Skrillex at the Fox Theatre, 12/16/10
12.16.10 | Boulder Theatre
Last night at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, Skrillex showed his fans exactly what creatures can lurk in the hard, dark reaches of dance music and broke the rules for a live DJ gig in surprisingly delightful ways.
Walking up the sidewalk to the Fox, a cluster of people were crowded out front -- some still trying to get a ticket to the show which has been sold out for over a month now. Once inside, I could see why. The opening act for the night, Pillow Fight, was playing some serious mashed-up dubstep that had the crowd surging back and forth like the ocean in a storm.
Local to Boulder, the duo of DJs Dirt Monkey and Shaank Aaron provided an amazing set that shows why dubstep should be taken seriously. It soared seamlessly through the vocals from snarling male rap vocals to pretty feminine arias mixed with heavy bass whomps and well-timed cuts between tracks. A heavy dose of hip-hop was infused into the set with remixes of Example's "Dirty Face" and Dr. Dre's "The Wash" highlighted.
At this point, the set seemed to get mired in more rap, less step only to be finished off by a whimsical transition into a 1920s speakeasy jazz sample right before one last whompin' explosion. The stage was well-set for Skrillex to spin his debut headlining Colorado gig.
The main attraction for the evening, Skrillex (aka Sonny Moore), had been hyped for months thanks to his record-breaking track sales on Beatport. The two EPs he's released so far, My Name is Skrillex and Scary Monsters, Nice Sprites, have the dance community buzzing from their unique meshing of dubstep whomps, electro throbs, techno barks, and trance arias. His usage of vocals in tracks as both lyrics and musical instruments is evident of his past as singer for hardcore L.A. band From First to Last.
This round of shows is his first major tour on the circuit as a DJ, so I was eager to see this producer translate his talent into a live show. As the lights dimmed, the famous thudding instrumental opener for Terminator 2 started off the night before leading into the title track, "My Name is Skrillex." The reaction from the crowd was immediate -- fists in the air while the floor shook from pounding feet.