I’ll be honest: I had no idea who Skrillex was before I heard his name mentioned at Bumbershoot (the annual music and arts festival in Seattle). Several people hyped Skrillex as one of the “must-see” acts, but I really didn’t have interest in jamming to electronic beats (even though I was at Bumbershoot the night he was performing). Despite my hesitation, I decided to go to the Skrillex concert anyway, and it turned out to be a worthwhile decision.
After watching Passion Pit crush their performance at Bumbershoot, I ventured to the main stage inside KeyArena (the former home of the Seattle Sonics) where Skrillex already started his show. The building (which seats nearly 17,500) was packed to the brim. Every section was closed off because all the seats were taken. I tried several different aisles, but there was always a security guard quickly sending me back to the concourse. I finally marched to the upper bowl and convinced an usher to let me in. It wasn’t an ideal section to hear the music, but it was perfect for scouting the atmosphere.
Skrillex performed for more than an hour that night at Bumbershoot, but I was only there for the final 30 minutes of his show. The music never stopped, and his fans in attendance didn’t either. Every single person inside KeyArena was moving to the beat. It was like a rave on steroids. There were girls stripped down to their sports bras, dudes without their shirts on, and hundreds of fans waving glow sticks to the beat. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen before.
Skrillex added plenty of atmosphere himself. On top of his bumping beats (a Skrillex concert is LOUD), there were fire cauldrons, lasers, fireworks, flashing lights and cannons that shot confetti into the crowd. Skrillex even jumped onto his turntable a couple of times and started flinging his arms into the air, urging the crowd to make some noise — they were quick to oblige. It was a crazy scene. I shot this video just so you could see what it was like:
I would never think about buying a Skrillex album, but his performance was more than enough for me to research him. Little did I know that Skrillex was nominated for five Grammy Awards last year, including Best New Artist. He wound up taking home three Grammys, and was later named MTV’s Electronic Dance Music Artist of the Year. The guy is much bigger than I ever would have guessed he was.
Skrillex continues to gain in popularity too. His music video for ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites‘ currently has more than 102 million views on YouTube. That’s not a fluke either; all of his videos are popular. Just four days ago, the video was posted for ‘Make It Bun Dem‘ (featuring Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley) — it already has 1.5 million views (again — in just four days). Most of his official videos range from 15 million to 80 million views. That goes well beyond “viral” territory.
Skrillex has five extended plays in his discography – Make It Bun Dem After Hours was just released on August 28th. Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites (2010) and Bangarang (2011) are his most popular EPs, going gold (500,000+ copies sold) and platinum (one million+ copies sold), respectively. Believe it or not, I think Skrillex is just scratching the surface — there’s still plenty more to come in the future.
Have you ever seen Skrillex perform live? What do you think of him? I would love to hear from you. Leave a message below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. Don’t forget to also check out more from the world of music right now at http://allaroundtim.com!