This year was going to finally be the year I made it to Ultra. The closest I got was going to Ulta on Saturday. Not quite the same thing. Though there’s probably less eyeshadow at Ulta. Somehow.

That meant it was satellite radio for me this year—thanks to SiriusXM for having it on channel 18 in addition to Electric Area—, and it was with just a little bit of admitted sadness: Alesso is usually one of my highlights for Ultra, and he wasn’t playing this year.

There was plenty of goodness, though, including a great performance by Tiesto in his sunset slot. Then came Afrojack and the Chainsmokers. This was all in one evening for me, mind you, one that was capped off with Hardwell.

Since I didn’t get to listen to Carl Cox’s sets (thank you internet for having my back on that), I can only say that he was at his usual tech-house best. Sunday did bring three huge performances on the stage that normally belongs to Cox, though, as Armin van Buuren’s A State of Trance 750 stage hosted deadmau5, Eric Prydz, and Armin all in a row. Yee gods that was amazing.

The star of the show had to be Prydz, who put on a melodic trance clinic. If you can find a way to listen to this one, do it. It’s stunningly beautiful. I know Prydz from diverse places like the Forza Horizon 2 soundtrack on the Xbox One, but he’s a name everyone should know. Massively talented.

This was going to be the year I was there. It’s the final year I could get free housing and transportation, so if I’m going to go in the next year or two, I’ll have to budget for that as well.

Only 51 more weeks until Ultra 19…