Mt. Eden Rich's April 20, 2012
Friday, Mt. Eden, a music duo from New Zealand that is not Flight of the Conchords, played a show at Rich's. And they were very good. At least, I suspect that they were, and that's probably the closest anyone can get to conclusively arguing an opinion one way or the other about a dubstep concert. And that's why that form of music is intellectually interesting even though it's meant to be consumed viscerally. What that means:
All dubstep music doesn't sound the same, sure. The early stuff (2001, or so) is noticeably more mellow and melodic, while the newer stuff is considerably more spastic and confrontational, so it's easy to differentiate between those sects.
London's legendary Mala, a dubstep traditionalist, and California's (legendary?) Skrillex, reigning sovereign of new-era dubstep, have as much in common as arm wrestling and masturbating; it's a tiny bit kind of the same (you probably use your right arm for both unless you're being silly or weird) even though it's really not.
But after that, if you get to bunching acts together that make similarly styled dubstep music, it gets murky. Or, more specifically, it gets murky enough that it becomes nearly impossible to talk about the music as its own thing.
Which spirals back to the original point about it being interesting for your brain even despite the fact it's designed for your heart: Dubstep is so beloved (and hated) and fulfilling (and considered empty) because it's the only form of popular music that is secondary to the experiences that it creates.
So, some experiences that took place at Mt. Eden's show:
- A man dressed in what most would consider normal clothes felt compelled to hop up on the base of a pillar and begin gyrating. He thought it keen to kick the drinks that were lined up on its edge right the fuck into the crowd. Nobody seemed to care. It's probably worth noting that he jumped up onto said base shortly after a woman in underwear, stringy leggings and a furry hat had been up there dancing. Nobody seemed concerned with her, either.
- Two men dressed in what most could consider abnormal clothes spent a majority of the night spinning glowstick nunchucks around. I don't know if that's something that one practices, but it sure as shit looked like those guys had. They were highly skilled. Being really proficient at glowstick nunchucks is probably the most cool uncool thing that's ever been.
- A breakdance circle broke out. I wish that happened in life more often. If there was the possibility of seeing a breakdance battle at Kroger, I'd find a whole lot fewer excuses to not go. Fuck, at Kroger. I've seen zero breakdance battles there, and I've been to that bitch, like, 200 times in the last three years.
- Two women in very little clothing positioned themselves on the edges of the stage in near-cages as Mt. Eden performed. They were attempting to dance in a provocative manner along with the beat of the music, which is just about the most unintentionally humorous you'll ever see. It's like trying to be sexy while running as fast as you can. You might have moments of nonabsurdity, but mostly you just look like a dog is chasing you.
- The crowd was actively engaged. Mt. Eden has a truly enjoyable hype man. He looks like Doc from Back to the Future and he is the actualization of kinetic energy. Whatever they're paying him isn't enough. If his body exploded into a big ball of light, I don't think anyone would've really been all that surprised.
- The crowd was vibrated. A large part of the reason that the show was so enjoyable was because Rich's has a truly impressive sound system. When the music would hit crescendos and the big bass drops would occur, your molars would rattle. It was never not fun to feel.
People appeared to have a good time. Go to a dubstep show. Bounce around a bit.
Personal Bias: I downloaded several hours worth of dubstep mixes recently. I rationalized it by telling myself that it was research for a story I was working on. The story ran a few weeks ago. I've still not deleted it. Sorry, it's fun to listen to.
The Crowd: Was mostly white, though not exclusively.
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Overheard in the Crowd: "Hey! Another Black person!" -- a black guy, upon noticing a black woman.
Random Notebook Dump: There were a group of guys hanging out in one of the little seating cubbies at the edge of the dance floor. They looked relatively young --maybe 22 or so. They all had on bandannas that they would intermittently position over their mouths like they were bandits of some sort. It was easy to dislike them from afar.