The electronic world is in big trouble. I mean, how is anyone supposed to compete with what I witnessed last night? Sure, I saw Nero do a DJ set in Ibiza, and sure, it blew my socks all the way back to Canada, but this was no simple dubstep / drum n bass set. This was a full blown dubrock/electropunk concert, and one which, as the name implies, will take you to a Second Reality.
Before we get into that, though, I should mention that Dillon Francis opened the show up and got the crowd nice and hyped. At one point, he was absolutely destroying it, dropping some hard, fresh dubstep that had the crowd freaking. Towards the end, though, he was bumping overplayed hits like “I Can’t Stop” and “Fire Hive.” Honestly, there should be some sort of ban on playing these tracks, along with anything off of Skrillex’s Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites EP, for at least a year. I expect a DJ to bring me fresh sounds, like Dillon was doing for most of his set, not the same songs I’ve been hearing for the past year, but I understand that he was just trying to hype the crowd right before Nero came on, which he did to great effect.
Thankfully, though, Nero brought some of the freshest sounds I’ve ever heard. They didn’t play one track straight. Instead, they remixed each and every one of their hits live, looping, EQing and mashing the hell out of their songs until they sounded like completely different beasts. Even the videos were different – instead of the anime version of the Innocence video (which is already one of the best music videos of all time), we were treated to a neon cel-shaded rendition featuring some completely new animations. The song itself, meanwhile, was totally twisted, and was even brought back toward the end of the set. In fact, if a good set is supposed to tell a story, then the entire show was like one of the greatest sci-fi epics ever told – I’m talking Blade Runner meets Avatar meets the Tibetan Book of the Dead. It went through such a gamut of emotions that by the end you’re left in complete catharsis. Every song is dropped at the perfect time too. I remember turning to my friend and saying “they need to drop some drum n bass soon” and wham! Right as I said that, “Electron” exploded out of the speakers. And when they mixed in their edit of Knife Party’s remix of “Crush on You” after playing a twisted version of the twisted original, I literally may have shat myself a little.
The visuals were also completely out of this world, and were easily some of the best I’ve ever seen. From vector graphics to rose-colored planets, they went perfectly with each song, while Nero themselves looked like robotic silhouettes sent from another dimension to deliver us from what we think is the real world. This had the effect of exaggerating each one of their movements – all they had to do was raise a hand, and the place exploded.
A special shout out also needs to go out to Alana, since her vocals propelled songs like Guilt and Promises into another stratosphere. She really made the whole thing feel like an Electropunk concert, rather than a set, and no matter what I do, I still can’t get the image of her standing on the decks with her hand raised, singing and looking like some sort of electronic shadow goddess, out of my head.
The vibe was also amazing, as everyone was transfixed in what was going on. When they dropped their edit of the Skrillex remix of Promises, everyone was jumping together. When he dropped the drum n bass track, everyone starting skanking out. It was mental.
The only negative I can think of has nothing to do with Nero, but with the venue. I’ve seen quite a few DJ shows at Metropolis, and while the high roof may make for excellent acoustics for vocals, bass doesn’t quite carry the same power that it should. Obviously, that’s a problem at an electronic show, where I expect my chest to shake the entire time, but what can you do. Here’s hoping promoters start recognizing this and start bringing electronic acts to more appropriate venues in Montreal, like the Telus Theatre.
Of course, none of that matters when you’re travelling through far-out galaxies, sucking in the otherworldly scenery while your eardrums dance to the beautifully nefarious melody of time warping into itself. Simply put, Nero is completely changing the game with their Second Reality Tour. If you want to experience what the future of electronic music looks, sounds, and feels like, then you need to see this show. I’m still transfixed, and I’m having a very, very hard time adjusting back to my first reality.
Latest posts by Joey (see all)
- [Listen] Andrea Bertolini – Ready for Another Night - December 20, 2012
- Listen: Ben Coda & Ipcress – Shifty EP - December 8, 2012
- So…Much…Fist…Pumping - December 1, 2012