Monday Sept 3rd started like any other for me. Woke up late, rushed around to get ready and run my errands, but unlike any other day I could not be put in a bad mood. I was going to Bumbershoot and seeing M83, Two Fresh, and Skrillex for the first time.
Finally I rounded up my date, all my gear, and got in my car headed towards Seattle. Unfortunately by the time I parked, and got into The Bumbershoot Music and Arts festival – M83 had already started. Still I ran through to the main stage entrance aka The Key Arena – only to see a sign “EVENT FULL.” I stopped mid-run kind of surprised. The thought never even crossed my mind that it could fill up. Disappointed and kind of worried about this whole first come first serve situation, I walked away with my date and scoped out the festival.
It was my first time to Bumbershoot and other than the M83 heart breaker, I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t expecting it to be as much fun as it was. Music of all genres blaring everywhere – awesome food, shit to buy, performers all around you entertaining the crowds. It was definitely as fun to watch as it was to listen to.
Worried about not getting to see Two Fresh and Skrillex we got in line as early as they would possibly let us, which was 6pm. Two Fresh didn’t even start until 8:30, Skrill @ 9:30 – so we were in for a bit of a wait. Still as early as we showed up, the line stretched half way around the entire festival. The crowd was mixed — lots of teenagers, a few SUPER young kids, a few in their 50’s but most were mid 20’s and all obviously bass heads.
Like every line for an EDM event, the crowd became a small community. After standing by each other for over two hours you make quick friends. A group of VERY nice guys even stood as a shield and blocked a bush/tree area so all the girls could pee ‘in peace.” To kill the clock while waiting for doors to open and bags to be checked we all sang, laughed, and did the wave throughout the line. Hearing all the random conversations around me was hysterical. One girl behind me told her friend he “sounded like a Starfish” … ….. Haha, while another kid got a debate going on who was better Bassnectar or Skrillex? I’ll leave that one up for you guys to decide.
Finally the doors opened and we slowly made our way inside The Key Arena. I ran to the floor entrance only to be heartbroken when I was told it was full. Deja-vu. They had reached their 2000 head maximum. Refusing to be defeated I ran to the first row of seats, and the end closest to the stage. With a pretty decent view, I sat down satisfied and happy just to be there. In no time at all the opening group TwoFresh came on stage. An electronic hip hop duo from the south that totally impressed me. Their beats were pretty original and sick, although somewhat repetitive, and they had catch phrases that were easy to learn and fun to sing along with. My favorite being “That’s that shit I don’t like!” Towards the end of their one hour set all sound cut out for about 20 seconds and one of the guys got on the mic with a quick “my bad!” and brought the music back. The only somewhat negative thing I can say about TwoFresh is — their drops were very uneventful. I want that shit to DROP and make me rage — TwoFresh to be honest kinda left me hanging.
After an hr the southern boys wrapped up their set and said goodbye leaving the stage. Immediately a “Countdown to Skrillex” clock came on the huge screens above the stage. It seemed like forever but finally we got down to the last ten seconds (see “countdown to Skrill” video) the lights went out, everyone jumped up and counted down together. With blasts of sound and lights, Skrillex jumped up on stage and got behind his decks — starting the night off (wonderfully in my opinion) with “Right on Time.”
Skrillex talked to the crowd just about every other song which I personally loved, the more dialogue and interaction with the artist I’m seeing – the better. It makes me feel closer and more connected with the music. In between the jumping, dancing, and raging my face off I did catch a few moments from the visuals he was playing for us on the jumbo screens. Which by the way were all spot on and perfectly matched the mood and feeling of the song he paired them with.
Mixing it up he played a couple reggae-influenced tracks I’d never heard along with both a Bob Marley and Daft punk remix. Truly pleasing anyone and everyone in the crowd. He also played all of my favorites from his newest release “Bangarang” : “Devils Den” “Breakin a Sweat” “Right on Time” “Summit” of course “Bangarang” and my personal favorite “Kyoto.”
During “Devils’ Den” he brought all the pyrotechnics of a Arena style tour, with huge flames bursting behind him on cue with the beats and at every drop. Making the crowd go absolutely insane.
The staff did their best to control us crazy dance kids, and for the most part they did a great job. However, two different women working the event BOTH smacked me, and I mean SMACKED me, with rolled up paper for dancing in the aisle. As hilarious as I find this now, it also kind of pissed me off. l think a simple tap on the shoulder followed by a “please don’t dance in the aisle” comment would have sufficed.
I could tell the set was reaching the end when he shot out huge streamers at the end of “Kyoto” — I ran to grab one before they were all snatched up and almost got into a game of tug-o-war several times. But being the savage I am – I now have one of those streamers hanging on my living room wall.
Unfortunately I couldn’t stay until the very end of the show because my date and I both had to be at work the next morning and were easily an hour and a half away from home. Grudgingly we both got up during Summit around 11:00 – which I would assume was close to his last song given the time. We walked back to my car and talked about what a great show it was and how happy we were that we decided to come to Bumbershoot this year.
Both “Two Fresh” and Skrillex put on an incredibly epic show. I forgot all about the stress, waiting in line for over two hours, and the let down of being stuck in the seats. Not only did their performances make me forget and not care what I just went through, but also they made me willing and happy to do it all over again.
I highly suggest seeing Skrillex live, his energy is unmatchable. I swear the guy raged harder then anyone else there. And it made him extremely fun to watch. I also thought the DaftPunk remix was a highlight – paying dues to (in my opinion) the best & most classic electronic group, but I’ll never forget seeing and more importantly dancing to “Kyoto” live. It was so amazing to hear the entire Key Arena sing the keyboard melody together, as if it was lyrics and yell “BASS MAKES THAT BITCH CUM” at the top of their lungs. Not one person was in their seat, not one person looked unhappy. It was a packed house and everyone seemed to be having as good of a time as me. It was by far my best night since FreakNight 2011, and best show since Tiesto Elements of Life tour in 2008.
With Skrillex checked off my “must-see list” I’m already getting excited for the next- best night of my life. My next live show will either be “PrettyLights” in Eugene,OR (Sept. 13) — or DJ Shadow feat. Golden Toast in Ashland,OR (Sept.30th). Either way there are many more PARTYROCK reviews to come! This is just the start of my EDM-Show season. Hope to see you all in the pit!