Rusko at House of Blues, 11/22/2013
Photos by Julian Bajsel
Rusko House of Blues November 22, 2013
In the 1990s, rave culture abounded. During this time, great DJs became well known and electronic dance music (now known simply as EDM) became a legitimate and respected form of music. Trance, Drum and Bass, House, and Jungle infused countless speakers. Of course, like any other scene, drugs were present, and a distinctive fashion was associated with the parties. As the DJs grew in popularity and the music became more accessible, the desire to be a part of the drug and fashion culture started to overtake the music, and soon the '90s techno scene died, strangled by idiots who loved to openly talk about how much they loved Ecstasy while wearing laughably large pants.
Fast-forward to 2013, the year the music once again died. Rusko's House of Blues show on Friday night was a showcase of the hilarity involved with today's EDM scene and a clear representation of what's gone wrong with today's techno. Despite Rusko's killer set, the show was not at all about him but rather the scene he was offering.
I missed the first opener because I was too busy getting my purse dissected by one of the hundred security guards/cops/ID checkers outside. After having half my belongings taken away from me at the door because today's idiot youth apparently tarnish everything with Molly, I heard some opener that sounded vaguely British repeatedly saying "Fuck" over and over and over.
"Put your fucking hands up!" "Make some fucking noise!" "Are you fucking out there?" "Fucking Houuuuusssston!!!" More like, shut the fuck up. Play some fucking music. Unfortunately, what he did play reminded me a lot of my "lazer" button on my first Casio keyboard.
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The crowd was collectively 16 years old, from what I could tell. I didn't check IDs to verify this, but I doubt half of them even had IDs to check. I am not saying this strictly to be rude. Let me make it very clear that I used to go to Sunday Night dance party every week when I was 14, and I definitely did not have a state-issued ID. But once I got there, a variety of ages and faces would be inside. Moreover, the people there were ready to dance. They weren't there just for a scene.
Two things were extremely evident to me upon making my first rounds of the venue: 1) There would never be a bar line, ever. Ever. 2) This was totally about the scene of seeing and being seen, and very few people came to this show to dance or because they legit like techno. It's just what you are "supposed" to do now, and when any kind of music gets to that point, it's dead for awhile.
Review continues on the next page.
Rusko came on at 11:05 p.m., which was hilarious, because House of Blues shuts down at midnight. Buckling in to hear the show and ready to move, I really loved the first few tracks: excellent Drum and Bass, very danceable. However, I noticed very few people were dancing but rather still milling about, taking selfies of their EDM costumes they put on for their show.
A few dudes were fist-pumping a la Jersey Shore, and I couldn't even be mad at that. At least they were digging the music. Not surprisingly, a bunch of apparent Molly-induced making out was happening everywhere. I asked myself why this was even at the House of Blues?
Rusko had two hype men with him. Sometimes they would rhyme, and when they did they had great flow. Unfortunately, it seemed the sole purpose of the main hype guy was to say every 30 seconds, "It's RUUUUSSSSSKOOOOO!!!!!" "Rusko in the HOUSSSSSEEEE!" "ARE YOU READY FOR RUSSSSSSKOOOO??"
It's like, yeah dude, I'm ready... he's already been spinning for 35 minutes. WTF??? I mean literally... every 30 seconds.
As the show went on and I was able to strip away all the bogus garbage happening around me and focus on Rusko, I was impressed. He's insanely energetic and engaging without saying a word, spinning a great variety of styles but much of it straight-up good techno.
That being said, there is NO need for the hype man to say "We've got Rusko in the house!" over the set. I can't begin to say how distracting this was and it really did nothing to hype the crowd. Let me hear the music!
About 30 minutes into Rusko's set, the crowd finally decided to stop posing and get into dancing. The set had been great the whole time, so I'm not sure if something finally kicked in or if they just realized they were at a concert, but either way, I was happy to finally see it happen.
At midnight, when the show was supposed to end, it actually became a legit party. A version of DMX's "Up in Here" came on and everyone went nuts. Going about ten minutes late, Rusko ended his very short set with the crowd favorite "Wake the Fuck Up," and at that point, everyone finally did. Pro Tip: play it earlier next time, dude.
Overall, Rusko played a super-solid, albeit very short set. However, my unfortunate prediction for national EDM acts like him is that the train is leaving the station, and evolution is necessary, because the clock is ticking on shows like this.
Personal Bias: EDM is dying again. No one, not no one, loves to dance more than me... apart from other people who legit love EDM because of dancing. This shit has become so much about the scene at this point that it is laughable.
The Crowd: Oh, where to begin. White girl twerkers, white guy twerkers, idiots in Hawaiian shirts, hella Mom shorts that went from the FUPA all the way past the belly button, ugly Keds sneakers, fuzzy boots, girls falling down. Basically it was Romper Room on E.
Overheard In the Crowd: Watched two girls give one another a twerking lesson as they attempted to dance up on two dudes. It was not successful. One of the girls actually shrieked, "OMG TWEEEERRRKIIINGGGG!!!!"
Random Notebook Dump: I guess it's my own fault for not paying closer attention to the things you couldn't take into the show. I mean really, I just couldn't believe it. Open cigarettes? Unwrapped gum? Used lip gloss?!? After having my Camel Crushes, Trident, Burt's Bees, and TWO lip glosses taken from me, I was like, huhhhh?? The cop explained that the kids these days spike these items with drugs so they can smuggle their Molly in. Listen, kids... this has gone too far. Quit ruining my time. NOBODY fucks with my lip gloss!!
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