ill.Gates, Zomboy and Get Up Tear The Trocadero Down
The night started off very right with Philly native Get Up‘s opening set. Get Up is an original electronic music producer who generously blends genres into a vibrant enigma of EDM. Taking influences from rock, rap and hip-hop, soul, and the funk side of things, this artist is one to watch out for in the Philly music scene. Where most artists may struggle with live performances, Get Up strives and delivers. He not only performed his original productions but also somehow managed to get two local rappers Skrewtape and Biz Mighty to come out and rap over his tracks. To top it off, he brought out an mpc 4000 to end his set strong with a live finger drumming sequence. I haven’t witnessed an opening act come this prepared and ready to rock a crowd in a very long time.
Next act up was one from Actual Records — a local, independent record label’s flagship artist — Architekt. His music can be explained as where heavy bass music and club bangers intersect. Spanning many genres, this Philadelphia local never disappoints a room full of bassheads looking for their low frequency fill, and he didn’t miss a beat that night either.
Kicks n Licks followed Architekt as the third act of the night, and are a power duo hailing from San Diego. They brought all their specialities that night: remixing popular tracks, adding dubstep and bass music flair in the process, all while maintaining a steadily increasing hype level to help usher in the night’s last two acts. These two artists made a drastic and life-changing decision to quit school and pursue music full time, and they haven’t looked back since.
ill.Gates demands no introduction; however, for those of you who don’t know of him, I recommend you listen up. Hailing from Toronto but based in San Francisco, ill.Gates is much more than a performer; he is also an educator and producer for fans as well as industry peers. Gates has built an empire of a fan base through not only doing what he loves to do, playing music, but also helping to teach up-and-coming artists, producers, and general music enthusiasts. He has an extensive catalogue of tutorials, templates, and how-tos aimed at enlightening and nurturing unknown up-and-comers in the music scene. Attending an ill.Gates show is like sitting in on a lecture class for the musically aspiring and that night’s class was no exception.
Gates came out and immediately jumped in where Kicks n Licks left off. The crowd was still thirsting for more, and Gates came out to hydrate them sonically. Immediately getting into it with no words exchanged, you could feel the dynamic in the room take a swift turn. Class was in session! Hands flung in the air and seemed to stay there as if they were instructed to by T Pain. I saw smiles erupt across guys’ faces, girls’ faces, even the bartenders’ faces. Gates smiled onstage, a wide-eyed smile that assured the crowd nothing was going to come between them and a night to remember. Gates’ intensity in his performance was highly contagious.
I watched as he seemed to grow increasingly fidgety in anticipation of a build up in his set, and as soon as the drop came, I was convinced the Tazmanian Devil was performing. I could no longer see what was a fleshy human; in his place was the blurred shape of Gates as he thrashed his limbs around in a frenzy of extreme bliss. That was it – I had to find my friends and get squiggly with them immediately. Gates went on to drop many crowd favorites that night, but one of my favorite moments was when we heard a Bassnectar track come blaring out of the PA. Just then, I saw kids do spin and juke moves from the lobby that not even the greatest of NFL athletes could pull off in a mad dash to get as close to the stage as possible….
I additionally had the pleasure of hanging out with ill. Gates after his set backstage, where I stumbled upon him and Get Up in deep conversation about gear and stage set-ups. I quickly asked him what festival he was most looking forward to which he quickly enlightened me: Outlook Music Festival, September 3rd to the 7th 2014 in Croatia. This festival bolsters 300 artists, 12 stages and arenas, and 40 boat parties, all set in and around a 2,000 year old Roman amphitheater!
Zomboy was the main entree of the night, and what a delicious treat he served up for us. Appearing almost out of thin air as soon as ill.Gates turned his back to walk off stage, Zomboy was ready to please the crowd. Gates had barely reached the first step off stage when the thunderous BOOM of a bass tidal wave came crashing upon this entranced crowd. At the first low frequency sound that made it from its starting point on stage to the back of the crowd, I’m fairly sure I saw a person blown right out the front door, or at least that’s what it felt like. At that very moment, the crowd erupted into a dance delirium that was harder to navigate than a New York sidewalk at lunch time. Hailing from the UK and playing massive amounts of parties has prepared Zomboy for any crowd, but that night I believe Philly made Zomboy aware just how hard we were prepared to rage. If crowd intensity were to be determined by performer intensity, Zomboy damn near caused a riot. I never witnessed someone so into every sound of their set, watching him move his phalanges in ways that I was sure his hand would need a cast after. Hats off to a great guy and a great performer. It always feels very good to see the artist get just as much if not more joy out of an event as the crowd does.
Be Sure to Stay up to date with ill.Gates: here
Tweet Zomboy here
Let Kicks n Licks know you want to see them here
Contact Architekt here
Get Up with Get Up here