Dreams came true for this fangirl when I got to see Skrillex not once, but twice last week. After a severe thunderstorm caused the cancellation of Jack U’s New York debut at last weekend’s Electric Zoo festival, Skrillex kept true to his promise that he’d come back to drop new tracks from his Diplo collaboration.
Fresh off a string of game changing sets at this year’s Burning Man Festival (where he and Diplo DID NOT get booed off the stage, FYI), Skrillex played a number of intimate shows here in the city, including Chelsea’s Marquee Nightclub as well as a private Sirius Party at popular Burlesque hangout, The Slipper Room. Notorious for dropping bass where it’s least expected, Skrillex appeared as the special guest at Saturday night’s PS1 Warm Up Series finale.
There was plenty to be excited about on Saturday afternoon as a sold out crowd waited in anticipation for the popular dubstep artist to take the stage. Evian Christ of Yeezus fame played the preceding DJ set. Other artists on the lineup included Doss, the upbeat and poppy Sophie and Lone, who supplied live vocals in addition to laptop magic.
Skrillex took the stage at 7:30 PM, as people in the courtyard packed in like sardines donning unusual haircuts. The MoMA Courtyard may be a great place to sling drinks and catch up with friends, but we can all agree that the sight lines and acoustics leave a little to be desired. Of course, you give it a pass because the MoMA parties are a social endeavor, and the music is just one component of the day. That said, when someone like Skrillex is playing the party, you want a prime spot.
We found an energetic group of Skrillex fans who also seemed enamored with our light up swag. After appeasing them with our own unique brand of light show, we retreated to the bar area where we realized we had an unobstructed, eye-level view of the master at work. At one point, a young spectator looked at me excitedly and asked, “This DJ is great! What’s her name?” #badbrostepper #Epicfanfail
Skrillex, in all of his masculine glory, mind you, played a packed set of dubby standbys like Kyoto, Bangarang, First of the Year, and Duck Sauce’s NRG (remix) as well as hits from his debut LP Ragga Bomb, Stranger, Recess and Try it Out, among others. Perhaps most enticing were the number of new Moombahton-laced Jack U tracks. The newest single, Take U There (featuring pop singer Keisza) as well as a bass heavy rendition of Toto’s Africa were particularly well-received. And it wouldn’t be a complete show without a sprinkle of nostalgia. This week’s sets brought a call and response of the old school internet meme Peanut Butter Jelly Time. People ate that shit up.
True to form, Skrillex brought an insane amount of finesse, fun and skill to his set, just reinforcing critical acclaim he’s received recently for being one of, if not the BEST, live DJ in the scene right now. Being in a Skrillex audience is so much more than being a bystander at the Apple Store. His audience becomes a living, breathing part of the performance. His sets may be similar, but they are never the same. A Skrillex show is an experience, and this rang true for both sets I saw in NYC this week. Without fail, he skrills it every time. (I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it.)
Skrillex’s fall tour returns to New York state in October when he plays the F Shed in Syracuse on 10/22, with support from Big Gigantic. New York City dwellers can keep their fingers crossed for a surprise drop-in. That’s how he rolls, after all.