Live Music Review
Diplo is the man. Major Lazer is way too much fun. These are the conclusions DUBBY has reached after their weekend down at Bonnaroo.
Skrillex was supposed to be the man of the festival in the EDM scene. A set from 1:30-3:30 on Saturday night? How could a fan not be excited? We certainly were, but he failed to blow us away. Yes, he played all of his top hits including a great remix of Nero’s ‘Promises,’ but he ended 15 minutes early and the sound on the Which Stage was a little off.
Big Gigantic was fantastic to kick off the festival on Thursday. The Colorado duo was on point and closed with some of their new jams, all featuring a ton of dub.
However, Major Lazer was the best act of the weekend. Philly P did a nice write up on the project a few days ago and they didn’t disappoint. They brought the energy from the start and had the crowd jumping from the get go. At one point they had the whole crowd take off their shirts, brought a ton of girls on stage and then asked for the crowd to take off their pants. Very little of the crowd did as they were told, but it was still a ton of fun to say the least and it loosened everyone up.
This was the second straight festival that DUBBY saw Major Lazer (Snowball back in March) and the act was so much better down in Tennessee. Don’t miss them if you have the chance to see them.
In the first installment of DUBBYstep’s experience of DEMF we primarily covered the Dirtybird after-party, as we did not attend the actual Movement Festival during the day. However, day two began with butterflies in my stomach in anticipation of a lineup on Sunday ranging from new age dubstep sensation Zeds Dead , all the way to old school hip hop and rap legends Public Enemy, and back to Detroit local talent and artistic director as well as former co-creator of DEMF Carl Craig. Sunday’s lineup for Movement was no doubt stacked at every one of the five stages creating some difficult decisions and sacrifices to make.
Upon arrival we were wisely informed to go to the Beatport Stage for DJ Heidi, who was raised in Windsor, Ontario, just across the bridge and in close proximity of Detroit techno and Chicago house, she truly soaked up those vibes growing up. Her set was funky and sexy yet filled with fun energy all the way until she had the crowd go nuts for a Snoop Dogg track toward the end of her set. We had to skip out on part of Heidi to catch the secretive duo Tiger & Woods, who spun some disco house funky hybrid sound that had everyone moving and smiling the way everyone at a daytime festival should be. Keep an eye out for this duo in 2012.
Brace yourself for a lot of names as a result of way too much amazing music going on in too small of a time. Being from Chicago I felt it only appropriate to go pay our respect and dance our asses off for DJ Sneak!! Forced to either skip a lot or bounce around, we made rounds: Maya Jane Coles killed her DEMF debut with excellent style, Wolf + Lamb which was short lived for us but had a great vibe and received stellar fan reviews, Maceo Plex pumped the crowd up with some deep future funky bass hybrid and comical sampling at one point from a Cheech and Chong skit, legend Josh Wink lit up the Main Stage ending with a tribute to Beastie Boys he played Brass Monkey, Hot Natured (Jamie Jones and Lee Foss) if you haven’t seen them SEE THEM, Marco Carola bringing in the big techno sound to set up for the amazing tech house master Loco Dice who was welcomed to the stage by Ice-T and wife Coco, and we finished off the night with another amazing set by Claude Vonstroke dropping that new Justin Martin – Don’t Go (Leroy Peppers remix) which turned out to be the talk of the town after his set.
Having to go home on Monday morning instead of getting to stay for the final day of Movement hurt my heart more than my legs and feet could ever hurt, but my body was not complaining about getting to lay down. After it all I have to admit, Detroit does not mess around.
Ice-T and Coco introducing Loco Dice at Movement: Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival!
Movement: Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival is a staple on the EDM community, specifically to house and techno music which were born in Chicago and Detroit respectively. The Detroit based festival began in 2000 and has over-come management changes as well as other controversy to become a successful 3 day mecca for dance music fans and artists alike. Staying true to the original concept of featuring the progressive and underground dance acts along side the veterans of the craft, Paxahau’s Movement should be a bucket list item that any dance music fan should experience.
DUBBYstep’s weekend in Detroit was short, but packed with amazing music and stories. Arriving Saturday in Detroit, as DEMF is always over Memorial Day weekend running from Saturday to Monday, we attended the Dirtybird Records after party held at the legendary Leland Hotel City Club thanks to label head and long time Detroit local, Claude Vonstroke, pulling some strings. Every act on that lineup (Justin Jay, WORTHY, JPhlip, Eats Everything, Justin Martin, Claude Vonstroke, and Christian Martin in that order) was flawless in getting the crowd built up to the point of dripping sweat yet still jumping out of their shoes until 6 AM! There is no doubt in anyone’s mind who made it to the end that Christian Martin aka Leroy Peppers unveiling his new remix of “Don’t Go” for brother Justin Martin was the highlight of the night. A true “life moment” for the Martin brother’s and die hard Dirtybird fans alike… Justin Martin screams out in the video, “You are witnessing history!!! You are witnessing f***ing history!!!” as his brother concludes playing his “surprise present”.
Video from DUBBYstep provided below, and keep an eye out for DAY TWO of DEMF from your very own DUBBYstep.com…
The Wakarusa festival will kick off this weekend in Ozark, Arkansas, and much to my dismay, I will not be attending. Although offered a free artist pass and all but my flight paid for, my failure to return a text in a timely manner resulted in an expired offer and a really, really salty me…
Now in its 9th year (the fourth year at the present Mulberry Mountain location(Left)), Wakarusa has drawn serious attention from music fans and has found itself in a position to land big name acts from numerous music genres (think Slightly Stoopid – The Avett Brothers – Pretty Lights).
Though not attending, we here at Dubby will be paying close attention to the stories, pictures and video coming out of this years Wakarusa festival, so if you’re into it–stay tuned—we’ll be passing along the good word.
The third annual North Coast Music Festival has just announced the second wave for Summer’s Last Stand! Joining an already stellar line up are Chicago’s own UMPHREY’S McGEE, rising electro/dubstep production duo KNIFE PARTY, the legendary PAUL OAKENFOLD, Dutch DJ CHUCKIE, southern-fried hip-hop star YELAWOLF, electronic-jam band EOTO, disco rockers BOOMBOX, Laser Extraordinaire’s SAVOY, West Coast hip-hoppers PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS and more!
See the full lineup and details later today at www.northcoastfestival.com/
Tickets for the festival at Clubtix.com
Here is a snapshot of the lineup thus far.
Shortly after our plane landed and we were checked in to the hotel we arrived at what looks like a Miami mansion turned into an event site at Villa 221; the smell from the grill of the Dirtybird Record Label BBQ and rumble of groovy bass-lines coming from the outdoor courtyard set the perfect mood for a Miami day party. We were welcomed by Catz n Dogz dropping some mellow feel good tracks and a crowd of people sprawled out all over the astro turf courtyard bobbing their heads sporting new, free for the first 300 people, custom Dirtybird Stunner Shades (stunnerofthemonth.com).
Next came opening sets by Ardalan, who co-produced with Justin Martin on “Mr.Spock” & “LEZGO” and Breach, who both built the vibes up nicely for official Dirtybird member, J.Phlip. J.Phlip is my favorite female DJ/producer, so you can imagine how happy I was, and she delivered beautifully never losing her perfectly synchronated bounce to the beat (pictured above). Christian Martin under new alias Leroy Peppers then cranked up the mood as well as the volume, but when he was asked by security to turn it down he kindly abided for about ten seconds and then laughed as he turned the volume back up and then some. A true highlight of Leroy Peppers’ set had to be his funky rework of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” (video below).
The bass was beginning to rumble Villa 221, and it was time for Claude Vonstroke, the Dirtybird Label head, to take the stage. His set was a sleazy journey of spacey sounds, a highlight being when he spun a version of his well known “Who’s Afraid of Detroit”. Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest made a special guest appearance playing some songs to a warm welcoming from the crowd. Justin Martin closed off the outdoor part of the evening after the sun went down with an array of, signature to his style, fun loving yet grimy bass bombs, and even some tracks off his up and coming debut artist LP, “Ghettos and Gardens” to make everyone’s heads bob and bodies wobble to the pounding bass. WORTHY and Eats Everything spun sets inside to small intimate rooms filled with people dancing their way in from outside to close the night. Serve video below with heavy bass and on some quality speakers/headphones, and you’ll understand what kind of day it was and night it became with WORTHY and Eats Everything’s-” Tric Trac”
Switching gears from the Dirtybird BBQ we attended the Smog vs. Bass-head event at Mekka Nightclub later that night. The lineup included dub-step favorites 12th Planet, Zeds Dead, 16 bit, Dirtyphonics, as well as drum and bass legend Goldie, Drop the Lime, and a number of other solid names. Amongst the headliners that I was truly there to see was Pendulum. At a dub-step/drum and bass show I figured Pendulum would be playing as Knife Party, except for the fact that Knife Party was playing Ultra Music Festival. So Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen put Pendulum on the ticket but everyone in the crowd knew it was a “Knife Party” in Mekka Thursday night. Awesome.
DUBBYstep Live Music Contributor, Phil Pace, takes us on the journey through HOLY SHIP 2012. The pre-sale for the 2013 show already sold out. For more information, check out their official website for next January’s festival.
“HOLY F-ing SHIP!” This was a common expression heard amongst the crowd and the microphone from the artists throughout the journey. From the moment everyone stepped foot outside their car or cab to reveal what seemed to be the overly luxurious for the occasion MSC Poesia cruise ship, excitement filled the air… and the sea.
The lines to get onto the ship were filled with smiling faces and some still tired ones left over from the HOLY SHIP Pre-Party hosted by Mad Decent Records. Diplo, one of the busiest men in music today, headlined as his side project, Major Lazer. All of the fellow “maiden voyagers” as we proudly referred to ourselves as, were already busy trying to meet one another to boast and brag about how amazing the next three days would be.
As we pulled out of the port sometime after sundown on Friday, January 6th, Diplo hopped on the decks and appropriately played a sample of Enya’s “Sail Away” right before dropping into some crunchy electro. Another commonly used line throughout the weekend was brought up right then as two fans dressed as jellyfish walked passed me saying, “Imagine what other ships think of us right now!”
First night main sets included Skrillex, Rusko, Laidback Luke and French electronic sensation Gesaffelstein to name a few. Each DJ supported/pushed the next to bring more energy and creativity until the night truly reached its peak during an intimate, yet incredibly energy filled set by Zedd in the ‘Zebra Bar’ from 2:30-4 AM. While some people turned it in after this I casually stumbled onto the pool deck for one more drink, which quickly turned into five more when Skrillex made a casual appearance to hang out and send some love back to the fellow maiden voyagers. Yeah, that was cool.
Day two came to a screeching halt somewhere too close to land on a sand bar in Port Lucaya, Bahamas. My favorite quote from that minor bump in the road or sea in our case, came from a 32-year-old businessman. Dressed as a pirate for HOLY SHIP’s “Pirate Day” the businessman cheerfully stated, “I’ve been on cloud 12 since we hit the sand bar!” So, the second day on this beautiful ship in the middle of the Bahamas continued to be all I could ask for and then some, including the music.
Highlights from day two’s lineup include “Pool Deck” sets by A-trak, Destructo, Steve Aoki, Skrillex, Tommy Lee & DJ Aero. Then things moved inside starting off with a performance by burlesque goddess Dita Von Teese. Paris Social Club hosted an evening in the “Teatro Theatre” showcasing Brodinski, Gesaffelstein and Club Cheval. However, despite my efforts to be in more than one place at a time, I had to choose and ended up in the “S32 Disco” for Justin Martin and then Gina Turner. At 3:00 am, Justin Martin put on a set for the ages. Even Skrillex and Dave Nada showed up right next to me on the dance floor to show support for one of the few tech-house producers/DJs on a ship full of dub-step & electro acts. To see a moment where guys who play such different genres within EDM show love, support, and enjoyment for one another’s talents and progression in a constantly growing industry had to be the highlight of the night for me.
Day three greets you with some aches and pains from the past two days of jumping and screaming for 8-10 hours a night, but the utter joy and excitement of disembarking HOLY SHIP to get your feet wet during a private island party keeps you going. The party starts at 10:00 am and runs until 3:00 pm when you get back on the ship to recover for a couple hours and do it one more time on the way back to Port Everglades, FLA. The “Private Beach Boutique Party” featured sets by Dave Nada, Dillon Francis, Diplo and was wrapped up by whom some of the other artists refer to as the “godfather” of the entire EDM scene, Fatboy Slim. Being the veteran that he is, Fatboy slowed things down for John Paul Young’s “Love is in the Air”, and it truly was. People splashed around in the ocean, gave the floating rubber ducky a friendly push, and even a giant conga line formed weaving in and out of the shipwrecked bar/stage up on the beach.
Love was in the air and people were ready to close out the weekend with a bang! Back onboard, HOLY SHIP awaited sets on the Pool Deck by Brodinski, Justin Martin, Gina Turner and Laidback Luke; who I must congratulate once more on turning HOLY SHIP into an engagement party after proposing to then girlfriend, Gina Turner. After the party moved inside from the pool deck, the options included a Fool’s Gold Rap Party, Zedd among others in the Disco, and mystery sets in the theatre. I ended up choosing the theater and played witness to an extremely intimate set by Steve Aoki and then Tommy Lee & DJ Aero in which female singer Sofi made a special performance.
Overall, there could not have been a better way to start off the new year for an EDM fan than to be on the maiden voyage HOLY SHIP 2012. If the next one is anything like the first, you can count on seeing me wandering HOLY SHIP dressed up in my black and red striped pirate pants again. The entire experience was very personal with the artists, and the opportunities to meet them or at least catch a picture and handshake in passing were numerous. I also believe the artists had an exceptionally positive experience getting to play with friends. A couple days after arriving back state-side Skrillex sent out a tweet re-ittirating the fact that HOLY SHIP is a major player in the festival scene, “Holy ship was the craziest thing to happen in EDM period”.
Enjoy the recap video below…..