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Recap of Porter Robinson, Nero and Skrillex at The Phoenix (Feb.19)

24 Feb

 

My Fellow Live Music Lovers,

The saying ‘good things come in threes’ has never been more applicable than to the events of Feburary 19th @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto. For most it was another night glued to the boob tube, with drooling boredom focused on the NBA All-Star weekend in Los Angeles. But in Eastern Toronto at a sweaty, loud, full capacity club, stood three All-Stars in their own accord, who put on a show of unimaginable insanity; an evening of live electronic music that will forever be branded into the minds of all true Dubstep minions in our fair city. The playbill for the night read like a prime time slot from a credible festival like Ultra or Coachella; Porter Robinson opening, followed by a double dose of NeroSkrillex. All under the close supervision of lord Mau5ington himself, in his own backyard nonetheless.

Heeding my own warning, my ensemble arrived at The Phoenix somewhat early, only to stand in an already insane lineup for a half an hour, mostly due to the overtly grotesque bouncers who took their sweet ass time copping a feel on all the high-skirted, ‘respectable’ girls who came to see the show. By the time we finally got past coat check, Porter was already a solid 10 minutes into his set and had already warmed over the hearts of all who had escaped the frigid madness outside. Thankfully, we managed not to miss most of his bangers like Say My Name, and his remixes of We No Speak Americano & Seek Bromance. It was fantastic to finally see what Porter looked like in the flesh, as you truly get a sense of how fucking young he is. At the ripe age of 19 he has already built an incredibly esteemed name for himself as a producer, and it was jokes to see him so excited just to be onstage. He often cut the music and grabbed the mic to announce why he loved each song he was playing so much,  and during each of his drops he cranked the bass so intensely that it had me literally vibrating off the ground.

As the crowd continued to blossom in numbers close to the end of his set, a tall thin-figured creature wearing a pea coat and holding a camera, quietly morphed over to the side of the stage and started snapping off photos of Porter and the crowd. My eyes glanced over his face and structural features, and after a quick neural processing, all of my pent up excitement was exasperated: Deadmau5 was now onstage. Without wearing his iconic mask, I’m sure he was able to fool most noobs at the show into thinking he was just some photographer with a media pass, but he couldn’t fool The Worst Guy. The rest of Porter’s fantastic set became background music, to my ensemble’s collective fixation and drunken enthusiastic harassment of Joel Zimmerman. After an exhausting amount of yelling and pointing, we finally snagged his attention for a brief moment, as he acknowledged us with a fulfilling smirk. Porter must have also noticed the Mau5man’s presence on stage, as he flipped on Animal Rights and watched as the Torontonians went wild for their hometown hero.

As the prodigy’s set came to a halt, the second act began preparing his onslaught of mayhem. Sadly, only one half of Nero showed up from across the pond and I think in anticipation for his lonesome set, Dan decided to summon the powers of every DJ in the world (think Space Jam without the glowing basketball) and play one of the hardest non-stop fist-smashing, orgasm-inducing sets EVER. Dressed in attire fit for a biker gang from 2068, he managed to pack in every major Nero track, with a slew of the top bone-crunching dubstep track from the last few months, into an hour and a half of sweat, blood, and more sweat. I distinctly recall several occurrences (during each of the 3 Justice tracks, the 2 Daft Punk tracks, & SebastiAn’s ‘Threnody’) where I literally shook my head in disbelief, and noticed that most others around me were doing the same. When Bass Canon & Hypnotize U were dropped in succession, every last ounce of free energy forced its way thru the pores of each crowdmember, resulting in one giant humid mess. Just as Porter had done, Dan didn’t hesitate to lavish the hometown crowd with Mau5 related bangers, dropping ‘FML’ right at the peak of his performance. The set then ended with the one song I was waiting for all night, Me & You, which got an ear-deafening reception from the Toronto faithful, who then helped half-Nero off the stage in a wave of applause and screams. Or maybe that was just for the dude setting up beside him…

Finally, the moment every utterly exhausted dub fan in the room was waiting for had arrived. The four-eyed musical assassin had finally returned to Toronto for another night to put in the record books. Before Skrillex dropped his opening track, he regaled audience with his forthcoming respect and love for our fair city, reminding us how the last event he played at Wrongbar in December was one of the craziest nights he’s ever taken part in. If that wasn’t enough to get the crowd going, My Name Is Skrillex started to play and the crowd got so loud that he had to get the music turned up so he could hear it himself. The beginning of his set was spent in the same place we had been since the beginning of the night; right up in front off to the side of the stage a bit. After a while the heat mixed in with the thousands of fans pushing behind us and it was just too much to handle, so we decided to venture to the back of the club where the cool air allowed us to regain enough consciousness to spark one of several awesome stix we had concealed. From the back of the club we were able to finally get a good look at the crowd; a mass of colourful bodies doused in sweat, grime and alcohol. One of the highlights of Skrillex’s set was when he dropped his new ‘Reptile’ track for the new Mortal Kombat game. I know most of you have seen my video of it (some have even h8ed on it), but hearing it live versus the hearing it on youtube makes an enormous difference, which goes the same for most songs for that matter.

Sonny then dropped his remix of Benny Benassi‘s Cinema, which calmed the mood briefly and provided some time for crowd-bonding, as people began to yell out the chorus lines in unison while violently hugging each other (lol molley is great). His live staple of ‘Move Bitch‘ by Ludacris, then kicked the mushy camaraderie back into the wild and disastrous moshpit it was before. To cap it all off, Skrillex followed the example of Porter & Nero before him, and dropped a Deadmau5 track of his own. Just as the first drop of ‘The Reward is Cheese’ echoed, Deadmau5 was already up to his usual antics, and promptly placed a “Not Funny” sign on Skrillex’s DJ booth (mimicking the time he asked people to post the same thing to Skrillex’s wall during one of his famous Ustream casts).

Judging and comparing crowds is difficult when it comes to varying Canadian venues, as our population density is heavily contrasted to extreme light and densely populated areas. However, because the concert happened during a university break period, the Phoenix served as a homing beacon for any and all college dubheads from outside the usual U of T & Ryerson parameters. Combined with the local, strong-numbered dubstep community, the concert will remain the unwavering champion of collectively assembled rage for the foreseeable future. What surprised me most were the numbers who remained to watch The Killabits late night set following Skrillex’s departure, a true testament to a city filled with those that love to fucking party.

Im so excited to see who, out of the star studded cast of upcoming DJs to hit Ontario this March, can rival the deliciousness I experienced on February 19th @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre.

For more videos from the event & many others, check out our YouTube Channel

- Signed Sincerely, The Worst Guy

 

 

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