Live Review: Skrillex

When it comes to Dubstep, there’s always a certain amount of politics attached. Is it half-time Drum & Bass that originated in South London? Or is it Garage with a two-step beat from the US? Whichever way you look at it, there's no questioning the impact it’s having on the Dance scene at the moment...

It's changing the way we dance and, particularly in Skrillex's case, experimenting with the boundaries of musical genres (Metal) - something that has so often been tried, yet failed. But Skrillex seems to be doing a damn good job, his work acknowledged by the three Grammy Awards he received just last week, including Best Dance/Electronic Album.

My opportunity to see Skrillex finally arose, and what better venue than Brixton Academy! Running out of the office late, I found myself waiting on the corner of Stockwell Road for my mates with a can of Red Stripe in hand, arriving just in time to get hyped up by Zane Lowe's supporting set. He played an awesome blend of Dubstep, Breaks, Hip-hop and Metal; most memorably the surprising Dance remix of Rage Against The Machine's Township Rebellion.

The moment Skrillex burst onto the stage, I knew Instantly that we were in for a treat just by the mind-blowing visuals. The DJ Booth acted as a screen for some of the visuals to be projected on to, similar to DJ Shadow’s Shadowsphere (but not quite as good in my opinion). Skrillex kicked off his set with a remix of The Doors. A rather peculiar choice, but well executed. Track after track, Skrillex built the crowd up to extreme anticipation before letting each track drop, emphasising the classic dirty Dubstep bass lines, making the crowd go crazy. His track, First of the Year was a particularly good example of the energy and excitement of his set.

Every so often amazing pyrotechnic displays would set off flames and fireworks, and along with darting lasers, the visuals maintained a high intensity throughout the gig. My only concern with Dance acts, however, is that with so much focus and stimulation on these visuals, I found it hard to establish what was live and what Skrillex had pre-arranged on his Ableton software.

Listen to Skrillex's collaboration with metal band, Korn, below:

With an ever changing tempo (classic Dubstep to a House 4/4 beat, then to Drum & Bass or a Break Beat) and alternating nods to various genres, Skrillex kept the crowd bouncing and guessing with a playful and effortless streak. He put on an incredible show! If you get a chance to see him at a Festival or on Tour this year, then don’t miss out!

Warning: Extreme Flash Imagery! - The first part of Skrillex's set.

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