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Entries in dubstep (4)


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.

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DOWNLINK @ Sound-bar

Where: Sound-bar
When: August 1st, 2014
Grade: 5 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Neil Miller, Jr.

More often than not, when you go see your favorite dubstep producer live, you’re seeing a DJ set – but even more often, said DJ set is executed in the laziest manner possible.  Maybe they’re using beat sync or maybe the entire set is pre-mixed – the possibilities are endless as to how you can potentially ‘cheat’ your audience into believing there’s a lot going on behind the decks (if there even are decks).  I’m very happy to tell you that none of this is the case when you go see Downlink live.  After witnessing his set from the DJ booth at Sound-bar this past Friday night, I can say without a shred of doubt that this was the most live DJ set I’ve seen outside of going to underground parties where you’re only as awesome as how well you can spin.  In fact, his set took me back to my days of frequenting ‘raves’ where people actually would spin a DJ set into a work of art.

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EXCISION @ Congress Theater

Where: Congress Theater
When: January 26th, 2013
Grade: 4 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed and Photographed by: Neil Miller, Jr.

Originally, I wasn’t planning on going to this show. I’ve seen dubstep both live and “live,” in many different venues and formats. I, personally, have come to a point where I need limits to be pushed and boundaries to be broken with the genre and its live presentation to even make me take a second glance. Well, hearing about Excision’s 100,000 watts of sound and 420 square feet of true-3D visual setup (dubbed the “Executioner”) had me interested immediately. After going to see the show like I knew I had to, it’s safe to say that Excision just might be one of dubstep’s saving graces in 2013.

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PENDULUM || Immersion

Label: Atlantic
Rating: 4 out of 5 meatballs
Released on: January 25th, 2011
Reviewed by: Neil Miller, Jr.

Since the emergence of dubstep as a major force in electronic music, the genres that it borrows from have seen resurgence in its popularity over the past year or two. One of those happens to be drum 'n' bass - which is spearheaded by Pendulum, an Australian troupe that has evolved from being a group of more than talented DJ’s/producers to a full on live band. Granted that drum 'n' bass really hasn’t gone anywhere as it’s been existing in the underground, if anyone can inject new life into the genre and force it back into the mainstream, Pendulum will be the act to make that happen.

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