Last Friday, I went to Royal Oak, MI to see Skrillex, Porter Robinson and Zedd tear the Royal Oak Music Theatre a new one. I got in right after the doors opened at eight, and quickly made my way to the bar, to ascertain immediately that the bartender was fending off a swarm of thirsty all-agers… I dodged, my eyes now beginning to adjust to the ironic darkness of the beautifully ornate theatre, and spotted salvation… the Beer Lady! A be-T-shirted staff-member attending a large, ice-filled cooler full of 24 oz. cans of golden glory. I lunged forward.

“Excuse me! These beers you’re purveying, I’d like one please!” shouted I, confident in my legally-drinking age of twenty-three.

“Nope!” smiled Beer Lady, pointing to her wrist, and shaking her victorious head.

A wristband! I thought… How could I have forgotten? I felt so defeated. Beer Lady just moved right on to the D-bag behind me, casting me off of her sword like a fallen pawn. I was wounded, but I had to move fast… surely, Zedd would be performing soon.

After circling back to the entrance to obtain my deserved wristband, I returned to Beer Lady. This time, my proper certification in order.

“Hi, remember me? I’d really like one of those beers!” I resumed.
I looked into the cooler, flashing my wristband. What I saw was a box of icy dissapointment; 24 oz. cans of nothing but Bud Light and PBR. I briefly wrestled with the debacle internally, and shot a glance at the bar… still loaded.

No. I was not going to be defeated twice by Beer Lady.

“I’ll take hipster-free please!” shouted I, reaching for a can of Bud Light. Once again, Beer Lady shut me down.

“NO!” said Beers.

“Ahh!, What?!” chortled I.

“You can’t touch! I have to open it!” she said, claiming that unopened cans can be used as weapons. By now, she was handing me my opened beer. Understanding the liability issue, I thanked her and made my way towards the stage.

Zedd played for probably an hour, and did a great job. His flow was solid and he showcased a bunch of original stuff as well as others’ popular tracks. He closed with a remix of Skrillex’s own “Scary Monsters,” and passed the table off to Porter Robinson.

Porter kicked it up, and brought the walls in with his filthy bass. Having never seen this young artist perform, I was very impressed by the level of showmanship he displayed, and the command of audience he seemed to be already very experienced with. He brought a ton to the table at this show, playing for at least an hour himself before passing the stage to Sonny, our headliner.

When Skrillex took the stage, obviously, the place went batshit. I’ve been a Skrillex fan for at least a year, and I know that Sonny’s level of production is known to be his strong point. I was really interested to see if his live performance stood up to others I’ve seen, like Excision, Glitch Mob or Bassnectar (who put on one hell of a show). Sonny opened with one of my favorites, “Cinema,” and off we went. His physicality was great, and his presence was strong. He engaged the audience frequently, and positively. Having seen him in person, I really think he’d be a down-to-earth, “cool” dude to hang out with; his positive attitude, and generous, sincere love for his fans permeated the crowd and greatly affected the atmosphere of the gathering in a positive way.

Though I enjoyed his performance greatly, I have to agree with the general consensus: Sonny’s studio is his true kingdom. Like I said, his physical presentation was awesome, but there were definitely rough moments in his flow. His live mixing simply didn’t stand up to others I’ve seen. That’s not to say his performance was disagreeable in any way, I just didn’t find it as remarkable as, say, Lorin’s. In defense, though, I generally enjoy listening to Sonny’s music more than Lorin’s in a non-live setting, so take it however you like, I suppose. I’m still the Skrillex fan I was before the show, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t expecting just a little disappointment going in.

All in all, the show was a great experience, and I’d go see Sonny’s show again in a heartbeat- especially when he lays down some more material. The show lasted until three in the morning, and needless to say, all that skanking had me exhausted and soaked in all kinds of fluids. I went back to my hotel, took the greatest shower of my life, and crashed. The next morning, I checked Twitter to realize that by that time Sonny was through his second flight and already in Ibiza, Spain, ready to start a brand new tour… did I say morning? I meant afternoon. Either way, my point is the guy is busy, and good for him.

So the Skrillex show is behind me. I have a handful of videos, a bunch of sore muscles, and another awesome memory. Back to work, until the next one. For now, I’m looking forward to seeing Flux and Doctor P at the same Theatre later this summer… more on that shit-show later!

Review written by: Jake White

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