RL Grime shook the Fox theater to its foundation this weekend, and after those ninety minutes I was definitely sure of one thing: there\’s a reason they call it \”bass music\”. There isn\’t another genre, or even emphasis of EDM that is labeled by a frequency range. Imagine if house was called \”treble music\” or trance was called \”mid range\”. Quite silly huh? Well the fact that bass music is called \”bass music\” isn\’t silly at all.
Firstly, Henry Steinway aka Clockwork aka RL Grime is one of the best DJs behind the decks. Even with the segmented nature of the music he plays, the songs blend together seamlessly. I was sitting at the very top of the theater for a portion of his set, and even though I can\’t see exactly what he\’s doing, its still he clear he\’s working his ass off up there. A fader switch, a vinyls spin, a beat splice. Songs that were very familiar would be altered in subtle ways without missing a beat.
Another very respectable thing about his performance was how little attention he drew to himself on stage. Most non-techno DJs who have reached his level of popularity would have at least one light shining brightly on them for the whole set. However, other than when a series of bright backlights would shine, RL was either shrouded in darkness or concealed under a think fog, which is where an EDM DJ belongs. At electronic music events the idea isn\’t to be focused on the stage, its to dance with each other.
Unfortunately for RL Grime though is that no one in the audience even cared that he was there. They just wanted bass.
Every time the bass came in, regardless of what genre the song was, the crowd would go absolutely nuts. Shirts would come off, people would fall, and a shrill level of screams would erupt that was just high enough in pitch to leave room for the audible earthquake that would emanate every few seconds.
His set consisted mostly of trap, but its ok because that\’s exactly what the crowd wanted. A few times throughout the set he switched it up. There were a couple drum and bass drops and a little bit of house, but even though there would be a shrill cry with every drop, shirts would stay on, and the enthusiasm would very gradually fade until the dinosaur-esque trap bass returned. Even if it was a hit like Valentino Kahn\’s \”Deep Down Low\”. (Obviously it wasn\’t \”down low\” enough for this bunch\”.