“Are you wearing this because of me bro?” said one of the baddest Dubstep producers to hit the face of this planet as he looked over my lab coat – I was just in the middle of thanking him for the massive performance he had just put forth while expressing how my long drive from North Carolina was worth every second. But on the real, if you would have told me that this Summer, I would experience, by far, the most aggressive, mind boggling, seamlessly orchestrated, and at times frightening massacre of a Dubstep set, I would have looked at you and asked about all this funny business you’re speaking. The best part of this evening was the fact that this show was taking place in Pontiac, Michigan, home of the one and only ELEKTRICITY venue. Wait, no – the best part is that I got to walk in the building and experience (some of) this show with my new Electric Forest sister from another mister, Rachel from Detroit! This was all too good to be true, my heart couldn’t have been happier.
If the name CHMST seems familiar to you, it’s probably because you remember reading about him in our spread on the infamous Target Practice event that took place in Philly, featuring some of my favorite producers such as FLIX and MOTUS, Northampton’s Jam P R D and of course, CHMST.
While I haven’t caught the French Canadian, MONSTERS boys throw down a live set, yet… I managed to witness one of the nastiest Dubstep performances that any 23 year old could experience, as JAM P R D took down the District of Columbia in one foul, 90 minute swoop through Space. But now.. now it was time to finally witness the Portland, Oregon up and comer, the lover of everything from the 80s, the OG old school-pop-music-Riddim-Lord, the man with the plan who eats jelly with spam, and drives a car named Stan. “Where’s your Head at Folks?”, mine is still in Michigan, all thanks to one Portlander. Without further ado. We present you with The 2018 Charlotte Sessions CHMST Debut Review!
I felt like I was robbing Pontiac of its money when I left Elecktricity with one of the fattest smiles my face has ever formed. I just walked out of the filthiest, most nerve wrecking Dubstep performance of my entire life, and only managed to spend $5 on some very important CHMST stickers for Rachel and I. The venue had graciously put this event together for free, and for a room full of young adults and college students, one could certainly tell that this act of kindness made people happier than one could imagine.
There’s a certain aura and positive charge of energy that this downtown Pontiac venue gives off, practically as soon as you walk through the steel doors, your body can feel the shift. At least this is how I felt – I alway make the best out of every live music experience, no matter how long I’m there to witness all the insanity.
One could feel the seamless transition between the last opening DJ and the main act of the night – for the members of the crowd who had NO idea who CHMST was, they were in for shocking treat, figuratively speaking of course! As the music kicked off, the images and patterns on the lightning bolt shaped X visual backdrop, began to shift, and slowly, the musical vibes got darker, creepier, and more aggressive as each passing moment went by. And I don’t mean this in a bad way, there was absolutely zero evil energy in the building – I would rather use the words sinister and dastardly to describe this magnificent Dubstep performance. If you managed to catch Cookie Monsta open for Excision’s Paradox tour in 2017, then you understand the feeling I’m trying to describe. Not everyone is prepared for a frightening set – think about it, how often do you catch a Non-Deathstep performance, where you can dance, headbang, shake your booty, and grab your neighbors shoulder where you’re punching the air, all while a blue haired Mad Scientist is rocking out on stage? Not every day folks. I was in complete and utter shock during the entire performance, and I got to hear absolutely every CHMST tunes that my heart and soul were yearning for.
You know those awesome 80s and 90s tunes like “Pump up the Jam“, “Rhythm is a Dancer“, “Rhythm of the Night,” “Are you Ready for This“, “Turn the Beat Around“, “This is How We Do It” or the 2001 banger by Bassment Jaxx, “Where’s your Head At?” Well my mans CHMST has a Riddim Dubstep version of each one of these vibey throwbacks, and they each sound absolutely filthy on a massive speaker rig (Click on the links above to hear the CHMST renditions of all those tunes)! The man of the hour also threw down other heavy hitters such as “Trampoline“, “The Clapper” and “Mad Scientist“. Is it weird that I started bawling my eyes out when he dropped “Where’s Your Head At” and “Get Ready For This“? Given that I almost died a few weeks ago, and I was literally alive to witness the coolest Dubstep performance of the year, I think it’s acceptable. I was also really happy to be in Michigan, I have never felt so at home away from North Carolina (not completely true, but Michigan is very, very, very tight).
One of my favorite parts was when the term “System Error” started to croon through the speakers, and in the flash of an eye, the visuals turned dark red, as if the man controlling this beautiful form of art wanted to reach deep into our souls and see if we could truly survive the next two minutes of our life. Soon enough, the vocals transitioned into “Drugs in the Club, and you know we smokin Loud.” I remember dying with laughter as I looked around and saw all the bulgy eyed kids who flashed a gnarly grin as they heard these words enter their left brain.
I can honestly, comfortably say that this has been, by far, my favorite Dubstep set of the entire year. While originally I made the claim that it was the best set of 2018, the year is far from over! I really think that all the performers at Lost Lands have been given a run for their money. I’m slightly salty that I have no idea when my next CHMST experience will be, but I can tell you this – I will not go the rest of the year without catching at least one more performance of this madman, even if I have to book him in North Carolina myself! A huge thank you to the staff at Elektricity for making sure that my friends and I were safe, you guys did a great job, and your visuals man is amazing at what he does. Not once did the name CHMST pop up on the visuals – if you knew who you were there to see, you knew! Thanks again for the fantastic set Michael, let’s take a photo with matching Mad Scientist x Riddim Professor coat next time! (P.S. I want to thank DavsLens Photography, Royal Bass, and Merc Photography for taking some of the awesome shots that were included in this review! Sadly, there have not been any photos uploaded from the show…)