Concert Reviews

Review: Skrillex at 1STBANK Center, 10/31/11

Page 2 of 2

The unveiling of the stage for Skrillex brought about more cheers and claps than anything I've seen before. He hadn't even hit the stage yet and people were losing it. The stage itself was a subtle white screen with pillars flanking the DJ booth and LED panels outside of those. Two projectors, similar to the ones Amon Tobin uses for his monumental mapping, sat at the sound booth, along with a team of visual artists all wearing headphones and awaiting the headliner.

Enter Skrillex. Deafening screams of excitement greeted him as he took the stage, nearly trumping the speakers, until he really cut loose. We tasted little bits of samples from all of his works in the opening minutes, like he was teasing us with what would later be the closing tracks. The most impressive thing, visually at least, was the live-synched mapping going on behind him. It was as if he was wearing reflectors that were picked up by cameras, then fed into the computer at the sound booth and synched to screens, where tall skeletons, who started out as robots, mimicked his every move behind the booth. Picture skeletons on both sides of the LED screens, then a projected skeleton of the same look, though slightly smaller, directly behind him on the screen. This held true for nearly the entire show, along with various graphics exploding, melting, oozing, dripping and flashing on the booth-flanking pillars.

Track-wise, we heard it all. Close to the beginning, we were offered bits and pieces from "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites," as well as the hook from Benny Benassi's "Cinema," remixed by Skrillex, of course, and that led into his hard-hitting remix of La Roux's "In for the Kill." Later segues included a longer version, complete with the groundbreaking bass line of "Scary Monsters" into "All I Ask of You." It seems like dubstep is morphing into moombahton, adding more Latin influence and giving a dancehall feel to what formerly could be described as your typical rave scene. Even when he dropped a remixed version of "Hypnotize," sped up and much harder than the famous Biggie track, the place erupted.

The closing songs were a mash-up of Skrillex favorites, but the two high points came from the entire venue singing along to "Cinema," with no backing track, and "First of the Year (Equinox)," recently made famous thanks to a shockingly graphic and perverted music video where an obvious sex offender follows a little girl into a room -- where she destroys him with bass. There's a good chance that until this time next year, when another artist is given the same opportunity to celebrate Halloween with 7,000-plus people, those of us who were at Monday night's show will be talking about it.

Click through for Critic's Notebook and to read about the supporting acts

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Britt Chester is a writer and video producer living in Denver, Colorado. He's covered breaking news, music, arts and cannabis for Westword since 2010. His work has appeared in GQ Magazine, Village Voice, YES! Weekly, Inman News and the Winston-Salem Journal. He likes running, cycling, and interviewing people.
Contact: Britt Chester