This wasn’t your typical concert. This wasn’t just some rave you hear about randomly through a string of text messages. The Mad Decent founder, Diplo, was in the house, the prince of Ed Banger, Sebastian, was also in the house, and this was the last weekend of the summer (for all of us young’ins). If you can’t get up for something like that, well, you can’t get up for anything.
A full [rainy] day at the Northcoast Music Festival didn’t stop hundreds of people from toughening out five more hours of electro/dubstep/house at the Congress Theater. I arrived around 11:30 PM to see the place almost filled to capacity, and just in time to see the start of Sebastian’s set.
With one arm raised to the sky as he jumped onto a massive podium, the French extraordinaire Sebastian treated fans to quite a spectacle without saying a word. First, there was the backdrop of the French flag, then the video footage of rape scenes from 70’s and 80’s cult films, then came images of troops marching through the streets stopping all attempts of rebellion, and finally, flashes of the word “President” followed quickly by “Sebastian.” This was clearly Sebastian’s first campaign stop on the trail to running for President of the World, and the music he played made me consider voting for him (then I remembered the super weird cult movie cuts he showed). Instead of turning to dubstep sequences to get the crowd going, something that almost every semi-major DJ does now, Sebastian kept it mystical and electro. The bouncing synthpop cuts with a cold, robotic feeling got the crowd moving collectively and dancing. When his bass slapping ended up being mixed in with the heavy guitar frustration of “Dog,” the similarities between Sebastian’s near brothers Justice and himself, were obvious. Diplo summed it best when he tweeted during the set…
“Sebastian is now acting mad French.”
Diplo kept the momentum going, coming on after Sebastian, switching up the original lineup (which had him closing). The music took a step in another direction as current hits were given the club makeover- dubstep was drilled through the speakers, and moombahton was given the opportunity to shine. No video played behind Diplo, just straight up bangers. As the hook to “All of the Lights” was on repeat, Diplo hopped off his podium, grabbed a bottle of champagne, and popped it all over the shower-willing fans. The party continued with more moombahton, which I really think has the chance to catch on and stick. Unlike dubstep, there’s so much that can be done with it. The Latin rhythms combined with the head buzzing bass leave much room for creativity, and Diplo is leading the way. Ending his set with The Throne’s “Otis,” Diplo embodied the persona of the song/video well the whole night… “I’m on top the world, nobody else can touch me.”
(I’m really feeling these silhouetted photos I took, just because Sebastian’s looks like it is straight out of his campaign commercial, and Diplo’s gives off the sense of his “DJ king” status… what do you think?)
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