We recently had the opportunity to check out the Chicago date of Excision’s 2014 North American tour with Ill.Gates and Dirtyphonics. You can check out our review of the tour, after the break.
The 2014 Excision tour coming to Chicago was one of the biggest and best announcements of this past winter. In his usual form, Excision announced that he would be bringing his massive executioner stage, along with his mind-shattering 150,000 watts of sound. With Ill.Gates and Dirtyphonics on the lineup, there was some serious hype surrounding this show and it wasn’t something I would ever want to miss.
Ill.Gates is a creepy looking dude, but that didn’t matter when I walked into The Aragon Ballroom and he was throwing down a serious dose of base. The man himself calls his genre “glitched out BASS music,” and I have to agree. This was no regular dubstep, but something that had more of a melody to it, and it wasn’t simply a case of the bass constantly dropping. The Toronto producer did not have a stage presence in the slightest, he was up there spinning his tunes without the help of a monster lighting rig or anything flashy to increase the appeal of the show. He didn’t need it, Ill.Gates warmed up the crowd with ease, and I honestly believe that he should have had the middle slot on the bill, not Dirtyphonics.
I can never keep straight how many dudes actually make up the group Dirtyphonics. Between different people trading off on the decks, different guys hopping around stage, and dancers jumping around as well, I can never tell how many people are needed to produce some sub-par electro music. Also lacking any sort of stage setup, Dirtyphonics dropped a lot of more bouncy electro tunes and less grimey bass like I would have expected. These guys certainly had their own style, and I really did enjoy it, but opening for Excision should not be something that’s taken lightly. As much as I enjoyed these guys and what they had to bring to the show, at the end of their set I honestly just thought that they sounded like pretty much every other European electro bass act.
The man, the myth, the legend, Excision, came on last, with his monster executioner stage and massive sound system, sending all party-goers into shock and awe. This special stage setup consisted of a big white shell that Excision played in while two large projectors tossed insane images and pictures onto the structure that he was playing in. This setup was flanked on both sides by what appeared to be massive speaker stacks that are certainly not part of the Aragon’s usual sound system. Besides dropping a lot of Excision’s new Destroid side-project tunes, he kept with the usual choices of “X-Rated” and “Execute,” songs that almost have to be dropped with that kind of sound system. I did not witness a single person having a bad time that night, everyone was bobbing around and dancing with each other while having their entire bodies rattled by bass. An Excision live show is not just about the music for me, it is about the experience that he brings and the massive production that he puts on. Besides the amazing bass tunes and the massive visual display that he puts on, the skull-rattling sound is more than enough to have me coming back for more.
Information about this review:
Artists – Excision, Dirtyphonics, Ill.Gates
Reviewer – Michael Nutting
Date – April 18th, 2014
Venue – Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, IL