By: Kerry McNeil
Steez Promo’s Dub Nation series made its explosive entrance into Massachusetts Sunday June 6th. With headliners Skrillex and Paper Diamond, as well as The Juggernaut and Mike Skills with DJ Soappy, the crowd in the overflowing Palladium tore it up on the floor and even up in the balcony. If Steez Promo needed any proof that the move to Massachusetts was a good idea, the sold out show was all the proof they needed and more.
Beginning with openers Mike Skillz and DJ Soappy—from Boston and Rhode Island, respectively—the night was off to a blazing start. The duo had the crowd moving instantly with lots of heavy bass and intense drops, combined with laser synths and multi colored strobe lights. Sampling Fatboy Slim’s “Right Here, Right Now,” Skills and DJ Soappy pumped up the crowd for the acts to come as more and more people shuffled in.
Up next, Orange County dubstep DJ duo The Juggernaut blasted out grinding bass lines with even heavier drops that shook the projector screens behind the table on the stage. With voice samples encouraging the crowd to do as the title suggests on “GTFU,” Erik Tinajero, representing The Juggernaut, really got the crowd moving around on a jam-packed dance floor. During the set, The Juggernaut even threw in a few samples from Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites,” getting the crowd even more amped up for the headlining set.
Colorado producer Alex Botwin, aka Paper Diamond, was the next act on the list. Though definitely a great set, Paper Diamond brought the energy down from the previous acts, leaning more on dreamy synths and chill beats from his latest EP Levitate. Not playing as much to his audience as previous acts, some of the crowd members didn’t know what to make of the set, though it did pick up more toward the end. Botwin made his exit after his remix of Kanye West’s “Power,” to a more satisfying reaction from the crowd.
Finally, the act the sold out show was waiting for. As each audience member pushed closer, with their personal bubbles reduced to claustrophobic lows, Skrillex came out ready to destroy the stage—except for a few minor technical difficulties. Stalling behind the mic while fiddling around with the equipment, Sonny Moore swiftly broke into his wobbling bass-tastic remix of La Roux’s “In For The Kill,” as the crowd raged.
With the massive bass, nasty drops, and pulverizing synths expected from Skrillex came a lot of crowd-pleasing samples as well. Ludacris’s “Move Bitch,” and DJ Kool’s “Let Me Clear My Throat,” were two of the most notable samples, integrated with blistering amounts of bass to add to the crowds insanity.
“Rock N’ Roll (Will Take You To The Mountain),” shook the Palladium, with the audience screaming along so loud the residents of Worcester might have needed earplugs. With a joint shriek of “OH MY GOD!” Skrillex created music-induced pandemonium, and looked like he couldn’t have been enjoying it more. Animatedly dancing with the crowd, Skrillex played to his audience and had the room on fire.
“Kill Everybody,” “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites,” and “All I Ask of You,” featuring Penny were just a few of the other tracks Skrillex unleashed on the Palladium, with lungs bursting as the crowd chanted along.
Blowing a kiss to the expansive crowd, Skrillex then ran off stage, only to come back minutes later for his encore. Quieting the crowd down with a promise of another song if they complied, screaming “I should be able to hear a pin drop!” into the mic, Moore riled everyone back up with his remix of Benny Benassi’s “Cinema.” Full of laser synths, wobbly bass, and an irresistible chorus that had the crowd singing along and losing what was left of their minds/voices, Skrillex left his mark in the city of Worcester, MA.
With fans pouring out into the streets, screaming “Skrillex!” with their last, shriveled vocal chord, Dub Nation MASS Vol. 1 was undoubtedly a complete success and a fantastic break into the Northeast. Congrats, Steez…
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