On this fateful Wednesday evening Skrillex supported by guest DJ Flux Pavillion came to none other than London's Koko - the first leg of a short stint of touring the UK. Needless to say Skrillex is a marmite DJ unlike any other, inspiring a tonne of vitriolic hate from all corners of the globe balanced out by praise from an army of fans and high profile support from the likes of Deadmau5. The best way to approach the gig was with a certain amount of ambivalence as it is hard to judge a new form of performance that relocated from the rave scene is a novel event within a gigging environment.
Proceedings didn't kick off in a good fashion with Flux Pavillion's set which was a flat DJ performance defined by an extremely lazy/boring mixing style consisting of smugly fading one tune into the other. Flux's production is hard to fault but he is a specific example of an army of DJs who have learned to produce yet failed to master any kind of skill behind the ones and twos before getting behind them. Remember as well that this isn't a Shoreditch dubstep night rather it is a mid week gig in Camden, only exacerbating how lack-lustre the whole thing really was.
Come Skrillex's time to grace the stage there was a palpable excitement within the venue as a throng of baying teenagers began to envelop the front of the stage - chanting his name. With the curtain fall and the introduction of 'My Name Is Skrillex' the full spectacle of the stage was revealed: a sculpture of the artist's hexagonal symbol complete with screen behind and the famous young producer in the middle shouting into the microphone to hype up the crowd.
As a show the audio/visual performance was extremely energetic as he blazed into a full on set that never stood still, whilst embracing all forms of bass music from krunk, to electro, to dubstep to drum and bass. When the BPM rachetted up to 180 with the visuals behind working in time to the music (it took 3 or 4 stage hands to run) it was impossible not to be impressed. It what was a flawless performance on the MPC's that embraced the glitchy side of the music only to elaborate on it.
The set and the night as a whole represented a bench mark in the evolution of live music, there was no band, just one guy and his AV show; yet the whole show was by all means a full performance complete with mosh-pit, crowd surfing and beers soaring into the air left right and centre. It might be a glimpse into the future but these people (who were of all ages) were rocking out to electronic music like it was a Papa Roach gig back in the day.
All in all an odd night, that proved inconsistent thanks to the contrast of Flux Pavillion's atrocious attempts to use a turntable with the full on audio assault of the Skrillex stage show. The whole performance whether you like it or not represents a step forward for a new generation of music lovers.