Event Review: Excision, Dirtyphonics, And Ill Gates @ Shrine Expo Hall

February 13, 2014 -

Ashlyn Fulton

Where to start?! I'm in Los Angeles, one of the greatest cities in the world! I'm at the Shrine Expo Hall, one of the biggest and loudest venues around, and I'm about to see some of my favorite artists! Word’s cannot express how excited I am! I keep telling myself, "This is going to be one of the greatest shows I’ve been to in a very, very long time."

The place swarms with bass heads as CRNKN starts us off. Right off the bat he played a very catchy tune: his "Me & You" remix by Cassie. I put my drink in the air and told myself, "Tonight’s going to be a good night!" CRNKN kept it mellow, fresh, and relaxed, warming us up for the mayhem that’s about to ensue. Then, the power cuts off, music and all. No big deal right? Better there was a problem earlier then later so the issue can be fixed and there wouldn’t be anything wrong with the later sets. His set was mute for about 45 minutes and we were only able to enjoy roughly 30 minutes of music. I felt bad. Getting booked for such a great show only to have technical difficulties.

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Next up was Ill Gates. I've only seen him a few times, but every time I did I enjoyed it very much, and this time was no exception. He has a blend of aggressive Dubstep, Drumstep, and jungle, which always keeps me satisfied. My favorite song of the night was the track he created with Bassnectar called "Expanded.” It's dark, heavy, and always hits the spot. Especially this night because it got me hyped up for the artist whom I have been a giant fan of, but hadn’t yet had the privilege of seeing. I recommend checking out that tune if you haven’t. It's easily one of my favorite songs to drive around to.

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Next up was, Eptic: the prodigal genius. I made sure that my drink was polished off before his set began because I knew my arms were either going to be up in the air or pushing people off of me who also couldn't contain themselves. Boy, was I glad I finished that drink. For the entire set Eptic kept it dirty, filthy, grimy, and funky. His set was fantastic and he kept everyone up and moving the entire time. Halfway into the set we had a slight power outage which stopped the music for a couple of minutes, but was quickly remedied and we were back to shaking the roof off. Eptic also brought a plethora of new tunes from the Never Say Die gents overseas. He put on a great show, which made me feel like I was going back in time and listening to that good ole funky Dubstep. My favorite songs of this set were a track by him and Must Die! called "Z" and "Watch Yo Back". Eptic finished off strong and heavy, but was missing a song I was hoping to hear, “Gun Finga." The last time I heard this song was from another artist who was also performing tonight, so I kept my fingers crossed.

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Dirtyphonics then started setting up. I've seen them many times and was never disappointed. This time was no different. A healthy mix of Drum and Bass and Trap kept us all on fire: A perfect blend of all genres, which is a very hard thing to do, especially following such a raw and heavy set like Eptic’s and setting up for Excision. Dirtyphonics went off without a hitch. My favorite song of the night was their remix of Kaskade & Project 46, "Last Chance." While this song is much different from the Dirtyphonics I have come to know and love over the years, it is just as incredible. It’s full of bass, volume, and makes me sit back and relax reminding me of how much I appreciate this music and how much of a part of me it really is. My favorite part about this set, though, was that there weren’t any technical difficulties or power outages. Was the worst over?

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Finally, it was time for Excision. He is, without a doubt, one of my favorite acts. I see the crew getting ready and cleaning up the stage. Behind them was a massive stage wrapped in tarp. I know that stage. I've seen it before and I'm ready for what’s about to happen. Excision brings back the Executioner light and sound system. However, this time he has upgraded to 150,000 watts of bass, a hefty 50,000-wattage increase from his last tour.

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The show began, and Excision started doing what he does best: electrifying the audience. His set began with the tracks "Funk Hole VIP" and "Headbanga." It got me moving. The bass was so loud I could feel my watch vibrating on my wrist. I looked around to see how my friends and the crowd were reacting and the place was a mad house! Everyone was possessed. I saw people standing on shoulders and multiple mosh pits forming every 5 feet in each direction. One thing Excision does best is introducing us to tunes that we should know, but don't give enough credit. He starts mixing a familiar tune but I cant put my finger on it. Then, the song drops. It’s "Sweenys Theme" by Doctor P. Something happened to me. I turned into a robot, obeying my digital master as he ordered my body to move in ways it shouldn’t have. I'm hyped! I thought to myself, "Can anything go wrong?" At that moment, I notice something. The stages power has been shut off. The music is still playing but the visuals on the projectors are off. Uh oh. The show carries on, while there are no visuals on the direct portion of the stage. The surrounding lights and music are just fine. Who cares right? It’s Excision. The next track was about to drop. I had my hands in the air. Here it comes. Pouf! Complete and total power outage. The next thing I heard is Excision on the microphone, "Hold on guys, I'm going to yell at a couple people." The crowd cheers, thinking the music is about to re-start and get this show on the road. 30 minutes go by, half of the venue is sitting on the floor, but the music starts up again. People began to cheer and stand up as Excision starts playing Camo and Krooked’s remix of "Numbers.” I really like this song, it’s old but he recently brought it back to life when he added it on his most recent Shambhala mix. Then I noticed something: the next track, and even the next. They’re from the same mix and in the same order, as well. Are we listening to a previously recorded mix now? Were they still having issues being the stage? Then, the power suddenly goes out again. Excision returns to the microphone and said, "A couple of people are getting fired tonight." I couldn’t agree with him more. So many technical issues this night and thousands of disappointed fans that paid good money to see one of the greatest acts out there.

We all hung out for another 10 minutes or so, then the music started again. He got on the mic and apologized to all of us and explained that he had plugged in 1 CDJ and will now be playing straight from CD's, the old fashioned way. Excision then finished his set off strong and had us all remembering why we were here. I finally got to hear Eptic's "Gun Finga". When he didn’t play it earlier, I knew he was saving it for Excisions set. This was by far my favorite song of the night, and most likely a lot of other people’s as well. Everyone started jumping as high as they could and leaving it all on the dance floor. It felt surreal.

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Despite the major delays, I had a blast at this show. I got to see some of my favorite artists out there. The last time I had the pleasure of seeing Excisions was in 2012. I was long overdue and this show delivered exactly what I needed. This tour is still in its infancy so check out the tour dates, call off of work, buy a ticket and go to this show. You will not be disappointed.

-Danny DeFusco

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