There he was.
I could have probably hit him with my shoe or the plastic cup in my hand if I wanted to, but that would have been in poor form as he was absolutely obliterating the crowd at Roseland Ballroom. Seven Lions, my absolute favorite aural discovery of 2012, had the crowd in the palm of his hand and he was barely halfway into his third track. The space shook with every beat drop and chilled out with every vocal sample. I’d had an inkling of how badly he was going to kill it but I couldn’t quite picture the enormity of the space rocking out to his entire discography. The stage was ringed with staff to prevent the throbbing mass of 21st century club kid, braver (bro-raver), hipsters, skaters and cornucopia of tri-state area stereotypes from tumbling past the safe area and sweeping through the performance space like a tidal wave of flesh and excitement.
After taking a few pictures from the stage (one of which can be seen above), I settled in behind the space to take in the rest of his set without being jostled, pushed or forced out of the way. And if you want a sense of how this guy sounds, just take the mix below and play it on the loudest speakers you have:
As I sipped my beverage, a lovely lady asked me if I needed something from the store. I blinked twice, confused and she explained that she liked snacks when watching bass, and wanted to know if I wanted a candy bar. I requested some Reese’s PB cups with a smile and as she walked off, Seven Lions cut into some more epic bass soI decided to go check out what Seven Lions brought as eye candy from afar.
I’d never been to Roseland Ballroom‘s second floor, and was delighted to find it to be as airy and comfortable as I’d always hoped. My first General Admission show was at Roseland back in high school (saw The Offspring) and after waiting for 45 minutes and being stuck in the back of the giant throbbing mass of rockers, I still had the BEST. TIME EVER. (totes), coming home drenched and bruised, officially terrifying my mother & convincing her that I’d done “the ecstasy.” I had no idea this space existed, but of course, it was the best place to be short of right up against the stage in the entire venue (depending on what you’re into of course). After seeing Seven Lions totally kill the rest of his set, I headed over towards the stage. I’m not even going to mention tracks, because, just, really, listen to everything Seven Lions has ever done. Please, you’ll thank me. Walking back through the tables on the side, I ran into Seven Lions & his friends, having grabbed a great spot to witness Porter Robinson completely annihilate the dance floor.
Porter, the wunderkind of 2011 has had significantly more experience destroying venues, festivals & crowds after opening for the likes of Skrillex & DJ Tiesto and the mastery was evident immediately. He knew where the crowd expected him to go, but after opening with his signature big room electro, he started pushing the envelope immediately. In case you’ve not been following this kid, he’s gotten significantly harder than the last time I saw him. Spitfire is a massive track, and it was one of the dozens he drew on for his set that blew me away.
The set abused the bass and beat up the crowd in a way I was almost stunned they accepted. I’ve never seen this level of dub, dirty electro and beats bordering on hardstyle pushed out of a system of this magnitude. This fact was not lost on Seven Lions. While friends and other VIPs mingled, drank and talked, Seven Lions kept his eye on the DJ. Studying a journeyman entertainer at work, like any new jack on the scene should. Seven Lions saw what Porter was able to do, continually. PR’s light show was astonishing and there was a whimsical quality to his sound, even when it was so potent you could feel it in your sternum. I’ve attached some of his famous tracks below, but there’s no way I could capture the absolutely mesmerizing quality of the set that Porter put down. Both Language & Spitfire were the amazing successes that they needed to be, and the surge of serotonin you could feel in the crowd was matched only by the peaks of the Seven Lions set a few hours earlier.
We watched him finish out the night and while people were chatting, thinking about places to go, tweeting and all of those things that you do, Seven Lions sat, and watched. Learning, absorbing, and ensuring that when he’s the headliner, he’ll be able to do the same.
This is Terry Gotham, see you on the dance floor.