Last night marked the highly anticipated rescheduled date for English producer/dubstep DJ Christopher Mercer, who performs under the moniker of Rusko. Mercer was unable to perform in May due to illness, according to Steve Levine Entertainment's Facebook event. The headlining DJ didn't just show off his improved health last night, he seemed to have just as much fun (if not more) than the audience.
The Marquee was at about half capacity last night, giving guests plenty of room to dance. A rescheduled hyped up show should have had a better turn out, especially since most fans probably have Veteran's Day off. I can't complain though, it was a nice alternative to last months' packed Bassnectar sauna.
EDM shows are always a great place to people watch. The usually scantily-clad fans tend to be a huggy bunch, and if that's not enough for you, it's hilarious to watch people freak out while watching spinning glowsticks. Female fans are a resilient bunch-- 55 degree weather didn't deter most from dancing in bikinis or underwear. Perhaps those fuzzy boots are warmer than I thought.
Some gals were crafty with their attire, sporting torn black leggings under their bright neon tutus. Guys were lucky since you typically don't see too many dudes rocking banana hammocks at raves. The gents were a bit more creative with their outfits, dressing up as folks like Fred Flintstone, a jester, and a robot.
Rusko may not have had the most star-studded support, but it was pretty cool that the show featured three local DJs, providing a great warm up for Rusko.
Sam Grooves played a bass-driven set that included bits of hip-hop. One of his best mixes, "Diamonds," is available on his Soundcloud page. A couple of sissy bounce tracks were sprinkled in, and unlike the "classic booty breaks" tag on his profile, there wasn't nearly enough booty bouncing going on. An unexpected twist of Grooves' set was a sample of The Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There." The dubstep-hungry crowd may not have appreciated it, but I sure did.
The transition between Sam Grooves and Benito Lugo was so smooth that I didn't even notice it, which may or may not be a good thing. In a club setting, no breaks is definitely appreciated, so I'll go with it being a great thing. Lugo had a strong start, sampling a robotic version of Eurhythmics' "Sweet Dreams." Later on, he used bits of Cedric Gervais' completely ridiculous song "Molly," which was a crowd favorite.
Rusko got on the ones and twos around midnight and the crowd was at his mercy. Fans supplemented their over the top dance moves by mirroring Mercer every time he threw his arms in the air or pointed gun hands at the audience.
Rusko's set was a little remix-heavy, which ended up being a lot of fun. He didn't shy away from hip-hop either, adding tons of bass and dubstep beats to songs like Splack Pack's "Shake That Ass Bitch" which is turning out to be prime fooder for mashups/remixes (see also: Girl Talk).
There were also some subtle twists such as the first few seconds of Kanye West and Jay-Z's "Who Gon Stop Me Now," which worked quite well with the added bass. It may be unorthodox, but a Watch the Throne dubstep album would definitely be interesting.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Rusko's original material had the strongest reaction, as the audience went wild to songs like "Woo Boost" and "Cockney Thug," partying until the house lights came on.
Critic's Notebook: Last Night: Rusko at Marquee Theatre. Personal Bias: The Hood Internet still does it better. The Crowd: Half dressed girls who were probably freezing. Overheard in the Crowd: Fans were strangely fascinated by the monopod sticking out of my backpack. I was asked if I was carrying a nightstick or a sword, or if I was a ninja. It definitely made for some interesting conversation.