As a rocker and vocalist, Sonny Moore was passable at best. As his alter ego Skrillex, however, the dude's an electronic music maestro and fifth-degree party instigator.
Moore displayed said skills last night at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe with aplomb as he whipped a crowd of more than 1,000 into a fist-pumping frenzy. The largest crowd I'd ever witnessed at the Marquee absolutely jacked and the energy level was through the roof as Skrillex put on his biggest show in the Valley ever.
While most DJs or EDM artists usually do nothing more than twist a few knobs and bob their heads, Skrillex's provided an energetic and lively performance during his 90-minute gig as he bounced and danced around to the beat while mixing up his sonic storms in front of massive LED screens.
Before Skrillex took to the stage, however, L.A. dubstep pioneer 12th Planet (known to his mama as John Dadzie) had the crowd in the palm of his hand as he whet their appetite for dirty, filthy audio with a 45-minute set filled with face-melting grime. Dadzie worked many of his favorites into his mix, such as "Needed Change," his mash up of Rusko's "Hold On" versus DJ Khaled's "All I Do Is Win," and his "Southern Boy" collaboration with Flinch.
The crowd (a majority of which were decked out in such costumes as Deadmau5 masks, Mortal Kombat ninja wear, evil rabbit masks, and even a Skrillex wig and glasses) got a short breather before the "crown prince of electronica" hit the stage and lived up to his reputation as dubstep royalty.
He blew everyone away with a seamless mix of his biggest hits (including "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites," his remix of Benny Benassi and Gary Go's "Cinema," and "First of the Year"), moving between harmonious melodies and some gut-tearing dubstep drops that filled the sweaty air at the Marquee with a storm of sound waves. Skrillex remixed his own work, lengthening favorites for the crowd and playing around with interspersing songs.
Meanwhile, Skrillex was backed by an over-the-top array of visuals via the LED screens that played tricks on the eye all night long. Best experienced from the front, tall towers formed a cascade of columns around him, and spun and flowed in beautiful colors like a larger-than-life three-dimensional iTunes visualizer. There seemed to be an endless sea of cell phones and cameras held aloft (especially after Skrillex requested them during "Cinema") to record what's certain to be dubbed "the best show ever" on YouTube. These 540-by-320 streaming videos won't do the show's energy justice, however.
Nor will any footage of the concert's climax, where beach balls were tossed into the crowd, confetti guns fired scraps of colored paper into the air, and Skrillex finished things by taking a monster stage dive into the mass of fans.
It's said that a Skrillex show is best witnessed in person in order to get the full effect. But if you weren't one of the fortunate who attended last night's sold out event at the Marquee, worry not. Since Skrillex has performed in the Valley three times in the past year alone, it's a safe bet he'll be back here again before too long.
Last Night: The Mothership Tour feat. Skrillex and 12th Planet at Marquee Theater
Better Than: Seeing Skrillex at The Venue of Scottsdale earlier this year.
The Crowd: The furry boots rave brigade, Hot Topic emo kids, frat cats, and electronic music junkies.
Random Notebook Dump: "Best dubstep-related t-shirt has got to be the 'Wobble House' one designed like the Waffle House logo."
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Overheard: "All these non deodorant wearing hipsters are pissing me off."
One more thing: Skrillex hung out at Wild Knight in Scottsdale for the after-party.