Concert Review: Zeds Dead at House of Blues

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  • Courtney Abbott

The night before Thanksgiving is notorious for being a huge party night. Just about everyone has the day off the next day, so why not get wild the night before? Zeds Dead’s “Bassgiving” show at House of Blues that same night made for a perfect storm of college-aged people who were looking for a place to get wasted and jump around to the kind of music that their parents “don’t understand.” It was midnight when Zeds Dead (the production duo DC and Hooks) took the stage, and some fans were a bit worn out from the previous 3 hours of dancing. But once DC grabbed the mic and told everyone to get ready, it was as if his words breathed a second wind into everyone. The set they played explored multiple genres, ranging from dubstep, breaks, moombahton, house, and even drum ’n’ bass. Amongst their well-known productions like “Oh No,” “Adrenaline,” “White Satin,” “Rude Boy,” “Rumble in the Jungle,” “Here Comes the Boom,” “Coffee Break,” and their popular new remix of the Prodigy’s “Breathe,” Zeds Dead threw some curveballs; they played a remix of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze,” and even played the original version of Blur’s “Song 2,” which stunned the crowd just as much as it excited it. If there was one thing that was lacking, it was the visual production of the show. Usually, DJ performances have a screen where visuals are portrayed, and as of lately, many acts have been doing very innovative and crazy stuff with visual production. But the visuals weren’t that imaginative, and a number of the sequences looked like computer screensavers from the ’90s.

Opener Eric Evasion mostly gravitated towards a rock-steady set of 100-112 bpm electro-house, dubstep, and moombahton, including notorious crowd-pleasers like the Knife Party remix of Porter Robinson’s “Unison,” and Skrillex’s “Bangarang.” There were a number of times where the music completely stopped (one of those times because a House of Blues rep had point out fire exits, so it wasn’t all his fault), so his set wasn’t stellar. However, at one point, you couldn’t even see the stage amongst all the people jumping. He didn’t just warm up the crowd; he set it ablaze. Cleveland’s own Thunder St. Clair followed and played a set mostly stuck to the head-banging 140 bpm groove. He also offered up a lot of trap music. Trap music is like nicotine; it’s probably not good for you, and should only be taken in small doses because it is very addictive; but damn it all if his set didn’t want to make you dance. Amongst the typical trap sound of 808 snares and rapid-firing hi-hats, Thunder St. Clair also had a curveball of his own. He played a trap song that sampled Rage Against the Machine’s “Freedom.” Things got somewhat hectic in the crowd as moshing and crowd-surfing started to commence, and some people got hurt. Thunder St. Clair tried to calm the crowd and said “take care of each other; don’t be assholes.” He also denounced crowd-surfing, stating, “That shit’s played out.”

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