Last year fresh music freaks reviewed Excision’s tour stop in Milwaukee, WI. The show featured the Executioner Stage and came to town with Minnesota and Protohype doing the honors in supporting roles. As expected his 150,000 watt sound system didn’t disappoint as my ears were ringing for a solid three days after the fact…Bliss.
After relocating the entire fresh music freaks operation across the country, I needed to find the right show to kick things off on the west coast. When I got wind that USC Events was bringing Excision and his new Paradox Stage to Eugene, I made a call and snagged some tickets. For a second time in a year Excision had my attention.
Disclaimer: USC Events did not hire me or ask for my services in any way. I purchased tickets and participated as any guest would. I did not arranged press passes via USC Events. I am a journalist and enjoy writing about the experience and events as they happen.
“USC is recognized for both its popular club events and nationally acclaimed annual festivals. Fusing first-rate production, world class talent and state-of-the-art technologies, USC creates a one-of-a-kind EDM experience that overwhelms the senses.”
First things first though, you need to know a couple of things.
- This show took place on a Monday.
- School is in session in a town with a population of roughly 160,000 people.
- Mcdonald Theater capacity is roughly 1000 in GA and another 300 in the balcony.
- Excision sold out.
Always waiting on Cayden. I call him.
“I’ll be there in ten minutes.” He says.
“Fine, but Jano and I are leaving the house in ten minutes with or without you.”
My crew is lagging big time, sometimes they forget that I do this for a living. I anticipated arriving at the show at around 8:00 PM….to catch Bear Grillz…But by the time we navigated the line that wrapped around the corner and down the block, and made it through security, Bear Grillz was dropping his last record. Fuck!
Finally inside the vibe was on lock. The bass heads were out in full effect. The hallway corridor that leads into the main room was fucking hot! The smell of dancing bodies and funky sweat saturated the air like a dense fog. Cayden being Cayden, disappeared immediately. Jano had to jam to the bathroom real quick, I didn’t want to lose him for the night so I posted up and waited. I can honestly say the only bad thing about Mcdonald Theater is the lack of bathroom stalls…the line was ridiculous.
This event happened to be 16 and over which requires me to check ID’s before starting a conversation with someone…I’m only half kidding. The other half was serious as shit, Don’t these kids have school tomorrow? I thought…It didn’t really matter…not to them anyways.
The fashion was fresh yet typical… Bootie shorts, festival shorts, no shorts, kandi, fur heads, pasties, heady hats with pins and dudes wearing curtains on their heads. I guess festival fashion rings true no matter what part of the country you’re in. Glovers, hoopers, shufflers, cuddle puddles…it felt and looked like full on festival season. Everyone was there, even the old guy… who is kind of creepy but everyone takes a picture with him anyways…except me. While waiting for Jano, I had a quick convo with the guy selling Excision merch. I cannot remember his name for the life of me but he is also one of Excision’s opening dj’s. Anyways, I remember meeting him in Milwaukee, he didn’t remember me, so it goes. I will always remember a face. Hardly ever a name.
Jano finally makes out of the bathroom, I pull out my phone to snap a pic.
The main room was dark. Intentionally dark. I could tell right as we entered that the night was gonna get weird. Figure was serving up the bass with a side of heavy. Known for his Monsters series in which he infuses horror movie samples with nasty dubstep wobble, Figure has been a solid talent since emerging from the shadows in 2009.
The crowd was grindin’ back and forth with their hands in the air, gettin’ down to the nasty. Sweat was hitting the floor by the buckets, eyeballs were poppin’ but everyone and I do mean everyone had smiles on their faces…Cheshire cat smiles. I look up to the stage, Figure has his hands up as if he is conducting an orchestra…the crowd is following the tempo. Drop after drop, wobble after wobble his music is relentless, going harder and darker with each track. I look over at Jano…
“Are you glad I got you a ticket?” I said…
All he can do is grin ear to ear…
I needed a drink…and a towel.
We took this opportunity to grab a drink at the bar.
This is also when we ran into Taylor.
I noticed her earlier in the night but didn’t think about an intro, so as she came strolling over wearing a skeleton banana, a hot pink fishnet top and black censored stickers over her nipples I reconsidered.
“You look like the clown from American Horror Story.” I said.
In hindsight maybe that’s not the best ice breaker when meeting a female. She was cool though. I chatted with her for a few minutes and got the low down. Her favorite artists, where she was from, you know that type of shit. She was on point. She knew her music which not everyone in the scene can say. Dope chick. She was joined by the rest of her crew, so we split off and headed back to the dance floor.
Cayden comes out of nowhere, we convene for a pic and then he splits again. Honestly I didn’t see Cayden for the rest of the night until the party let out.
Okay…maybe the heat inside McDonald Theater can be a bad thing too. I swear to god the temperature gained five degrees from the time that we left to when we got back. Figure had eased up just a touch as he wound down his set, he thanked the crowd for the support and everyone went crazy. The lights came up a bit and the music switched to background filler as the crew readied the stage for Excision.
I said to Jano.
“We should go watch from up in the balcony.”
He agreed, so we headed upstairs. Best decision ever. It was much cooler.
While waiting upstairs, I sit down next to a female with mermaid hair and wearing the sickest pair of Nike’s I have seen in a long time. She smiles and says Hi. I introduce myself, she says her name is Ivy, We talk music for a minute, jobs, where we are from…you know? the norm. She has personality for days. Ivy has one of those faces that is super expressive when she talks…as though every word she says has a face that goes with it. Yeah like that. Just then her boyfriend Justin comes and sits down next to her…it would be just my luck to find the dopest couple in the place. We introduce ourselves and what not, chatted for a second, I introduce him and Jano. Fucking chill.
Lights go dark, all of us jump to our feet. The crowd lets out screams and cheers, the stage lights up in a grid pattern. Goosebumps….you know what? Words can’t explain, Just watch the video below…it’s roughly two minutes.
Mother fuckin’ Excision…right… what can I say? The anticipation for his highly touted Paradox stage was finally over, and the build up was worth it. When that first beat hit and that stage lit up red… people’s faces melted. It went absolutely crazy inside the Mcdonald Theater. Excision dismantled the place with 150,000 watts of holy shit your pants.
Those visuals, the Paradox…that set of screens dancing perfectly with each kick, each synth and each drop. Beautiful but different from his previous two stages. Paradox is LED based giving him more control over what the crowd was seeing during his set. Robots, rhinos, car engines…everything was mechanical and mapped in 3D. Excision himself was an additional eight feet higher than the stage floor. Giving him an almost higher power nuance. His set was intense, I swear, at one point I looked down and saw myself dancing…yeah, like an out of body experience.
He moved the crowd through his repertoire of smashers. Unforgiving in his assault. Records like “X UP” (with The Firm feat. Messinian) and “Robo Kitty” (with Downlink) from his album Codename X sent shockwaves through the crowd.
“I think I just came!” I said.
Turn my head and there is Ivy, laughing at me and shaking her head.
I sat for a moment to collect my breath and boom David sits right next to me. Come to find out David is Justin’s brother. So naturally I mention an after party and drop our number. His crew is legit.
Excision was 360 degrees of total sensory overload. Absolutely fucking amazing! There weren’t any sweet melodies or over zealous breakdowns, it was a night of pure energy coupled with the best dubstep I have ever heard..and I’ve been doing this for a long time…
The night ended with a massive roar…”one more song” was chanted a few times…nada…fucking noise ordinance.
On to the after party.