2018 Aspen Winter X Games Review
The 22nd annual Winter X Games was held January 25th-28th at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colorado. It is an extreme winter sports competition held by ESPN that combines winter sports with the feel of a festival by adding a village of vendors and daily musical entertainment. The 4-day long event combines competitions for snowbikes, snowmobiles, skiing, and snowboarding. This year, LCD Soundsystem, Marshmello, Martin Garrix, and Method Man & Redman headlined the weekend’s music acts.
The venue for the Winter X Games, Buttermilk Mountain Ski Resort, sits on a beautiful sprawling mountainside in Aspen, Colorado. The event has skiing and snowboarding courses, a massive superpipe for snowboarding competitions, a big air jump, as well as a course that’s built specifically for various snowbike and snowmobile competitions.
The X Games miniature festival was the perfect addition to the base of the mountain. Visiting the various vendors were a great way to stay active and warm between competitions. Some of OneEDM’s favorite vendors were Monster Energy and Wendy’s. Monster Energy spent the weekend providing fans with energy drinks and excellent music in between competitions, and Wendy’s was giving away free food. If energy drinks and burgers didn’t satisfy, the X Games also provided various food trucks throughout the festival village to meet everyone’s hunger needs.
The competitions for the weekend proved to be especially exciting. Fans at every event throughout the weekend were cheering on their favorite athletes. It was a unifying experience for all that combined a competitive vibe. The competitors at the snowbike/snowmobile track and superpipe seemed to steal fans hearts, however. Throughout the weekend fans were abuzz with delight at events at the course. It was the loudest place to be.
Probably the most exciting moment of the weekend happened over at the base of the SuperPipe though. Rap duo Method Man & Redman stole the show Saturday night after snowboarder Chloe Kim took the gold for her performance in the SoFi woman’s SuperPipe competition. Performing their hit ‘Da Rockwilder,’ they fed off of the energy of the crowd full of excited fans.
Music for the weekend was featured small stage near the snowmobile/snowbike course. The mountain provided perfect acoustics and rib-rattling bass for every musical act. The stages small stature created a perfectly intimate setting. It featured a different setup for each night. Stage setups ranged from an LED backdrop shaped like Martin Garrix’s plus sign to a festival stage setup for Marshmello. Just in front of the stage there was a big grassy slope area split into two sections, with a VIP area taking up half of one.
Concerts began Friday evening, the second night of the event after the last competition came to a close. Martin Garrix was set to hit the decks and everyone for it. As fans piled into the stage area, you could hear each group chatting amongst about their excitement for the show. After fog filled the venue and anticipation came to a head, Garrix threw down all of his fan’s favorite tracks. He was on a mission to set a high standard for what the crowd could expect for the weekend’s music. Everyone in attendance felt it.
Saturday fans were treated to twice the musical fun, with an afternoon Method Man & Redman set, followed by LCD Soundsystem at the end of the day’s competitions. After a chilly morning of watching amazing athletes, getting down with Method Man and Redman was the perfect way for spectators to warm up. From the moment that the duo took to the stage the energy of everyone in the venue skyrocketed. The crowd was blown away by classics from both the pair themselves like ‘Blackout,’ as well as some old school Wu-Tang Clan. Method Man & Rodman’s infectious energy had everyone in the venue jumping up and down.
After Method Man & Redman, and an afternoon of spine-tingling extreme sports it was again time for fans to rock out, this time with LCD Soundsystem. The venues lighting for the evening took on a more intimate tone for this set than it had for the others. As the LCD Soundsystem took to the stage, a somber relaxed vibe fell over the crowd. From the moment the first guitar chord rang out, you could feel that you were about to be taken on a journey. With each song, LCD Soundsystem showed more of how they eared their Best Dance Album of the Year Grammy.
On Sunday it was Marshmello’s turn to rock the mountainside. As the crowd filled out the grass in front of the stage, it was quickly apparent that there were more attendees for this set than any other. Marshmello’s signature helmet could be seen in almost any direction that you looked.
As the set began just before sunset, suddenly Will Farrell’s face filled the giant LED Screens behind the DJ booth. Taking of Marshmello’s helmet, he assured us all that he had been the man behind the mask the whole time. At this point, the mystery man himself popped up behind the decks and the lyrics to ‘Know Me’ began to ring out. The crowd’s excitement grew with every song. Even singing along with Marshmello as he sang ‘You and Me.’ As the show came to a close, the whole crowd posed for a family photo with Marshmello, but that wasn’t enough for them. When Marshmello walked off stage fans chanted begging for more, getting exactly what they wanted. As such, Marshmello then rushed back to the stage to end the show with a tribute to Lil Peep featuring their last track together ‘Spotlight.’
OneEDM would like to extend a special thank you to ESPN and the X Games for inviting us and for all their hospitality. The experience was amazing and exhilarating from start to finish.