Earlier this week I entered a competition, and surprisingly – I won. The prize was a double-pass to a secret show Skrillex was playing in Sydney.

I don’t even really like Skrillex, but I rationalised my entry with the fact that a significant portion of the crowd wouldn’t remember anything from their drug-fueled night. I felt bad making assumptions like that, but after arriving I realised that for the most part, I was right.

My friend and I got there with about 5 minutes to spare (no, thank you Sydney trains!), got our tickets, and went out to wait along the wharf. A ferry pulled up and a group of us got on board. Amidst overhearing debates on the optimal timing for drug consumption, we realised we were more than likely heading out to Cockatoo Island. Cool cool cool.

We got there at about 4, and there was already some guy on stage “droppin’ da bass”. I’m not sure who he was but I didn’t like his stuff very much. He played for quite a while, and then some other guy came on, and he played for quite a while too. And I’m not trying to be disrespectful, I have no idea how these people make their music – to me it’s just someone with a MacBook who turns some dials occasionally, and I have no idea what those dials do – but the bottom line is, it just didn’t sound that brilliant.

Consequently, my friend and I spent our time sitting outside watching drunks try to open portaloos instead.

It all felt a bit like “Lost” – trapped on an island with a bunch of weird things going on, and we knew many would be leaving with numerous plot holes.

I think it was the third guy who came on who really started to get the crowd going though. I feel bad ’cause I don’t know his name, and for the most part, he was quite good. He really got into his set and was jumping around, and he played that song about blocking someone on Facebook, which everyone loved (“FACEBOOK? I USE THAT SITE! MAN, THIS DJ IS SO RELEVANT”). It looked like he kept telling people side of stage that he wanted to play for one more song, but then he had to leave when something happened and the sound cut out. Bit awkward.

After that, Skrillex took to the stage with some other guy. I didn’t know who he was. The guy in front of me told me it was Flux Pavilion, and I was cool with that. But I kinda wanted to see Sonny Moore do his own thing up there, ya know? It looked a bit strange seeing them swapping spots all the time, but I guess it was a pretty unique set at least.

I’m not a huge fan, but it was fun. It was infectious to see everyone up the front going crazy, and the production was great. The screen behind Skrillyflux lit up with all sorts of cool visuals, and even though I don’t know what they were doing on stage, damn did they look cool. I mean I know that has shit all to do with the actual music, and very little to do with performance, but Skrillex looked so at home behind his set up, and he worked the crowd really well – not that he had to try hard.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you’re a Skrillex fan and you get a buzz off of dancing to that stuff and going crazy, then chances are you’ll love his show. If you aren’t a fan, then you might be surprised at just what you get out of it. But for what it’s worth it was very cool, and definitely something worth experiencing – if only to see what it’s like.

Nice work, Skrillex. Nice work.

Ps. When I hear “Feel So Close” remixed (badly, too) like 3 times over the one night, its time to find some new songs to work with guys, okay? Okay, cool.

3 thoughts on “FEATURE: Skrillex Isn’t THAT Bad Live

  1. Oh wow. You are so badly informed, ignorant and uneducated about music. I’m not trying to be awful, but if you’re going to write a review of this show AT LEAST know what you’re talking about. There are so many things wrong with this article and your opinions, it’s ridiculous. ONE: The second DJ you were talking about is NICK THAYER, an extremely talented and popular DJ. TWO: Not everybody takes drugs, don’t make such high-and-mighty assumptions. THREE: The third DJ playing was PORTER ROBINSON. A 20 year old producer signed to Skrillex’s record label. Headlined Future! Nope, you didn’t know any of this. FLUX PAVILION is a Dubstep legend. One of the originals of the genre. Without him there would be no Skrillex, so maybe you should appreciate who and what you were watching a little more. THEY ARE DJING, how can you not know what they were doing? That is Skrillex’s live show. And He and Flux were doing a back to back set, which some people would have killed to witness. It’s not so much your lack of knowledge that offends me, but your ignorance and the fact that you didn’t bother to find out who was playing. I attended the secret show and am a huge fan of all the DJs who were playing. You really should do your research, and be more appreciative, open-minded and less ignorant about music.

  2. Wow, this is the most uniformed and ignorant article I’ve ever read. So many things wrong with your opinions, I don’t know where to start. i attended the show, and it’s not so much your lack of knowledge that offends me but your ignorance and lack of research. The DJs you were watching (Or in your case, not watching) are some of the best in the world. Porter Robinson headline Future for crying out loud. Flux Pavilion is a legend of the genre, one of the originals, and without him there would be no Skrillex. They were doing a ‘back to back’ set, but again, obviously you have no idea what that is. Some people would have killed to have witnessed that, so maybe be more informed on and appreciative of what you were watching. Seriously, some journalism advice, if you’re going to write a ‘review’, you should really be bothered to find out who was playing, especially one of the pioneers of the genre!

    1. Hi Anneliese,

      Sincere apologies! My post seems to have struck a nerve, and that was never my intention. So I’ll address all of the points you made in order.

      Firstly: I never claimed this was a live review. You’ll notice it’s labeled as, and filed under the category “Features”. This was intentional, because I knew it would be hard for me to review this gig adequately. Not because I’m “uninformed”, “ignorant”, or “uneducated” in regards to music – simply because I’m not knowledgable enough about dubstep and the music being played by Skrillex and the other DJs. They’re not genres I’m heavily drawn to, and although I could’ve written a proper review of them and tried to give a proper critique, it was too far outside of my comfort zone. I instead turned it into less of a review, and more of a story. This article was meant as a loose diary entry. A fun recount of events. The most basic of thoughts from an outsider of the scene. And at the end of the day, despite lacking the insight of a review from an experienced fan, even the thoughts of an outsider can be valuable to readers.

      But by no means was this intended as a serious, critical review of the performers on the night.

      I’m sure Nick Thayer is quite talented. I certainly can’t do what he can! And I actually think it’d be really cool to be able to mix and produce and DJ properly. But just because he’s popular and talented doesn’t mean I have to enjoy the music he makes.
      I know I didn’t watch his full set – another reason I’m not calling this a “review” – but chances are, I wouldn’t have enjoyed his set any more if I had. I don’t know how DJ’s mix their music, or how their set-ups work, and seeing someone stand behind decks and do their thing probably wouldn’t have changed my opinion.

      I never claimed that everyone took drugs there – I’m sure most of the crowd didn’t. I brought the issue up because to me, it was noticeable enough to make me feel uncomfortable. When I heard at least five different people in close proximity to me on the boat talking about what they were going to take that night… Well, it’s not something I was going to ignore. I know there are people at lots of gigs who are on drugs, but from the conversations I heard, it seemed to be quite a prominent thing that night.

      Porter Robinson was quite good actually. But no, I didn’t know who he was at the time. Due to the fact I’m not highly involved in the scene, and the full line-up wasn’t widely publicised prior to the secret show – if at all.

      I appreciated seeing Flux Pavilion and Skrillex play together. I know that they’re both incredibly influential musicians. I don’t know what makes you think I didn’t appreciate it, because I didn’t say anything remotely disparaging about them. In fact, I congratulated them for putting on a cool show, for managing to win me over, and for entertaining me. All I said is I would’ve liked to see Skrillex perform on his own for a little bit – which is hardly offensive to anyone.

      I didn’t say I don’t know WHAT they were doing, I said I don’t know HOW they were doing it. Show me a guitarist, a drummer, a violinist, a saxophonist. Show me someone who plays an instrument like those, and I understand how it works. I could probably give it a go. Show me a set of DJ decks? I’ve got no idea how they work or what DJs do to get the sounds out of them. That’s the point I was making, and for me – it can make a big difference in how immersive a live performance feels.

      In my opinion, writing as I did beats the hell out of someone pretending they know what they’re talking about. I never tried to seriously critique anyone who performed (that much I thought would be obvious). I laid my cards on the table and wrote down my feelings on the experience.

      The one fault I’ll happily admit here, is that it was lazy journalism to publish the article without finding out the names of the earlier DJs. It was difficult to find the details at the time of writing (it still seems to be now, strangely), and I didn’t want to spend any longer looking for them. But it wouldn’t have changed my opinion of them.

      Hopefully that clears some things up for you.

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