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EXCISION @ Navy Pier

Where: Navy Pier
When: March 20th, 2019
Grade: 4 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed and Photographed by: Neil Miller, Jr.

If there’s one thing that you can count on from the Canadian bass music mastermind known as Excision, it’s that you’ll be treated to one of the most highly visual, endlessly immersive displays of electronic music in the world.  When I tell non-believers about Excision’s show, I can compare it to that of his classmates like Deadmau5 and Skrillex but it’s more akin to the visual production behind, say, a Nine Inch Nails show.  While I personally was not a fan of seeing this show in the logistical nightmare of a venue that is Navy Pier (it took several hours to get inside), Excision’s show was no less impactful – the energy behind his performance can’t be hindered.

Traveling with his Paradox setup, the show boasts a whopping 250,000 watts of sound.  When I threw my X up at his show in 2013, the sound there was contained to a much smaller venue.  But a lot can be said for being able to see and hear Excision in a mid or smaller sized venue.  I remember distinctly feeling like I was going to puke when he dropped “Headbanga” at that Congress Theater show back in 2013.  But this show at Navy Pier, while undeniably and appropriately loud as hell, didn’t leave as ferocious of an impression on me.  And that is my one and only complaint.

Excision played a set packed full of his own staples like “Throwin’ Elbows” and “Drowning” from Virus while also digging into his newest album (and name of the tour), Apex“Gold (Stupid Love)” was one of the most epic moments of the show, fittingly so since the song is so relatable and rife with emotion in its lyrics.  My three personal favorites of the set all came from Apex – “Exterminate," "Rumble," and “Vault” – the latter of which was probably the most euphoric and it seemed like everyone around me agreed.  The floor turned into a gloriously sweaty mess of headbangers all moshing along to the tune’s massive drop.  There’s a reason the drop comes more than two minutes into “Vault” – you need that time to prepare yourself for what’s about to happen!  If Mr. Abel knows what’s good for him, he’ll lock this track into his setlists until retirement.

Truth be told, I also feel the same about “Robokitty,” who unfortunately did not make an appearance this evening.  Sad face.  All the same, Excision delivers a show unrivaled by any of his peers and no matter the ticket price, you’ll get what you paid for.  The Rottun Recordings labelhead is an artist who genuinely seems to take great care in giving his fans an experience that they’ll carry with them for years to come – something to tell your kids about, if you will.  I came to that 2013 show knowing only a couple of songs and now in 2019, I’m a die-hard fan who continues to be impressed and wowed by what Excision does with his time onstage.  Love the music as much as you can in your daily lives but if you can do yourself the favor of feeling this music live, channeled through whatever his current stage production might be, go see Excision and you shan’t be disappointed.

Follow EXCISION: Official Website  |  Facebook  |  Spotify  |  Soundcloud

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