Dub Nation Review: A Concert Experience
By Jeremy Quintin
Elm Staff Writer
For the past two days, I’ve been unable to turn my neck without experiencing painful muscle stiffness, all thanks to the extremely awesome Dub Nation concert I went to this past weekend at the Baltimore Soundstage.
Five hours of hardcore head banging will leave you with some extreme after-concert-hangover, as in my neck was literally hanging over due to whiplash. Of course; getting injured isn’t a requirement at a concert, but when the euphoria of the music hits and you feel the sub bass surge throughout your body, I dare you not to burst into fits of mad dancing.
For those of you who don’t know, Dub Nation is actually a concert series put together by Steez Promo, a group specializing in booking and promoting electronic artists, especially Dubstep artists. This time around the lineup included Big Chocolate, Numbernin6, and Dieselboy, with the addition of an in-house club DJ, and a special appearance by Heavy Artillery. I’m going to take it for granted that most people don’t know those artists, so just think of some of the heaviest Dubstep and Drum and Bass music you can imagine, and you’ve got my Saturday night in a nutshell.
Typically when going to a concert; you’ve already accepted that the artists are good in some way, shape or form. Otherwise (unless you were dragged by friends) why else would you be there? That said, in going to a concert you’re no longer judging an artist on their music. Having done that already, you’re now judging the artists on their ability to put on a wicked show.
For a DJ, their concert is quite different from a rock concert. At a rock concert, in addition to the music, it’s about seeing the rock stars jam out on their instruments. With a DJ, you don’t get the fortune of seeing them work their equipment. However, all the performance value is still there, because a DJ comes with just as much high energy as any guitarist you’ll ever meet.
Big Chocolate, for example, puts so much effort into making a live performance fresh and original that watching him almost makes you think the drop is exuding straight out of his mouth. At one point during the show he had everyone get down on their knees and wait until the drop hit, at which point everyone jumped together like a single massive creature pulsating to the beat.
Another thing which is really neat about a DJ concert versus a rock concert is that there is no pause between sets. From the moment you walk in to the moment you leave, the music is playing nonstop. Each track flows seamlessly into the next, and each artist picks up right where the previous one left off. The interconnection of the songs shows the professionalism of groups like Heavy Artillery, who is composed of three DJs that continually trade off mixing throughout their set.
The level of power present in each track is really amazing. Both Numbernin6 and Dieselboy had very original mixes, which put a new style on the music and ensured that the best moments of each tune were preserved. Remember what I said about feeling the bass surge through you? Well every time Dieselboy laid down another drop, the room felt like it was shaking.
As a result, the concert becomes something that you not only hear, but feel too. To give you an idea of how powerful the subwoofer was, a flat-screen TV on stage fell over. It almost crushed a few audience members too. That’s a mistake on the club’s part, who should have known these DJs were going to give it their all.
Despite that minor terrifying point in the evening, I’ve never been more stoked to have witnessed such an awesome event. Without a doubt, DJs know how to put on a sick show.