Live Review: The Skrillex Cell Grey Daze Tour, Birmingham O2 Academy, 19 February 2012
This is my first ever not Metal/Hardcore show. Pretty exciting stuff. Before I start I should mention that this is not The Skrillex Cell Grey Daze Tour, It’s the Skrillex Grey Daze Tour. Me, not knowing anything about this kind of music and culture as I’m fairly new to it all, assumed that the “Cell” must be a dub step word for support, like an entourage or posse, that’s not the case. The Cell is a motion sensing computer which picks up Skrillex’s dancing and movement and projects it onto a screen. Due to stage size limitations the Cell couldn’t fit on so it’s just Skrillex.
The show is kicked off by Alvin Risk – my rating, 8 – who achieves something I’ve never seen an opening act do before. The little guy on stage who’s appearance my friend described as “Skrillex’s little brother” actually gets the crowd moving. Usually everyone stands there silent and unmoving whilst the few fans of the support move like crazy people. With Alvin people were galvanised instantly. It was actually like magic. He brings a unique blend of dub step, remixes and drum and bass to the gig which shows the crowds we can expect big things from him in the future.
I’m a cynic at heart so when Zane Lowe – my rating, 6 – came on I wasn’t majorly impressed. I really dislike it when famous people think they’re good at everything (He DJ’s, plays dub step, draws and sells artwork) but then he just played dull remixes that blended into one another. I found it really difficult to concentrate on his music it was that bland. However his stage presence and his attempts to get the crowd going were impressive and he managed to keep the crowd moving along nicely.
Next up Skrillex – my rating, 9 – takes to the stage. The former From First to Last frontman makes an impressive figure, moving around his raised platform, twisting dials, mashing buttons and dancing along to his infectious music. By this point the bass is so heavy I can feel my clothes moving and my nose and ears vibrating. The screen behind Skrillex displays Skrillex artwork and animation as well as random images and clips from video games. However his songs have an annoying habit of blending into each other and he doesn’t play a full song until the end of the night when he lets “Equinox (First of the Year)” play through in its entirety with being molested. I would have enjoyed it more if he’d just played full songs. Skrillex is genuinely an experience that every dub step fan should witness. There’s nothing more incredible than hearing a whole room scream “Yes! Oh my gosh! as one.