To All The Lovers and Haters alike,
I can truly say that my perception of Kingston has been positively skewed, thanks in part to Skrillex and in a much larger part to my best friend Lorne Kalmar and all of the members that comprise his roomates and collective group of friends at Queens. For without you guys, I would have had no place to sleep, no ticket for the show, alot more money, and most importantly no amazing memories to share. You were incredible ambassadors to what life is truly like at Queens, and I am glad to have shared that concert with you. Sorry, couldnt help the mushy stuff on valentines…..but back to the lesson at hand.
To even begin to describe the massive gathering of idiotic foolishness that comprised the entire weekend would take a lifetime, so out of respect for your free time and sanity, ill skip to sunday evening, aka concert eve. The predrink we attended was cozy and admirable, which in essence is the exact oppositde of what a usual dubstep concert predrink has comprised of in my history. But no biggie, its just that everyone here is super down to earth and nice. As we retreated back home, we realized that due to a miscalculation I did not have a ticket for the show. The next 35 minutes was essentially a giant networking telethon of everyone in the room trying to find me a ticket, all with Skrillex blasting on repeat as background noise. In the end, a ticket was salvaged and all was well.
As we got into Stages Nightclub, we went through the usual concert formalities: the coat check, the tab start, the first drop and the awkward hellos. It was around 11pm and there was a solid lack of female potential, but a pretty large wave of bodies in the pit. Im not sure if the opening 2 DJs were locals and have amazing friends, or were just that good, but the frontal booth area was a flurry of limbs. As I finished my first drink, Kalmar somehow snagged me an interview with Mt. Eden; a couple of Kiwi dubstep DJs, who due to unfortunate complications were unable to play the set they had prepared for that evening. The interview was quite impromptu and slightly awkward, but the boys are still in the humbled stages of their early careers and they were kind enough to give an interview to a douche like me that they didnt even know (also big thanks to Casual Contact for hooking it up!). As I returned back inside the last opening DJ (Kenny) was finishing up his set on a very high note, and Tommy Lee & DJ Aero stepped to the box and took a hard look at the insanity they were about to control.
Act 1 – The Mau5′s Minions
Although, as you shall soon read, Skrillex absolutely destroyed Stages Nightclub, for me Tommy & Aero were definitely the highlight of tonights ensemble, hands down. From the first frame of their retarded intro video to the last decibal of their set, the duo was UNSTOPPABLE. They dropped all of the heaviest underground electro-house names in the game; from Lazy Rich to Porter Robinson and everything in between. They threw in a handfull of Deadmau5 tracks, including those sung by Tommy’s girlfriend SOFI (another member of the Mau5trap family), who was kind enough to grace us with her majesty and sing One Trick Pony and Sofi Needs A Ladder live in the flesh. I can honestly say that the last time I felt that kind of attraction towards a single human woman was when I saw Swordfish the first time when I was 12 (for obvious reasons). She was even kind enough to pose for a pic with me & Kalmar and let me bore her with how much I love her and Tommy, and the rest of the collective pieces that comprise Joel Zimmerman‘s epic posse of destruction. The incredible arsenal of tracks that stock-piled their set, mixed with the lost sanity of seeing Sofi belt her shit live was more than overwhelming, and somehow they made me resent Skrillex for having to end their set early. Ya, they were that fucking good. Now on to the main reason for the collective assembly of a large chunk of the Queens youth.
Act 2 – The Re-fuel
It was a welcome sight to see Skrillex in the flesh once more, as the last time we encountered it was a night I will never forget as long as I live. As Skrillex took to the booth, the crowd was noticabley gassed from the initial fist fucking they had just recieved at the hands of Tommy & Aero. Skrillex popped on his first track, which was somewhat unknown, and the pit looked more like a gathering of hungry zombies than the collection of rowdy rollers it comprised of 15 minutes before. Fortunately, Skrillex realized this and promptly cut to his much better know track Rock N’ Roll, which served as the perfect reminder to the crowd to take their second pill (or shot, or j, etc.). Once re-catalyzed, the stages faithful were able to bust out to the rest of the unknown opening dubstep tracks that Skrillex played with ease, one of which that saw SOFI return to the stage to sing accompanying vocals and re-fuel erections. This short warmup also included the tracks Scatta, Fucking Die, and his remixes of Rock That Body & Hey Sexy Lady, after which the Kingston faithful finally got the hint that this Sunday night wasn’t ending anytime soon. The first third of Skillex’s set was then extinguished with him dropping Conscindo & Undertaker by Wolfgang Gartner (which always makes me derp myself), followed by his and Zedd’s versions of WEEKENDS!!!. Everyone was now loosey goosey, and incredibly fired up.
Act 3 – Remix Frenzy
For the middle bulk of his performance, Sonny decided to bust out a shit-smear of remixes, some of which I had seen him drop previously but was more than happy to hear again. Sonny immediately won over the hearts of everyone in the club the moment the words “move bitch! get out the way!” creeped their way through the speakers, as everyone began belting the lyrics louder then the soundsystem could. It was also at this point that I began noticing this big hairy dude that had been situated behind Skrillex in the booth since he stepped in, as he decided to take his shirt off for some strange reason. After that point, and especially during Move Bitch, mr. hairy yeti man started dancing and moving around in the weirdest/most uncoordinated/cracked out ways possible, and it put a smile on my face everytime I glanced at the booth for the rest of the evening. From there, Skrillex dropped a remix of Bassnectar’s Wildstyle Method that I am unaware of, but was nonetheless it was fantastic. The next three songs, for me, were definitively the most euphoric segment of Skrillex’s set.
It all started when he dropped the Sub Focus remix of Hold On by Rusko, which if you havn’t already heard then I seriously doubt you can call yourself a true dubstep fan, considering it is the one song that can cause a gathering of devout puritains to commit beastiality. He then mixed in a track that almost made me vomit in nostalgia, aka Let Me Clear My Throat by DJ Kool, aka the first hip hop track I ever knew off by heart, aka the sound that forces the deceased to burst forth from their graves. Thankfully, many others at stages share my zeal for that epic song and shouted every lyric along with me.
As if life couldn’t get better, Skrillex lowered the volume and said a sentence containing 2 of the sweetest words in the english language: Mortal Kombat. In a brilliant move, the creators of the new Mortal Kombat video game decided to hire electronic producers and DJs to make the opening theme songs for each character. Skrillex was chosen and paired with Reptile; a member of the bipedal humanoid race of reptilian creatures that resides in the neatherealm (what a perfect match eh?). He then privied us to this soon to be released intro track; a dubstep creation of absolute fuggin absurdity. Every level that comprised Stages Nightclub was shaking, as the massive room swelled with peaking levels of rage and euphoria.
Act 4 – Playing To The Crowd
So everyone has just lost their minds, how can the night get better? O I dunno, maybe if Skrillex played every well known song he has produced since he began his career! For the remaining hour or so that was left, Sonny knocked out banger after banger after banger of all his best and brightest, including Kill Everybody, Needed Change, Scary Monsters & Sprites (+ Zedd Remix), and his remix of La Roux’s In For The Kill. The highlight of this segment came when he dropped his remix of the famous Benassi track ‘Cinema’.
Upon first listen to Cinema last month, I had been skeptical of how good the track truly was, but Skrillex explained that the version most of us had been listening to was a leak and not the finely tuned product he had recently finished. As such, he promptly dropped the true version on us, whereby the crowd and my eardrums completely combusted. As the onset of 2 am rolled around, Skrillex ended his set with his beautifully melodic track With Your Friends. By this time I was sad to witness most of the attendees who were not in the pit begin to leave, an occurrence that should never take place before Sonny has fully left the building. Thankfully, there were enough vocal chords present to demand an encore and the Sonny graciously obliged.
Act 5 – The End Is Never The End
The final song which emulated from Skrillex’s mixer was a completely unreleased track, one that Sonny claims was the first track he had produced all year. Well from the sounds of it, 2011 is going to be an even bigger year for the already gold-like 5 foot Californian, as this track that he unleashed was absolutely spectaculous. The intro/hook is reminicent of Caspa‘s production style; that sort of demented cirucus style sampling style mixed with phatntom of the opera esque piano melodies. The rest of the track was doused in Skrillex’s textbook production aspects, in so far as it made me lace my underpants almost repeatedly until it was over. By the end of it there was no free energy left in the room, made evident when yeti man stopped awkwardly dancing and had to hold onto the walls of the booth just to stay on his feet. Sonny then gave his usual inspirational speech, and although fully aware of how corny it sounds, he passionately told the crowd to follow their dreams and never let anyone stop them from being ambitious towards something your truly passionate about. He waved goodbye, wished everyone a safe ride home, and left Stages in a wave of applause and whistles.
As I made my way out, I was glad to know that citites outside Toronto and London are establishing their credibility within the eyes of major DJs. I have been in contact with many artists and fans worldwide, and can attest to the incredible amount of respect and admiration that most have towards our small segment of North America. Ontario has come to be known as one of the most densely multicultural centers in the world, which have translated into a flurry of devout niches, closely attending and following any and all types of live music. Kingstonians, you guys have a unique juxtaposition of character. During the daytime you are all uber nice and seemingly normal as fuck, but at night you guys turn into a bunch of substance fueled monsters. Dont let your newly found reputation slip, keep attending as many DJ and concert events as possible, as it will only lead to an increase in the talent level passing thru your fair town.
only 5 days to rest before Skrillex round 2 @ The Phoenix!
- Signed Sincerely, The Worst Guy