In regular headbanger fashion, Excision and company completely tore down the Armory last night. The stacked lineup of hard-hitting dubstep artists played two straight nights of neck-breaking, speaker-splitting music.
Jeff Abel, known as Excision, has been a long standing powerhouse in the dubstep community. In recent years he’s even been putting on his own music festivals. This Valentine’s Day weekend was practically a mini-festival.
Known for his top-of-the-line stage design and audio/visual production, Minneapolis has luckily been a stop for the previous tours of the Executioner and Paradox stages. But Abel had a few new tricks up his sleeve, as he debuted the monstrous new stage design for The Evolution Tour. To add to the festivities, he brought along a stellar squad of dubstep and riddim artists.
Calcium set the tone for the night, starting the show with plenty of heavy drops to get the growing crowd warmed up. The young dubstep artist recently released Insane, a collaboration with Dion Timmer, another supporting artist on the Evolution tour.
Next up was Lucii, a self described “space bass” producer, who is one with the aliens.
Her silver-blonde locks shook as she bounced and headbanged along to her unique, euphoric, and glitchy sound. Between drops, the multi-talented female producer sang the vocals for her own songs. It was quite impressive seeing, and I was practically out of breath just dancing along in the crowd!
The next three hours felt like a non-stop explosion of ground-shaking bass. Three back-to-back sets came from an army of talented bass and dubstep producers. First up was Champagne Drip B2B G-Rex, followed by Wooli B2B PhaseOne, and the final back-to-back set came from Dion Timmer and Dubloadz.
While I always find back-to-back sets really fun and unique, I will always prefer to see artists playing alone. These guys all delivered nonetheless. The entire crowd was on its feet, ebbing and flowing like waves as they thrashed and headbanged.
By the final back-to-back set, the crowd was amped up for Virtual Riot. The German born producer brought out the nasty wubs, which paired perfectly with his vibrant red visuals. I nearly lost my footing as the crowd swelled. The ground shook to the time of the bass line.
The Evolution stage was finally revealed after a brief intermission. If you’ve seen Excision before, you know how amazing his stages can be. The Evolution stage completely blew all past ones out of the water.
Comprised of a towering X-shaped screen along with multiple smaller square screens outlining the enormous stage, the Evolution stage commanded attention from every spot in the room. What really took this stage to the next level was the lasers, provided by local laser connoisseur Anthony Garcia. Garcia was the longtime “laser guy” for Gareth Emery, recently putting on Laserface at the Armory as well.
While I can’t say that I am a huge fan of hours upon hours of dubstep, there is definitely a reason Excision has the following he does. The man does face-shaking bass better than anyone out there. And who doesn’t love some good dinosaur visuals?
It was awesome to hear so many classics from his vast discography, along with fan favorite collaborations with other electronic artists. My neck was honestly a bit sore this morning from a night full of headbanging, jumping, and just generally dancing like crazy.
The entire crowd was plastered with permanent bass face as Excision closed the night with “Home,” a song made with his personal prodigy, Dion Timmer. The crowd called for more and Jeff absolutely delivered. The encore included “Vault” and “Rumble,” which certainly rumbled the entire room and everyone in it.
I’m admittedly exhausted today from such an intense night of music and lasers. I give kudos to those concert-goers brave enough to take on both nights of the Evolution tour. Saturday’s lineup includes supporting sets from Infekt, Champagne Drip, Wooli, PhaseOne B2B Figure, Marauda, and 12th Planet.