Baauer lights up the crowd.
The line was down the street in true Villa fashion and the door sales line was growing restless as by 11.30pm they were accepting the unfortunate fate that they weren’t going to witness a true spectacular.
Warm up act Stranger saw us getting familiar with that dank hip-hop vibe with a whole lot of that Major Lazer world music feel going on too. You could hear that big drum sound but you couldn’t feel it and it was frustrating for a moment or two until I was reminded again that he was just the warm up act. He pulled out a little bit of old school electro moombahton with Diplo’s Barely Standing and had the mosh doing more than just that.
The stage set up was something both interesting and problematic. They’d brought the decks down a level and into the crowd. It looked great, Baauer completely immersed in the crowd and the set, and his adoring fans were given the chance to grapple on to any part of his supremacy. However, not even two minutes into the rumble saw that colossal sound completely blacked out. Whether it was a slip of a button or to do with the tangle of cords coming out the back, the crowd was plunged into momentary dismay. He made a quick and successful recovery and continued on his way with a merry little Rustie tune - Big Catzz, cut up with those long resonant horns in Boombox Cartel’s B2U, creating a euphoria and overall sense of ‘what is this?!’
Every bit of his Brooklyn-esque, yet well-travelled style continued to unravel as he careered us through earth shattering drops and spills. You only had to look into his face and would you know that every inch of his being was committed to creating a performance not like the previous one at the last city but one totally manicured for his audience then and there. Mixes of Satisfaction, All I do is Win, Y.A.L.A and Gas pedal were also stirred in there for good measure.
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Respectfully, the tempo and style of Baauer is one that is not forever encapsulating. You could see at times, a gentle lull where the zombified kids tried to continue the rinse even when they couldn’t any longer and when they eventually thought they could take a breath, in came that reverberating bass, shaking the walls and them to their senses. He threw in that Just Blaze number and got us getting high and Higher and by then we knew he would not lose. Sweaty and ruined after a gratefully extended set, he bid goodbye and left it to Peter Payne to pick up the pieces.
The decision between wanting to retreat home but also give this guy a shot was made easy by his killer opener. It was this future-y tinkley thing that just morphed into a monster of grimy dubstep and song after song he continued to throw down hard into the heavy heavy wubs. Surprisingly he brought us back up and out of the depths and as a DJ showed some real talent in his ability to restore the balance.