If Friday night's Big Bang massive is any indication as to how much Denver loves dubstep music, then we are in for a rocky and up-hill climb toward building the reputation of being the best in the country. Fortunately, Big Bang is not that, but instead, can be equated to a private beach on a deserted island where there is so much to enjoy that you almost want it to be surrounded by ten thousand other people. Last night at theDenver Coliseum
, dub heads and bass lovers congregated on the massive beach inside the coliseum and soaked up the proverbial rays of sound until well into the early morning.
Big Bang certainly wasn't at a loss for sponsors: With booths and tables offering everything from glow-in-the-dark painted shirts, live spray painted moonscapes, and legal advice (?), Big Bang certainly had the floor covered by means of cost. Denver-based 2nd Street skateboards, founded by a San Francisco (an EDM mecca) native, threw some skatedecks down that all got signed by the artists, not really sure if they ended up getting raffled or what, but they have the names of a some big talent. Definitely a good wall piece.
The Big Bang massive received some discrediting rumors and speculation in the build-up. The biggest complaint I personally heard was that if someone was going to bring this level of talent and sound to Denver, they would've advertised for it more. This could be completely true, or could be the grumbles of doubting Thomas' who are now kicking themselves for not picking up a discount ticket when they were available.
Donald Glaude has sold out out Beta with ease -- you could say he is sought-after by many an EDM fan -- and literally looked like he was playing in front of maybe five hundred. Maybe. Mt. Eden and Excision are strong representatives dubstep. They are evolving with it, changing with it, and ultimately leaving their mark on the music world by constantly providing high-caliber bass music. Why they weren't playing in front of a sold out crowd is well beyond me, but we all danced our asses off with tons of room to get as wild as you want. They did, however, still play ridiculously loud and high energy sets that are testament to their devotion to bass.
Following Darude, Glaude played in the spot right before Str!pe. A lone wolf on stage, Glaude brought everyone up and down, lipsyncing along with his mixed vocals and composing a dancing orchestra with his hands. Composing a dance orchestra for dubstep simply requires fist pumping, but with an open hand, so more like a pimp-hand pump.
Project Aspect, Slim Thugz and Raw Russ all played in series at the Euphonic Conceptions stage located in the main level concourse. All of these guys bring the pounding sound everytime they hit the stage, but on this night, passer-bys and friends were the only ones experiencing the talent.
The Nebula stage had one of the coolest set-ups of them all with an elevated dance cage centered above the dj booth, vast mapped visuals plastered across screens, and nearly a half dozen dance cages spread throughout the floor. But, either because location or lack of bodies, also only saw a few random heads bob in and out of the room.
This was the case with most of the stages (there were six) surrounding the main stage. An outside Mack truck trailer, affectionately dubbed "Rolling Thunder," and on it's maiden voyage no less, was able to get people dancing, but that's because it was located in the only smoking area. I applaud the location choice for this because menthol cigarettes and dubstep go together like Vicks VapoRub and a rave (Rolling Thunder had a constant crowd).
Aside from the lack of people, the production was spot on. No expenses were spared for any attending person, the general admission and ease of entry, to VIP full open bar. The VIP area actually had a hot tub, conveniently located right next to the port-a-potties, but had a rotating group of chillers and chillettes. The 10,000 capacity building maybe saw 2,000 (guesstimation). Artists that sell out arenas worldwide were able to play in a huge room with countless lights before a few, die hard and loyal dubstep fans. Regardless, night two is tonight we'll see what happens when the word of a private beach spreads to the masses who search for that unicorn of a concert.
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Critic's Notebook Personal Bias: I have been writing about, covering and generally working in the live music scene for a few years now and this was the first show I wore ear plugs. And the first show that I wanted to. 6 loud stages, all blasting body-shaking bass, can't be good on the ol' antennas for 7 hours straight. And where the HELL was the Whomp Truck crew?
Random Detail: I stood over a poor girl who likely consumed entirely too much ecstasy for her petite frame, and had to watch as she convulsed and vomited while dancing in the arms of paramedics. And smiling the whole time. I spoke with her friends and she ended up going to the hospital, but I hope she is OK. Everything in moderation, to an extent.And I heard Big Gigantic played a show at the Goose in Boulder.
Overheard: "I feel bad for everyone that didn't get to enjoy this show."