Review: Rusko at SnowBall Music Festival, 3/2/12

rusko_snowball2012.jpg
Britt Chester

RUSKO @ SNOWBALL MUSIC FESTIVAL | 3/2/12
Rusko is a dubstep king. This guy touches a beat and it instantly is a smash-hit. Last night in the snowscape that is the main stage of Snowball Music Festival, Rusko dropped bass heavy enough to allow Ski Patrol to save avalanche ammunition. If you were anywhere near the valley, you heard his euro accent amidst heavy drops, and for his first time performing in these conditions, it's safe to say that night one ended on a strong note. A very strong, heavy, grimy, and felt note.

Christopher Mercer is from England, where the dubstep scene seems to bleed over to America in the form of YouTube, SoundCloud and other music outlets. Mercer, better known in the now mainstream circle as Rusko, has taken over the 140 beats-per-minute genre and has become the face of bass. His high energy sets are filled with his barely recognizable accent feverishly screaming for more dubstepping.

Last night, Rusko came on as the final headliner following some huge acts including Big Boi, Major Lazer and more. It was cold in the open field, and we were all standing essentially in the largest snowball fight arena ever.

(Sidenote: There was not a snowball fight, but I will change that tonight.)

I would like to explain what his set was like, but if you weren't there, I'll supply some key action words that would do it justice: frenzy, mayhem, war zone, snowscape, bass bombs, vibrating bowels, ear plugs.

To see the experience through his eyes, I'm providing a series of his Rusko Tweets (@RuskoOfficial) that may offer some good insight into the day.

1. "I have never DJd outside in a blizzard of snow before. Can't see a thing it's just White everywhere"

Roughly around 1:30 p.m. Friday, a blizzard rolled through the festival grounds and covered every stage, and sound booth for that matter, with a blanket of snow. It passed quickly, and we were all back to enjoying sets that were not disrupted by the weather.



2. "Where did all the mountains go???"

Rusko tweeted a picture of the main stage during the blizzard -- apparently this event was a first for him.

3. "This may be the only set ever that I don't sweat my bollocks off. It's about 25 below freezing now. Never DJd in a coat!!!!"

Rusko bounces around the stage like a mad man. This time, however, it was snow falling onto the front row instead of his sweat, and he remained inside his jacket.

4. "Vodka jacket zipped up already :)"

Enough said.

5. "Full to the brim with CO indica and Goose let's gizzo snowball fest!!!!!"

This was the last tweet before he hit the stage and closed the night out.

From the moment he started playing, the whole field was jumping and moving like a sea of followers. He journeyed through various classic bass tracks, as well as some new ones off the 2012 release "Songs." We also heard the new Cypress Hill collaboration "Roll it, Light it" which really showcases how mainstream this dubstep movement is becoming...in a good way. Rusko plays hard music, and he plays it well. Last night was a great example of why dubstep is taking over the airwaves, and why Rusko is a leader in that movement.


Critic's Notebook:

Personal Bias: I like dubstep and I like Rusko. Nuff said.

By The Way: Deer Tick played in the Ballroom Stage during Rusko.

Random Detail:If you meet someone from Sturgis at Snowball this weekend, don't smoke his boot doobies.

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