The man who unofficially-defined EDM, Skrillex, has vowed to ‘take over’ four cities next year with a series of multi-date shows featuring unique line-ups, including A$AP Rocky, Just Blaze, Lunice and more.
Stateside, Skrillex and company are due to occupy San Francisco, and Brooklyn after which the dubstep wunderkind will head to Europe, for a series of shows in Amsterdam and Barcelona. The upcoming concert series is something of a repeat of Skrillex’s similar 2011 week-long residencies in Los Angeles and New York. I think its safe to say that he’s picked up a few fans since those days so expect demand to be amped up.
“I’m excited to do another round of Takeovers,” Skrillex said in a press release. “This time we chose four cities that I really think represent and support great art and rad artists: San Francisco, Brooklyn, Amsterdam, and Barcelona. I can’t wait to play some new stuff for you guys.”
The tour is due to launch in San Francisco on February 3rd, with six shows at as many venues, ranging from the Independent to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Those shows will be followed by five straight nights in Brooklyn starting on February 10th, including stops at the Music Hall of Williamsburg and a “secret warehouse” gig on Valentine’s Day (February 14th).
Skrillex will end the month with five shows in Amsterdam (including one on a boat) and three more gigs in Barcelona, with the final night of the tour happening on March 1st.
Full line-ups for each city are expected to be announced anytime now, but I can tell you that San Francisco will feature A$AP Rocky, Seven Lions, Jack Beats, Alvin Risk, Louisahhh!!!, Craze, UZ, David Heartbreak, Etnik, Samo SOund Boy, GTA and TOKiMONSTA, while Brooklyn will feature Just Blaze, Lunice, Shift K3Y, AC SLater, Bro Safari, Clockwork, and TOKiMONSTA. Watch the cyber skies.
Don’t shoot the messenger, but a Skrillex-Def Leppard music-making collaboration may be in the works. I can’t work out whether it’s blindingly genius or the most horrible thing I can imagine.
According to a recent interview between Rolling Stone magazine and Def Leppard, the newly “rejuvenated” band would love Skrillex to produce their next album.
If it does happen, fans of the classic metal band may have to wait a little while.
Guitarist Phil Collen admitted that, though the band aren’t short on material, they are likely to be set back by pre-studio preparations. In his own words:
“We’ve got a s–tload of new songs anyway, it’s just implement them and then, ‘What direction are we gonna take? Who are we gonna get to produce it? Are we gonna do it ourselves? Are we gonna do multiple stuff?’ An album would obviously take too long, so we’re gonna do about four or five songs, get those out and then next year have an album come out, so it’ll be an EP and an album.”
When asked who the band would like to work with in the future, Collen replied,
“I love Skrillex. I think [he's] fucking awesome, and he’s a huge fan. Love to work with him, that would be killer. It’s pretty specific and it’s not necessarily Def Leppard, [but] I think it’d be great.”
If he is a huge fan, the only thing that could get in the way would be Skrillex’s packed schedule, so for those of you unhappy about this potential development, then you’d better find a few more things to throw on his plate.
Def Leppard have had an emotionally turbulent year, to say the least, having released Viva! Hysteria, a live album featuring the band performing their classic album Hysteria in its entirety, earlier this week, and band guitarist Vivian Campbell announcing in June of this year that he had developed a form of cancer known as Hodgkins Lymphoma.
Drummer Rick Allen suggested that Campbell’s health battles had been an inspiration for the band recently:
“It reminded me of my own vulnerabilities, and the whole idea of just being courageous in the face of something so daunting. I was just feeling for him, and it reminded me of where I was not too long ago, and it made me do the best I could. He rose to the occasion, and it was like, ‘F–k me, I better pull out all the stops.’ Collectively, it just felt as if the whole band rose to the occasion.”
All the best to Campbell and his family.
Skrillex will team up with Cirque du Soleil as part of an upcoming residency at the new LIGHT club that will open at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas later this year.
Though the dates for the new residency have yet to be announced, LIGHT itself is set to open April 26. In addition to Skrillex, the club has signed residency deals with other DJs including Zedd, Baauer and Sebastian Ingrosso of Swedish House Mafia. But Skrillex is the only one teaming up with Cirque du Soleil, though he says the show is not only about the group’s famed acrobatics.
“It’s not about having acrobats for my set,” he told Rolling Stone recently. “For me, personally, the objective is to have something based around your music and something you want to dance to, not something you want to stare at the whole time. But how do you make the environment completely immersive? I think that’s the goal for my show, at least.”
He also said that the upcoming show will be designed specifically for Las Vegas.
“The LIGHT Skrillex show is gonna be only in Vegas,” the artist explains. “I want it to be distinct to the LIGHT club because the configuration is so customizable, it’s f**king crazy. That’s the thing about the club, too: they can do anything, so it’s how you maximize the dynamic of a great show with all their f**king bells and whistles and all of their budgets and resources to do anything.”
Each residency will be unique, and EDM newcomer Zedd told Rolling Stone that part of what attracted him to the club was the opportunity to design his own show.
“I’ve worked with Amy Thompson, who is part of the LIGHT team, before,” he said. “I met with Amy and we went through the whole concept: how we could design the whole production, the whole stage… I don’t think it’s going to be like a normal electronic music dance show.”
The second phase of the lineup for the massive Ultra Music Fest has been revealed, and Skrillex, Sleigh Bells and The Weekend are among the new highlights.
The festival takes place over two weekends this spring — March 15-17 and March 22-24 — and will be held at Bayfront Park in Miami. Other notable acts revealed as part of the second phase include Martin Solveig, Azelia Banks, Paul Van Dyk, Steve Aoki, Pretty Lights, Porter Robinson, Madeon and Snoop Dogg, who may or may not want you to call him Snoop Lion. Skrillex will be appearing along with his side project Dog Blood, which is the result of a collaboration between him and Boys Noise.
This new group joins the previously announced artists appearing at the festival, which include David Guetta, Tiesto, Avicii, Bassnectar, Fatboy Slim, Kaskade, Crystal Castles, Matt & Kim, Hot Chip and Yeasayer.
This year will be the 15th annual installment of the Ultra Music Festival, and is the first time the event will be held over two weekends.
“After an extremely successful 2012 edition of Ultra in Miami, and the continuous overwhelming demand by disappointed fans that were unable to attend because of the early sell out, we’ve decided to do what Ultra has always consistently done throughout the years, pioneer, and push the EDM movement forward,” said Russell Faibisch, president and CEO of the event, when the two-weekend set up was announced. “So we are adding a second weekend of Ultra. This is a unique concept from anything ever done before in our space, as it will be two weekends… two unique experiences.”
General Admission tickets for both weekends are still available and start at $299.95. Those that wish to attend both weekends get a slight discount, and passes are $574.95. VIP packages that include both weekends can run as high as $1,449.90.
The number of residencies is up from 34 last year, and a release says that the residencies will be held in both “daylife and nightlife” venues, including Encore Beach Club, Surrender, Tryst and XS nighclubs. Other notable artists appearing throughout the year include David Guetta, Afrojack, Bassnectar, Nero, Wolfgang Gartner, Porter Robinson, Zed’s Dead, Dirty South, Diplo, Knife Party, Cedric Gervais, Martin Soveig and many more.
Additionally, a few non-EDM artists also will participate, including will.i.am, Lil Jon, Jermaine Dupri and Red Foo from LMFAO.
A few of the early dates have been announced already, with Avicii performing January 18, January 25 and February 2. Afrofack will appear January 12 and January 19.
“2012 was a monumental year for both dance music and our nightclubs,” said Jesse Waits, managing partner of XS and Tryst nightclubs, in a statement. “Our team has worked day and night to present an unrivaled roster of residencies again in 2013 including both major headliners and the DJs we believe to be the next superstars of this genre. We hope to maintain our reputation as the mecca of dance music through these exclusive partnerships.”
Sean Christie, managing partner of Surrender and Encore Beach Club also spoke of the new dining concept in Encore Las Vegas called Andrea.
“Our reinvigorated and ramped up DJ roster offers the broadest representation of electronic dance music in Las Vegas,” Christie said in the statement. “And with the addition of the hybrid dining/nightlife concept Andrea’s — our soundtrack is created by ‘musical chef’ Steve Angello and our resident DJs stop by to play sets — we continue to expand our market share and offer our guests a truly enjoyable entertainment experience.”
Skrillex will bring back the Full Flex Express train tour next summer with five stops in Canada.
The tour, first launched this past summer, was modeled after the Festival Express tour of the 1960s. Next summer’s incarnation will kick off July 12 with a show in Montreal, and is scheduled to continue through July 21, when the last stop takes place in Vancouver. In between those dates, the train will visit Toronto, Winnipeg and Calgary.
The actual venues for the tour stops won’t be announced until this January. The support acts that will be traveling with Skrillex are also expected to be announced at that time.
The original Festival Express featured artists such as Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead and the Band traveling through Canada on a train. The first incarnation of the Full Flex Express included Diplo, Grimes, Pretty Lights, KOAN Sound and Tokimonsta in addition to Skrillex.
At the time the first tour was announced, Skrillex said he was drawing inspiration from the train tours of more modern artists, as well.
“We were really inspired when Mumford and Sons and Edward Sharpe and those guys did a train tour,” Skrillex said. “We wanted to do it as well and share this music with people across Canada. Just to do it and have fun.”
Before he hops the train, Skrillex has a few more dates scheduled before the end of the year, including a residency at an ancient Mayan temple in Mexico City December 18-22. The stint includes an End of the World gig to be played on December 21, which is the end of the Mayan calendar.
Skrillex also is co-curating the Voodoo Experience in New Orleans on October 28, and will appear at the With Your Friends Festival in Nashville just prior to that gig. He also has two dates scheduled in Japan in mid-November.
Saturday night at Atlanta’s Counterpoint Festival, belonged to Sonny Moore, better known as the Grammy award-winning Skrillex. From the first beat, he completely owned the crowd, whipping everyone into frenzy with his well-known hybridization of scratches and screeches.
Following Steve Angello of Swedish House Mafia (also a crowd-pleaser), Skrillex wasted no time getting down to business, filling every sense so completely, the crowd couldn’t help but play into his hands. He began early on with his nod to Damien Marley (Make it Bun Dem) before paying homage to artists as diverse as Will Smith (actually DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince), Benny Benassi (Cinema), and Pretty Lights (Finally Moving). “Rounding” things out was a Make dat Booty Clap remix.
Concertgoers were prone to spontaneous fits of jumping, dancing and fist pumping as beat after beat threaded through the crowd like so many strands of silk. Like a truth that was inescapable, Skrillex seemed to feed off the crowd’s intense energy, getting heavy into his trademark sound upon moving into his debut single, My Name is Skrillex, with the words on display for all to see behind him. He also treated the crowd to First of the Year (Equinox), Kyoto and Scary Monsters, and Nice Sprites.
For all the focus on music, Skrillex’s visuals were also quite stimulating, well selected, and expertly timed to the music. This was like a trip to the EDM Museum. This man is an artist. Skrillex was also the only performer at Counterpoint to inject fireworks into his set at critical points. Robot graphics, anime segments, film noir, to the opening credits of Fresh Prince of Bel Air, he showed not only that he is a consummate entertainer, but also has a sense of humor and isn’t taking himself too seriously.
It was fitting that Skrillex was one of the final acts of the festival. This young man has a gift. He gets it. He’s tapped into your mind to know what you were seeking by coming out to Counterpoint. The long drive through the back roads of rural Georgia (albeit just outside of Atlanta) and the weather delays (a Friday downpour actually shut the festival down for a period of time) were all worth it. This was the perfect EDM festival experience. This is what the EDM community public comes out for. This is what you cannot replicate in your car, at your house, or in the clubs.
A professional that can excite the sea of EDM aficionados with this level of intensity is a rare thing. On Saturday on a farm outside of Atlanta, GA, on the banks of the Chattahoochee, they were there, dancing on the hilltop (near the Countpoint sign), dancing in the wading pool, dancing in the crowd before him. Nothing else mattered at that moment. At Counterpoint, Skrillex provided his fans with the full experience of mind and body. If you appreciate EDM, this happy memory is a beautiful thing.
Jack White and Skrillex are among the top billed artists on the newly announced lineup for the 2012 Virgin Mobile FreeFest.
The festival, which will be held October 6 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md, is advertised as the “largest annual free music event in the country,” and fans can expect an eclectic lineup that also features The Dismemberment Plan, Alabama Shakes, M83, ZZ Top, Santigold, Ben Folds Five, Das Racist, Tramped by Turtles and Allen Stone on the main stage. A second stage, know as “The Dance Forest,” will feature Above & Beyond, Porter & Zedd, Alvin Risk, Nervo, Thomas Gold and Penguin Prison. Other artists will be announced later.
Though the concert is free, fans must obtain tickets to attend the event, and 50,000 tickets to last year’s event were gone within minutes of being released. This year, tickets will go “On Free,” as they are advertised, to the public on August 24, though fans that follow Virgin Mobile Live on Twitter can take part in a presale that begins the day before.
As they have in the past, presenters encourage fans to donate to The RE*Generation. This charity is a campaign by Virgin Mobile to end youth homelessness.
“We’ve had a really big year at Virgin,” said Ron Faris, who is head of brand marketing for Virgin Mobile USA. “Now it’s time to celebrate. FreeFest is back – bigger than ever. We can’t wait to share this free day of music with all our fans, especially the ones who helped us announce it.”
Seth Hurtwitz, a producer of Freefest, commented on the notable headliners in the lineup.
“After three years of crazy press and feedback, bands start to line up early to be on the ‘It-List,’” he said. “Fortunately, since the tickets go in minutes, we can wait until much later than most festivals to book the absolute best stories of the moment.”
The inaugural lineup for the Spring Awakening Music Festival has been announced as the event gears up to be one of the largest all-dance music festivals in the country.
Headliners will be Skrillex, Afrojack, Moby and Benny Benassi for the event that will take place in Chicago June 16-17. Other notable artists set to perform are Carl Cox, Diplo, A-Trak, Kill The Noise, Flux Pavilion, Laidback Luke and Wolfgang Gartner. Over 50 total acts will appear at the show.
Demand for the festival was so great that organizers added a fourth stage to the event – the new main stage will be inside Chicago’s Soldier Field, marking the first time an all-dance festival has been held inside the stadium. The other three stages will be set up on the Stadium Green outside the stadium.
In addition to the main event, several afterparties also have been announced. Shows at those afterparties will be performed by Skrillex, Benny Benassi, Diplo, Claude Vonstroke A-Trak, Gabriel & Dresden and Kill The Noise. More afterparty performers are likely to be announced later. These sets will be held at premier Chicago nightclubs including the Mid, Congress Theater and the House of Blues. Only those with tickets to the festival will be able to purchase tickets to the afterparty.
Festivalgoers can choose from single-day tickets or two-day passes, and they are currently available on the festival’s website. Tickets range from $65 to $240.
In other Chicago dance music festival news, a new round of headliners has been announced for the cities Wavefront Music Festival. Eric Prdyz and MSTRKRFT will join previously announced artists including Duck Sauce and Erick Morillo. That festival will be held June 30 and July 1 at Montrose Beach. Additional performers at that featival include Matthew Dear, Boys Noize, Sasha and Steve Lawler.
Recently, Jay-Z announced that he would be curating the lineup at Budweiser’s Made in America Festival this year, and now his extremely eclectic lineup has been announced. Among the headliners are Pearl Jam, D’Angelo and Skrillex – along with Jay-Z himself, of course.
The Philadelphia festival will be held on September 1 and 2 this year at the city’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The event will be one of Pearl Jam’s only American concert dates this year.
Other notable artists include Odd Future, Passion Pit, Santigold, Miike Snow, Afrojack, Calvin Harris, Dirty Projectors, X, Janelle Monae, Rita Ora and Prince Royce.
The first slew of artists announced to the lineup is being called “Phase One,” so we can likely assume that more artists will be announced before the Labor Day Weekend Festival.
At a press conference announcing the event, Jay-Z said he has a few questions he asks himself when he gets involved with a project like this.
“Whenever I enter into a project, I try to hit on some touch points. The first thing is: Is it great?” he said at the press conference, which was held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “The second one is: Is it gonna push the culture forward.”
Some artists also wanted to make their own announcements about their appearances at the festival.
“We are pleased to announce that Pearl Jam is headlining Made in America Festival curated by Jay-Z,” read a post on Pearl Jam’s website. “Made in America takes place Labor Day Weekend (Saturday, September 1st – Sunday, September 2nd) at Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park.”
Prince Royce took to Twitter to announce his excitement.
“Proud to announce that I’ll be performing at #MADEINAMERICA Fest Sept 1-2 Thanks to Jay-Z for having me & for curating this great festival!” he tweeted.