The Great Saltair
deCay, Heartwreck, InEssence, Vaski, Paper Diamond
After hearing all about how Excision’s new tour would be pumping 100,000 watts of sound into the indoor venue that is The Great Saltair, I have to admit I was a little scared. The level of volume is comparable to a commercial jet taking off, a lesser amount of sound was rumored to have caused a toilet to crumble off of the wall during his last Saltair show in October. In other words, Excision’s latest tour is one for thrill seekers.
The first set of opening acts, a local group of DJ’s known as The Hive Collective did a good job of getting the crowd pumped for the night to come. Dropping a mixture of Kreayshawn, Iggy Azalea and other female rap artists gave me the impression that The Hive Collective wanted to showcase how women influence the music industry. Heartwreck, deCay, and InEssence spun a mix of EDM, Trap, and Hip Hop songs that I had never previously heard at any EDM show but was pleased to hear nonetheless. Next came Vaski, a Minneapolis based DJ who locally earned the title “the dubstep king” dropped a variety of Dubstep and Trap tracks while more and more people flooded into the venue. For those who may not know what trap is, it is a slowed down electronic genre with hip hop-influenced beats and heavy use of drums such as 808’s and snare. Over the last few years Trap has redefined itself as the face of the club scene having gained extreme popularity through the Internet with viral hits such as “The Harlem Shake.” The final opening act was Paper Diamond, a Colorado based EDM producer who played a lot of Trap as well. One of the most memorable moments during his set was when he dropped “All Deez” by BUKU as well as other trap remixes that got the crowd wild.
The Execution Tour brought with it one of the largest stage set ups I have ever seen, complete with laser cannons, fog machines, and video mapped animations. The stage, properly named “The Executioner” was some 420 square feet and took the shape of a giant mask, putting Excision right in the center. Throughout the night a projector in the back of the room displayed video sequencing onto the stage that went along with the music. It seems, to me, that DJ’s get a kick out of who can have the biggest stage. However, I for one am not complaining as the visual effects only add to the experience of an EDM show. Throughout the night, I had assumed the 100k watts of bass was being utilized during the opening acts and remember thinking it wasn’t as insane as I had expected. I was wrong—the moment Excision took the stage there was a roar of bass that I was surprised didn’t break a window (as far as I knew). The blasts of his first few songs were enough to make the crowd go insane and separate the adrenaline junkies from the casual concertgoers.
Although the extremely high sound was too much to handle at times, Excision did a good job of pacing his songs to make the experience enjoyable. His music is characterized by its semi slow tempo and harsh electronic sound with a lot of bass, similar to artists such as Skrillex, Flux Pavilion, or Knife Party. The crowd was wilder than ever, and the feeling of the sound was unforgettable, shaking the entire building right down to the concrete floors.
Excision dropped most of his more recent tracks as well as some remixes of popular trap and dubstep songs today. His remixes remained fairly similar to their original tempos but were personalized to match his signature electronic rock sound. When he dropped Baauer’s “Harlem Shake,” the crowd went wild, as any crowd usually does when this song is played. Upon playing one of his slower songs “Sleepless,” his stage turned an iridescent shade of blue and snow-like confetti slowly floated down from the ceiling. The mixture of the hypnotizing vocals in the song and the visual performance to accommodate it put the entire crowd in a trance like state of awe that made time feel as if it had stopped. His entire set lasted about an hour and a half, and by the time it was over, the crowd screamed for more. He came back and performed a few more songs finishing the night with a remix of Flux Pavilion’s “Blow The Roof,” which was an appropriate title for what Excision had done. Although the US leg of the Execution tour is just about done, Excision will be performing at many electronic festivals over the summer, headlining shows such as Global Dub Fest in Colorado mid May and Baltimore’s Moonrise Festival in early June, as well as larger shows like Spring Awakening and Electric Zoo.