The second installment of Skrillex’s takeovers has been well under way with week-long stops in 4 special cities world wide; San Francisco, Brooklyn, Amsterdam and Barcelona. Boasting 5-6 nights of special parties at some of the hottest spots each city has to offer, tickets for the individual parties retailed between $40-90 apiece, with the more expensive parties happening later in the week. Multi-night package options included commemorative merchandise, signed posters for each night, limited edition takeover collectors coin, VIP access, early entry, a personal party concierge, and a meet & greet. We knew we had to cover all 5 parties to do this article justice; so we bought three of the eight 5-night tickets, joining the most die-hard Skrillex fans for a wild ride.
The takeovers started at a relaxed pace Monday, February 10th at Brooklyn Bowl with support from Nick Hook and Just Blaze. It was casual fun at a bowling alley-concert hall-restaurant. Sonny was really excited to kick things off, and a large entourage showed up in support, occupying the bowling alley next to the stage. After playing a well balanced set of new OWSLA label music and a solid selection of tracks from some of his other side-projects, we were treated to the very first live preview of his new ID track with Chance the Rapper. Being that we left the venue caked in sweat and ready to keep going, we can safely say this was the best Monday night party we’ve been to yet. Along with Sonny's silly and interactive stage presence, we enjoyed some of the best local beers on tap, great food, and even bowling for VIP tables. Brooklyn Bowl really stood out as a venue that does things a little different and we look forward to partying there again. After the show, the local opener Nick Hook curiously approached us, requesting his own Fuck Real Life shirt which we happily bestowed upon him for his performance (we also made sure he got back the headphones he left behind at our table).
Just Blaze opened for Skrillex with a fun blend of throwbacks and trap.
Skrillex introduced a new ID track with Chance the Rapper at Brooklyn Bowl.
Tuesday we revisited one of our absolute favorite Brooklyn venues; Music Hall of Williamsburg. We were there a few weeks ago for the Slow Roast Records label party, but this time we had access to the balcony and private coat check along with all the other amenities we enjoyed previously. Though they won’t admit it, we saw the familiar faces of A-Trak and Tiesto dancing next to us in the VIP area. Like many other ravers, it warms our heart to see DJ’s we love showing support for other DJ’s we love. Their reaction to our shirts told us they were on their own mission to “Fvck Real Life” that night; so we honored their requests to not have pictures taken (you’ll have to take our word on this). Supporting Skrillex that night were Shift K3y and AC Slater, who both did a top-notch job getting the party started early on with a solid mix of trap, house, tech house and techno, bringing us up to speed for Skrillex’s second performance. Opening large with a new ID track followed by TWRK's "Bazinga", Sonny picked up where the openers left off and kept the crowd on its toes as he bounced between new tracks and old classics. Sonny seemed especially playful Tuesday night; frequent shout-outs and crowd interactions were punctuated with heavy, hard drops and his relentless set helped turn WHMB into the dark, ragey sweatbox we love so much.
AC Slater kept the crowd moving hard with a well-mixed and very genre-diverse opening set.
Skrillex conducted nightly 'choir' practices in an interactive light show to one of his break-out remixes, "Cinema".
Wednesday was our first time at SRB, and we were incredibly impressed with the venue’s accommodations. It reminded us of a miniature Echostage (Washington DC); set up with a large main dance floor and surrounding bars. Lighting and Sound were superb (see video below), especially from the raised VIP viewing area. Clockwork opened with a monster club set featuring a string of bangers that had the crowd’s hands flailing wildly toward the stage for the entire hour. Skrillex followed suit, playing a much more aggressive electro/dub set than the previous two nights. Sprinkled with remixes like Excision and Downlink's "Rock you' edit mixed with some of his own dubby classics like "Scary Bolly Dub" and "Weekends!", we were treated to a dark, hard set of driving favorites that lead off early with Ivan Gough & Jebu's "Kukatu" and Skrill's own unreleased "Ragga Bomb" ft. the Ragga Twins. Always making sure to make each crowd feel special, Sonny borrowed a Spawn-themed Deadmau5 tribute head from an overjoyed fan and wore it onstage, while ad-hoc mixing Deadmau5's "I Remember" with his own wildly popular "Levels" remix. Even though we left the venue an hour and half later to head home in a snowstorm, we were already excitedly talking about what to expect the following evening at Output.
Clockwork threw down a HUGE club set, warming up the crowd nicely for Skrillex's 2-hour set.
Skrillex made sure to pay homage to the tracks that made him a household name, either by playing a new edit or the original track.
Night 4 was hosted at Output- another FRL Crew favorite venue. Fast line, efficient coat check, nice security, and incredible sound all made for a great night together with our friends. Tommy Sunshine opened the evening with some solid electro and Bro Safari continued warming up the crowd with his signature trap-heavy sound. Even though the place was sold out, there was still plenty of room to dance. Skrillex played an absolutely stellar set, starting out a little differently with some deep and tech house, which proved to be a blessing over Output's Funktion One sound system. As he moved on through the evening, Sonny transitioned into a sampling of dub classics including his remix of Nero's "Promises" and blending in even more new OWSLA label ID tracks. With the floor opened up for some solid raging, we were thrilled to hear the Put Em Up Mix of Skrillex & Alvin Risk's "Try It Out" before finishing up with his new ID remix of 'DJ Ease my Mind". Most of the exhausted crowd rushed home right after the set, but those who stuck around found Sonny talking to fans and greeting other artists off to the side of the stage for quite some time as Alex English closed with some soulful house and nu disco.
Output doesn't allow much filming, but the audio of this new ID track is the best part!
Alex English closed the evening out with some funky nu-disco and throwbacks while Skrillex greeted fans.
To end the tour, Skrillex hosted his last show at The Hangar; a large warehouse in the middle of Brooklyn’s Sunset Park district. All of FRL crew hit at least 2-3 shows during the week, but our 3 founding members attended every party in order to have the opportunity to meet the man himself as part of the 5 day package deal. This moment made the entire week a dream-come-true experience. Skrillex has given us some of the most memorable moments of our raving careers, so we felt it was only fitting to pay tribute by giving him our very first FRL custom-printed artist shirt.
While we were backstage, the ambient sounds of Lunice’s set provided a backdrop to everyone ambling about, anxiously awaiting Skrillex’s final Brooklyn Takeover performance. The roar of the crowd drowned out the music when Sonny finally took the stage. Going on to play another monster club set, Sonny featured some of his dirtiest original dub tracks remixed with the new ID tracks and styles he’s been working on for nearly two years. We were thrilled to hear a "Middle Finger" edit from Dog Blood, and our entire crew was dancing their hearts out for the entire 2 hour set. After stopping to thank Brooklyn, Sonny brought out his surprise guests, featuring another new collab project. We weren’t able to hear the intro, but we recognized the familiar face A$AP Rocky, with whom he produced "Wild for Night". Shocking the crowd noticeably, the guest performance turned the set into a hip hop show for roughly 10 minutes, culminating in a drawn out performance of the duo’s single, “Wild for the Night”. Returning with some of his most well-known dub anthems, Sonny brought the party back up and closed out the set with a tradition he’s carried through many shows. The simple exercise of bringing each night’s crowd together to create a ‘galaxy’ of lighters and cell phone flashlights to the sounds of ‘Cinema’; one of his 2011 break-out remixes, bringing the journey full-circle for many of his fans while expressing his appreciation of their support.
For us, the opportunity to see Skrillex five consecutive nights at five unique venues all over Brooklyn was simply too sweet to pass up. While it proved to be taxing on the human body, the memories we made will be everlasting. Beyond the obvious benefits of the package and the insane line up, one of the best parts of the entire experience was meeting other fans who had travelled far and wide, some even for just one party. We were very thankful to have a friendly concierge by the name of Jeremy who looked after us and the other party veterans during the entire week. We also met awesome Skrillex Crew members who took genuine interest in our company, and finally of course- meeting Sonny in person. Beyond his incredible genre-blending talents as a producer and DJ, Skrillex is pushing the boundaries of fan-experiences; offering a first-person look into his ‘with your friends’ style of musical immersion, whether you’re VIP or GA.