in a camper to the event to honor and remembrance of their friend’s life and untimely death. There’s Jim and Jenna, two young lovers who are living on two different continents because of their different career paths but are reuniting for the three day and night event. There’s Sadie, a small-town Texas girl who suffers from severe anxiety and the electronic music helps calm her nerves. And there’s Jose who, do to some health issues, is in a wheelchair but never misses the Electric Daisy Carnival which he himself calls a “Perfect Utopia”.
The documentary also takes the audience behind the scenes with a few of the star DJs who perform at the event, including Tiesto and Above & Beyond, and shows how the event has grown to entertain as many as 350,000 screaming, dancing, and jumping fans.
More infomercial than documentary, Under the Electric Sky tries to present a PG-13 version of a concert that is known for its R and NC-17 behavior. The film quickly mentions how security and safety are important to the event’s managers and the CEO himself, Pasquale Rotella, but never mentions or attempts to deal with the several deaths that have occurred at the Electric Daisy Carnival over the last few years.
The film also only gives the audience a brief and surface look into the lives of the young people it’s focusing on, which doesn’t allow the movie-going crowd a chance to connect or really care about any of them.
Under the Electric Sky tries to capture the spectacle, energy, and craziness that IS the reason thousands of people travel so many miles to be a part of the event, but ultimately it’s really nothing more than a 85 minute ad for the next Carnival/concert.
– Reviewed by Kevin Finnerty