By: Ty Allen
This summer has been an amazing one, supplying music lovers of all genres a myriad of unforgettable shows, festivals, concerts, and venues, taking forms of all shapes, sizes, colors and sounds. However, one show in particular not only left its mark on the hip-hop and electronic world of the D.C./Metro area, it just so happened to be the first of its kind, in an area where anything similar was literally non-existent, and quite impossible just a few years ago. This groundbreaking show was known simply as, “Trillectro;” a play on the words of the hip-hop world’s branded “trill,” commonly defined as being true and real (not the classical/baroque music world’s definition), and the slightly more obvious word “electro,” referring to electronic music.
D.C. to BC, a promotion company born a couple of years agofroma few friends at Boston College, who were natives to the D.C. Area, joined forces with hip-hop mogul and beat-box pioneer Doug E. Fresh to bring the Metro area an incredible infusion of musical talent, smack dab in the heart of D.C. at the Half Street Fairgrounds, located literally right next to Nationals Park. This was something the residents of the area had only dreamed of, even within the past decade, where large-scale musical shows/festivals seemed to be popping up just about everywhere. It was unheard of to have a large gathering of people, in the heart of D.C., listening to their favorite hip-hop artists and, or DJs without having an extreme exclusivity or underground connotation. Aside from this, there was a huge issue of safety involved in “outsiders” trying to catch a glimpse (or a listen) into the only types of such gatherings that existed. But D.C. to BC and Mr. Fresh had plans to change all of that, and in the process, revolutionized the scene.
No one knew exactly what to expect, but one thing was for certain; with a 25-act line-up consisting of rising-star locals, big name hip-hop acts and vastly popular DJs, both natives and out-of-towners, the night was sure to be flooded with musical talent. One main stage, near the entrance, housed the primary light show of the mostly concrete venue, which was encompassed by an arrangement of recycled shipping containers (most of which boasted company logos) and served as the housing for many of the live performances, along with headlining DJs, Wonder, and duo, Flosstradamus
. At the opposite end of the fairgrounds, however, sat Redbull’s tricked-out MXT
complete with hydraulic roof in the bed of the truck, four PA-style speakers and fully stocked DJ booth in the bed, where most of the DJs did their performing. The sound crews also took the liberty of setting up quad-sub boxes on each side of the monstrous mobile stage, along with some nice towers atop the subs for some added noise; which proved to be more than appreciated by the crowd that was perhaps only around 50 or so during the mid-afternoon, but, after some killer sounds from locals Nouveau Riche, and Titsworth, literally exploded into a few hundred just before nightfall hit, accompanied by some sunset showers.
However, it was going to take more than a little rain to stop this crowd of music fans from dancing, partying, drinking, eating and overall raging; to the point where the main stage was actually rushed by the fans during DJ Wonder’s opening tracks. But, the top-notch security team, combined with a total shut down of music, made short work of the over-active crowed, which soon receded back onto the concrete, allowing the show to go on, and boy did it. There was a sudden lull in the atmosphere and out from the shadows popped the legend himself; Mr. Doug E. Fresh, the human beat-box. The crowd incited into a near riot as Mr. Fresh took the stage and his words made short work of the noise as everyone in the venue was hanging on each one of them (aside from the sporadic “I love YOU” spouting from random sources in the crowd, both male and female). In no time, Doug E. prompted us with a bit of hip-hop history, listing 5 essentials of the culture: the lyricist, the producer, the DJ, the dancers, and last, but certainly not least, the beat-boxer – which erupted the crowed which could feel his energy, and sense his foreshadowing.
They were more than correct, as Doug E. began a 10-minute beat-box/cypher accompanied by several lyricists from his entourage. But that could only last so long, and Mr. Fresh was honored to introduce the final, headlining act, hailing from the windy city, Flosstradamus. This bass-packed powerhouse in the EDM scene fuses hip-hop, electronic and trap music into chest pounding sounds that get everyone, regardless of musical background, practicing their fanciest footwork on the dance floor. Unfortunately, the rain that wasn’t stopping the crowed was absurdly overpowered by an authoritative halt on the sound, due to noise complaints/violations. The headlining act was cut short, by almost an hour, and to make matters worse, when Doug E. Fresh tried to step on stage to calm the crowd and thank the performers, Flosstradamus especially, all sound was completely cut and the lights came on…a universal signal of party poopers to go the f*ck home. But, all was not lost, a lucky few who stuck around got the opportunity to shake hands and talk with with Mr. Fresh, and the boys from Flosstradamus, who were also nice enough to hand out some free promo gear and pose for some Instagram-worthy shots.
All-in-all, the day was in one word, spectacular, and although a few hiccups attempted to thwart the pleasantries, the crews on hand did a great job at overcoming them, keeping everyone safe and happy, and allowing the D.C. and Metro Area an incredible opportunity to experience a never-before-seen party, right on D.C.’s doorstep. Although only a few sponsors stepped up to support the show, it was overall a great time, and Fuze and Redbull gave out plenty of free refreshments, and Fuze supplied a VIP-style tent full of live artistry, industrial fans, lounge seating and even cell phone charging stations, all of which added to the entire experience. But that wasn’t all of the night’s excitement. U Street Music Hall was kind enough to host an after party for many of the artists, and some of the fans who just hadn’t had enough bass dropped on their heads yet. The Nouveau Riche crew handled the DJ set, while many of the artists relaxed behind closed doors, but, the owners along with the upper-management of the venue, were kind enough to allow The Untz, exclusively, to snap a few shots in the DJ booth, something the very rarely do. We at The Untz would like to sincerely thank and give a big shout out to everyone involved in making that happen, you know who you are, and we would definitely like to honor and thank D.C. to BC, along with Doug E. Fresh, and all third parties involved in making Trillectro possible. If you missed it this year, that’s too bad, but on the bright side, it can only get better from where it started, so be on the lookout for Trillectro tickets next summer!