Skrillex In Gainesville
In the weeks leading up to the Skrillex show on February 1, there was a lot of party tension in the air. Aoki’s performance scheduled for January was pushed back, and hearts were broken when Porter Robinson’s show on the 28th turned into a fail as well.
There was steam building in them streets. The party-goers were gonna blow gaskets if they didn’t get their fix.
So when Tuesday rolled around without the slightest mention on the underground of a sick-in-bed Sonny Moore, or a DJ who couldn’t catch his connecting flight, the people put on their party pants. The time had finally come to rage.
When I got there, around 11:30 p.m., the place was already packed. Two opening DJs had come and gone and Gainesville hometown-hero Vi was warming up the heathens. Everywhere you looked was glowsticks, bottles, glowsticks, boobies, glowsticks – typical show fair. But the atmosphere was electric as more and more ready-to-ragers hustled through the doors, dying to let loose their pent-up energy.
The crowd was already banging, and when Skrillex came on a little after midnight, they let him have it. I left VIP to get a beer, and when I came back, I had to climb over the railing just to get inside. The largest club in Gainesville had two hours left and was already at capacity.
In a phone interview a few days before, Skrillex told me to expect a variety of music from his set, and he delivered. The man so popular for dubstep was all over the board from the get-go, not that anyone minded. Within the first 30 minutes or so, he dropped some funkyness with his hit Weekends, got heavy with Flux Pavilion’s Hold Me Close, and dropped in a throw-back with a remix of Jackson 5 favorite I Want You Back.
Shit was hitting the fan all over the place. VIP was like a mosh pit. Our photographer had to push her way to the front and actually bit someone to get a good angle. (Really though.) The closer you were to Skrillex, the closer you were to suffocating in sweaty bodies – not that any of the bodies were complaining (except for the bouncers). Skrillex himself was straight murdering beats, looking out at a sea of writhing hands and arms flailing, screaming little mouths providing the perfect white-noise accompaniment.
Skrillex got a little gangsta with it. He surprised the crowd with Savage’s Swing and a little while after, brought in some Luda with Move Bitch. Near the end of the night, he even rocked us out to all-time DJ Kool-classic Let Me Clear My Throat. Mad respect Skrillex, mad respect.
The night was winding down but the music wasn’t letting up. I was especially pleased to hear club-staple Warp get dropped, then mixed right into the instantly-recognizable Pon De Floor. Somewhere in the mayhem, Skrillex left his party podium and jumped into the arms of the crowd. I guess you can take the boy out of the punk band but you can’t take the punk out of the boy.
No Skrillex show is complete without a lil’ Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites (a song for which the man is making a music video as we speak), then he grabbed the mic and told the crowd his parting gift was a brand new song he’d just finished the other day. The crowd ate it up and cheered appropriately as it shifted into his remix of La Roux’s bulletproof.
When the music finally died for the last time and the lights slowly started coming on, the crowd did their best to keep it going, chanting for more and screaming his name. But sorry kids, shit closes up at 2 a.m. so you either made your way to the upstairs lounge to chill or you headed home, counting the days until his new shit goes public in a few weeks.
But at least you finally got what you wanted.