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Snails,The Shell, Vomitstep

Snails | The Shell Tour 2.0 | WTF Happened to Me?

by Jaclyn Brez

TFW you go for the grime, but all you get is fire — I truly felt the heat that Snails brought as the headliner with complementary visual production by the same team behind reigning visual champion Excision.  

Stage AE, a large, warehouse-meets-gymnasium style venue in the heart of the stadium district of Pittsburgh, PA was perfect to showcase everything this gastropod was bringing in terms of use of space and volume; and fully use the space to his potential he did indeed, as a GIGANTIC inflatable snail deployed around the halfway point of his set causing a joyous uproar from the crowd.

Snails
Snails | Shell Tour 2.0 | Pittsburgh | Ty Barch

I was surprised to not see the house absolutely packed on one of the biggest drinking nights of the year compared to other weekday shows at this venue without a holiday to nurse the hangover following. However, it created an ideal atmosphere for not only myself (who usually hangs back in the “talent pit” on the outskirts of the crowd), to get up front and center to enjoy the full effect of the performance, but overall as well, giving everyone room to headbang their hearts out with plenty of personal space, love, unity, and respect.

One might be surprised to learn that I’m a huge fan of artists bringing a cinematic experience to their live shows given my love for live rock considering my inaugural club experiences being from simpler times where the DJ provided a background of sound as you formed circles with your friends and goofed off with each other—but it’s totally the answer to “so, tell me exactly WHY must we all face the DJ the whole time?” Their role as conductor of the crowd makes sense, but some of us need more, and the bar to impress tends to be set a little higher when your choice of poison is just a couple of vodka-sodas.

Snails
Snails | Shell Tour 2.0 | Pittsburgh | Ty Barch

That being said, hats (plain, covered in heady pins, and everything in-between) off to Snails for providing an entertaining show that appeals to a broad range of audience tastes and tons of potential for fan conversion by those who may not initially view Vomitstep as in their genre wheelhouse.

My favorite part of the night was when he closed out the show complete with a vaudevillian red curtain visual as a backdrop only to send it sprawling back open for an ENCORE! Quicker than I could even turn to my friend with a puzzled look and ask if this was “a thing” in the world of live EDM shows, Snails MADE IT A THING and wrapped up his show with one last slap of sensory overload complete with a parallel appeal to my rock purist side.

Snails
Snails | Shell Tour 2.0 | Pittsburgh | Ty Barch

Following the formal ending of the show signaled by the house lights, I saw fans gathered at the front of the stage the way they would at a rock show trying to catch a flying drumstick or guitar pick — he hit us with an encore after all, was he going to toss a USB out into the crowd of solidary salt-haters? No, but it was great to see Snails meeting and greeting his fans and personalizing their memories of his performance on the next level. I highly recommend checking out the Shell 2.0 Tour as it truly has something for everyone, even if they don’t realize it yet.

With just a few dates left see if he will be coming to a venue near you.

snails
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