Last Night: Skrillex At Verizon Wireless Theater
Photos by Matthew Keever
See pics from the official Skrillex afterparty at Rich's.
Skrillex, 12th Planet, Foreign Beggars Verizon Wireless Theater September 29, 2011
Dubstep is to music what the Oakland Raiders are to the NFL. It's as if a gigantic group of people got together and, as a whole, screamed, "Forget your system, your norms and your traditions. We'll do things our own way, thank you."
Last night, at a jam-packed Verizon Wireless Theater, Skrillex put on quite the hard-hitting, bass-dropping performance, complete with as intricate of a light show as we've ever seen at a concert and a motion-tracking, pixilated animation of the star of the evening that slightly resembled the bad guy from Ferngully.
They should just be honest and call this musical genre "Primal." If someone were to take a video of the crowd from the stage and slow it down, it would make a perfect music video to the Pixies' "Where Is My Mind."
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All throughout the show, petite, young women strutted past us, wearing only their bra and panties but also dressed in fluffy Pikachu and panda hats.
And they didn't look very warm.
Being that we still haven't quite pegged this genre, we talked to a few fans about why they were draw to the music.
One young man we spoke with told us that he thinks dubstep is the current generation's music.
"You know how, in the '60s and '70s, people weren't making rock and roll to make money, they were making it to make good music? That's what I think dubstep is today," he said. He then went on to talk about mainstream music and how it's shoved down our throats on the radio, saying, "That stuff just doesn't appeal to me, man. But dubstep is real."
As valid and well-thought-out a point as we've ever heard at a concert.
Dubstep artists are more akin to DJs than anything, we were also told. They play and remix one another's tracks, and it's all about keeping the crowd going for as long as possible.
Besides being a lot of fun to listen to, dubstep is also something of a blessing for guys like us, who were born without much (if any) rhythm. The beat changes so often that we have plenty of chances to get back on track when we're off. Seriously, you can march/walk to the beat and, as long as your raise your knees to your chest and swing your hips, it's considered dancing.
And there's so much going on at the shows, it's impossible to get bored. Last night, we watched a young man get dragged out by two enormous bouncers - he began to struggle with them, then thought better of it - and later, we saw him put in handcuffs and placed in the back of a squad car. Seconds later, a man in front of us picked up his girlfriend, who wrapped her legs around him and proceeded to hump him to the beat.
Now that was a first.
Near the end of the show, Skrillex asked the ladies to scream, then the men. He went on to say that most dubstep shows consist of about 80 percent males and 20 percent females. But last night, he said, it sounded pretty even, so he asked everyone to put on their dancing shoes and began to remix Biggie Smalls' "Hypnotize."
"Cinema" closed out the show, as lighters and cell phones filled the air, and the crowd chanted, "You are a cinema... And I could watch you forever."
12th Planet and Foreign Beggars both put on solid showings as well. 12th Planet played remixes of "Still Tippin'" and "Chunk Up Tha Deuce," paying homage to the our very own City of Screwston.
Never before had so many young, white, suburban kids sung along in unison to rap. At least, not that we've seen.
In spite of not having any hype men or dancers onstage for any of his set, 12th Planet had this crowd by the balls, and they loved every minute of it. He kept dropping the beat just before or after the crowd expected/wanted him to.
It was like musical foreplay, without the blue balls.
The Foreign Beggars, meanwhile, were a diverse three-piece consisting of one white guy, one black guy and a Hispanic guy. They were about 60 percent dub step, 40 percent rap. While the white guy spun vinyl and dropped beats, the other two rapped at lightning speed.
To be completely honest, for most of the show, we couldn't tell if everyone was having a great time and dancing or if they were all terrified and having seizures. Either way, it was a lot of fun to watch.
Personal Bias: Are you familiar with William Shatner's rendition of "Rocket Man"? Well, we've often wondered what a spoken-word interpretation of dubstep would sound like. Last night was homework for the next open-mike night in which we secure a slot.
Overheard in the Crowd: "There's a line to get outside to smoke? What is this, Nazi Germany?"
"Some of these people could have at least showered before they came here..."
"I don't normally dress like this, I promise."
"What exactly is dismounting?" "It's kind of like doing the robot and having a seizure."
The Crowd: If you're a fan of women's bodies, you're automatically a fan of dubstep. The girls in attendance last night were basically naked. Seriously.
Random Notebook Dump: Houston is the fattest city in the world, right? Forget getting a gym membership; bring Skrillex to town twice a week, and our citizens will trim down quick.
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