Live Review

Skrillex, O2 Brixton Academy, London

Whatever your views on Skrillex’s music, there is no question of his ability to put on a spectacular show.

Sonny Moore, AKA Skrillex, has ascended to stardom at a startling pace, and is now pretty much the hottest property on the electronic music scene. However, the former lead singer of US screamo band From First To Last has taken his fair share of knocks along the way, with many high-and-mighty types branding his bass-wobbling, synth-laden thunderings as the lowest common denominator of dubstep. Oh, and doesn’t he have silly hair?

Yes, Skrillex’s music is all very obvious and yes, his hair may not be symmetrical, but anyone who cites these as negatives can take on the 5000-strong crowd at the second of his sold-out O2 Brixton Academy dates. (And for anyone who doubts the popularity of Skrillex’s hair, check out the fake Twitter account dedicated to the musician’s barnet). Tickets for The Skrillex Cell - Grey Daze Tour have been harder to find than hen’s teeth, with desperate fans taking to Facebook event pages offering to pay double or treble face value; the demand seems endless.

Having been a regular gig-goer at one of South London’s finest venues, I arrive to find the entry queue snaking around the entirety of the building’s exterior; a sight I have never before witnessed. The crowd mainly comprises college/university students wearing skinny jeans, logo-adorned t-shirts and converse, and round the corner we spot a few parents dropping their kids off for what is clearly their first rave (of sorts).

Skrillex’s show embodies youth, with his constant cries of ‘make some noise’, his stage fortress (complete with lasers, puffs of smoke and confetti cannons), and a sound that some have described as an N64 being attacked by a swarm of bees. The music is intense. Imagine being trapped inside a Nintendo DS with a group of shirtless 17-year-olds after downing a litre of Lucozade and you’ve pretty much encapsulated the entirety of Skrillex’s 75-minute set. From beginning to end we’re treated to a stream of music juggernauts, from the blistering electro-gorged ‘Kill Everybody’ and ‘Bangarang’ via Fatman Scoop’s ‘Be Faithful’, which is slyly sandwiched between the two. The crowd stands entranced by the live motion robot that imitates his every move behind him, interjected by images of animated animals and laser beams. Perfect for those of us with a short attention span.

As we exit the standing area, we’re surrounded by a mob of sweaty youngsters, many attempting to compose themselves before meeting their parents outside the venue. Whatever your views on Skrillex’s music, there is no question of his ability to put on a spectacular show, and the fact that he’s best mates with Deadmau5 makes him pretty much untouchable to many of us.

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