Chase and Status, Alix Perez @ Gilkisons, Perth (18/08/07)

Image for Chase and Status, Alix Perez @ Gilkisons, Perth (18/08/07)

I didn’t have the best of evenings on my last outing to a drum & bass gig so I was hoping that tonight’s gig would restore my faith. However, I was deliberately keeping my expectations low-key. When I heard the gig had sold out I was expecting a crammed sweat-fest with constant jostling and dodgy sound. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Arriving at 11.45pm, Muller was in full swing and my friends and I went straight out on the dance floor. Looking around the room, I was surprised at the abundance of young females, fluoro clothing and glow sticks. The sight of one lass with a dummy in her mouth was a bit much for me. Had drum & bass become every raver’s favourite dance music genre? Would there be lasers? Oh no. Things weren’t looking good. Still, at least the room wasn’t too crowded.

Alix Perez came on at midnight and delivered one of the best sets I have seen this year. He started out with a really deep and liquid style that made me forget all about the big night I’d had the night before and how tired I was feeling. I was so lost in the music that leaving the dance floor was not an option and when I heard my first “rewind” for the evening I was surprised to realise that an hour had already passed.

I was also really impressed with MC X-sessiv’s work on the mike during Alix’s set. He had a restrained style that really complemented the flow of the melodic-heavy tracks that Alix was playing.

As the bass became deeper and heavier the crowd responded by dancing even harder but the room still didn’t seem overly full. Drum & bass crowds are known for the um, enthusiasm, of their dancing styles, but everybody had room to move. There were no huge lines at the bar, but the gig had sold out. So where were all the people?

I learned afterwards that the promoter had sacrificed door sales in order to ensure a comfortable fit into the venue. Kudos to them, I’m sure everyone appreciated the space as much as I did. Certainly this was one of the happiest and friendliest crowds I’ve seen at any gig.

A stream of people poured into the room just before 2.00am in anticipation of Chase and Status coming on (although actually just DJ Chase was appearing at this gig). I took the opportunity to head to the bar and grab some water. Chase immediately cranked up the proceedings to another level and the crowd erupted with a flurry of flailing arms & legs and beaming smiles. The back rows of people queued at the bar all started dancing wildly, because the music was too good to wait to get back to the dance floor.

I was soon back amongst the crowd on the dance floor and lost in the music again. By 2.45am even the chin-strokers standing next to me surrendered to the mood and started dancing. I’d had concerns about what the sound in the venue would be like but with the draped walls, I personally thought it was fantastic. It was plenty loud enough without being painful and the bass was really crisp. I did have some ringing in my ears after the gig but I don’t wear earplugs so that’s probably to be expected.

I really enjoyed the first hour of DJ Chase with it’s furious pace and thought that the MC appropriately stepped things up as well. But by the second hour I was starting to notice how tired my legs were and I found the tempo a bit disjointed in places. There were also few too many rewinds in the second half for my taste. When MC X-sessiv was revving the crowd up for one final tune I was ready to call it a night and so it seemed was DJ Chase because he left the stage abruptly at 4.00am.

MC X-sessiv deserves special mention for a fantastic effort as he was performing for at least four hours straight. This performance was made all the more impressive in my opinion because he didn’t resort to swearing at the crowd once that I can recall.

This gig was definitely one of the best I have been to all year and congratulations to all involved. I thought the setup, crowd and atmosphere were all fantastic. I was blown away by the tunes and danced so hard that it hurt to walk the next day. My faith in drum & bass gigs has well & truly been restored; indeed the bar has been raised for the next gig.

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