Who would have thought that my second stop on Datsik’s infamous Ninja Nation Tour would be just as amazing as the recent Pompano Beach stop in Florida. Both shows were extremely exciting and unique in their own ways. But I think the fact that the Texas raised producer, Riot Ten, allowed me to take photos during his set at the infamous Echostage gave DC the slight advantage. Then again, Club Cinema at Pompano Beach brought along Funtcase as the special guest for their mind bending, Ninja Dubstep Showdown. After discussing his set with a lot of different friends and headbangers that night, we could all comfortably agree that Funtcase blew his own set at Lost Lands, completely out of the water. M neck, brain, spirit, or opinion on lord Funty will never be the same. On the other hand, Echostage brought out the one and only Suillivan King to throw down a special performance for the masses. Anyways, the purpose of this article isn’t really to compare the two shows, it’s more of a guide to show you why a Datsik, Riot Ten, Space Jesus, Funtcase, and Sullivan King are all well worth seeing this year.
After a fifteen hour drive from Chicago to Raleigh to pick up an amazing Colombian brother named Sebastian, who flew all the way from Minnesota just to hang with the kid, we hit up a Create. show in Greensboro which featured Dirt Monkey, DMVU, and Digital Ethos. We then drove down to Florida to scoop up the most beautiful and wonkiest diamond to ever come out of New Jersey named Aubrey, who knows more about Riddim and Dubstep than I do; and her gorgeous, incredibly bassheavy friend Lauren who out danced every single person in the room. Before we knew it, we were on our way to Miami to experience a true spectacle of Bass Music at the one and only Club Cinema.
On the other hand, I have to give a massive thank you to my Carolina friends, Scotty and Tommy from the Black Rose Club for joining me on our special DC experience. As tradition holds, we stopped by my friend Arsalan’s place to catch up with the DC homie for a few minutes. But soon enough, it was time to make our way to Echostage to get up with Rave Daddy Rick, Keith, Mike, and the rest of the DMV crew. I absolutely love getting down with these guys – we’ve experienced, Dreamscape, Nightmare, Lost Lands, Moonrise, and a few other memorable events that have shaped my life more than you can imagine.
Goodness gracious, if you would have told me that the Electronic Bass, Rock N Roll infuser, Sullivan King, was going to be the special guest at the DC show, I would have called you a liar! But seriously, I don’t think many people expected Sully to come out that night to strut his skills – but man are we all glad he did! When we stepped in the building, my attention immediately went to the stage which is when I realized I missed Wooli’s performance – at least the comments about his set were positive! I was excited to be part of the action as soon as I got into the crowd. Sullivan King was tearing apart his set, I couldn’t help but rock out in the most glorious of ways. After missing him at Lost Lands and at the Create. show in Greensboro, I was relieved to see him throw down heavy tracks such as his collab with Riot Ten, “Body Bag,” along with other infamous tunes like “Break The Rail” with Rico Act, and the Slander collab, “Welcome to the Fire.” Sullivan King ended his set with a sexy guitar solo that had the crowd interacting in more ways than one could imagine. The best part of the night was when “Kick Out the Epic Motherf*cker” came through the speakers. Overall, the crowd was digging it, and so was I! Although, my friend Scotty said that Sullivan’s solo could have been slightly better. But who knows? Let the rockers handle this debate! I’m just a Riddim rat.
Once the show in Pompano Beach was said and done, I went over to the merch-booth to cop a Tour T-Shirt, because why not? The only Datsik shirt I own is like 5 years old and doesn’t fit me any more, and the new one is really comfortable too. That’s when I found my crew talking to a man who I thought was a tour photographer. But like mama said, never judge a book by its cover! Low and behold I was speaking to the “Rail Breaker” himself. Riot Ten is an extremely humble guy from El Paso, Texas who has a passion for the same music that made my Colombian-Minnesotan brother fly halfway across the country just to drive twelve hours with me to catch a Dubstep show in Florida. People, we’re really about this life, can’t you tell? After we caught up for a few minutes, Chris and I decided it would be fun to schedule a Riot Ten x Charlotte Sessions interview (to be released soon). One thing led to another, and by February 2nd, I was standing next to Ten, in front of thousands of kids at Echostage with my GoPro in my left hand, and my DSLR in my right. Needless to say, I’m eternally grateful to Riot Ten and his crew for letting me be a part of their DC Ninja Nation experience. But how about Chris’ set?
Mind you, this was my first time catching the Texan drop some heat in a live setting, so I had no idea what to expect. I try not to let a two minute Facebook video influence my perception on a producer/DJ, because there’s nothing like the real experience folks. I’ve got two words for you people: RIDDIM GANG.
Riot Ten is a full supporter of the Riddim movement, but he does it in a tasteful manner. There was never a moment where I, or the crowd, felt like Riot Ten was playing too much Riddim. If anything, I soaked in a lot of knowledge on how to mix in the filthy genre with headbanging tunes. DJing is a learning process; so not only did I get to catch Riot Ten drop heaters like Infekt’s “Double Arcade,” Crowell’s “Yasuo,” Chibs’ “Sharingan,” or Hi I’m Ghost with his tune “Spooky Riddim,” I got to witness this man slay a crowd of thousands from the perfect angle.
But of course, Riot Ten managed to throw in a lot of heavy hitting singles such as insane remix of Midnight T. and EH!DE’s “Planet Purge,” he transitioned from Chief Keef’s “I Don’t Like” into Badklaat’s “Headcrush” and he dropped a disgusting transition between Sum 41‘s “Fat Lip” into some nasty Riddim chune, into a phenomenal remix of Flosstradamus and GTA’s tune “Prison Riot.” Did I also mention that he dropped a lot of new tunes off his Hype Or Die EP? “WTFLEX” and “Pit Boss” had to be my favorite. Needless to say, the crowd felt the energy and that’s all that matters. Look at those rage faces below and tell me that’s not a happy bunch of Railbreakers! Thanks again for the great experience Riot Ten, until next time!
The simple fact that Datsik decided to bring Jersey astronaut, Space Jesus, along for the Ninja Nation Tour is absolutely astounding. I would say this is primarily because the two producers have such distinct and polar opposite styles when it comes to making music. But surely enough, even the heaviest of headbangers could release their inner Wakaan to properly enjoy a set from the Space Boss. While I managed to catch Space Jeezy on both the Pompano Beach and DC tour stops, I have a very vivid memory of Jasha’s set at Echostage that must be shared. A shoeless Space Jesus quickly got on stage as Riot Ten kindly introduced the following DJ of the hour. Within seconds, a strange, slow, grungy, Tea Party-esque, symphonic lullaby was screeching through the PK soundrig. Apparently the name of the tune is “Mom’s Spaghetti,” a new, unreleased collab with the ever so creative Esseks, that had yet to be played out live. This is all according to one of the crew members who absolutely lost his sh*t upon hearing the intro of the strange medley. It was a complete, filtered out, bass packed blissful nightmare.
Want to know something ironic? The first time I ever heard the track “Sofa Surfin” live was literally the night before the Pompano Beach show, as Colorado’s very own Dirt Monkey, the other co-producer of the wonkified single, dropped the heavy hitter on a crowd of four hundred dedicated Carolina rage-monkeys. Flash forward 20 hours and now Space Jeezy is bouncing around on stage as a crowd of over two-thousand ravers sung along “I’ve been lost for six months Sofa Surfin!” I also lost my marbles when I heard Yheti’s “Crack the Window” and the new Bleep Bloop collab that finally hit the surface of the internet “Ichabod Crane.” Needless to say, Space Jesus laid down the perfect intergalactic performance to get us ready for a neck-cranking set from the masked freak himself, Lord Funty-Funtington Funtcase the 3rd.
Who else saw the Bournemouth based animal perform at Excision’s Lost Lands festival last October? If you were one of the select 30,000 individuals who took a chance on Jeff and wound up in Legend Valley for the weekend as a sea of rage animals gathered round for the masked freak’s mid-day Dubstep showdown, then you probably remember how incredibly destructive and monstrous Funtcase’s performance truly was. I remember breaking my neck in more ways than I could imagine, at the time. But goodness gracious someone must have put some Vyvanse in this man’s tea because James Hazell absolutely snapped during his Florida set in ways that nearly seemed illegal! Why would it be against the law for one man to play music you might ask? Because of how dangerously hot his track selection turned out to be. Four words folks. So. Much. Unreleased. Funtcase. Whenever you encounter aggressive, massive, and gravity defying sets, like this one, its hard to think straight and take proper notes. But rest assured, Funtcase spared absolutely no time in hitting Pompano Beach with an absolute bass cannon heater at the start of his set. He grabbed the mic and quickly reassured us that we weren’t in the presence of his Cirucs Records brothers, Cookie Monsta or Flux Pavilion. In a flash, Funty shouted “Ello, my name is Funtcase, welcome to your death.” In one quick 360 swoop I could see the entire room headbanging like it was nobody’s business. Funtcase wasn’t there to play any games.
Throughout his set, the masked freak threw down special heaters such as his collaborative remix with Cookie Monsta of “Big Riddim Mariachi” which absolutely merked the crowd. If you thought I was freaking out when he dropped that tune, imagine my heart stopping when Aubrey and Lauren looked eachother in the eyes and shouted “NEW UNRELEASED FUNTCASE,” as the speakers brought forth a new tune that went “I got King Kong, King Kong” before absolutely shattering our brains into pieces. I was also thoroughly excited to hear some familiar tunes such as “Scary Yikez Grrz” and “4 Barz of Fury” composed by the madman himself. We also got to hear a lot of nasty tunes off the DPMO Vol. I release, such as Phiso’s “Perish Song” and the Bloodthinnerz’ collab with the French nightmare Ganon known as “Timeless.” The rest is history folks. We had no quarrels in stating that Funtcase blew his Lost Lands set out of the water – the crowd got rowdy, the drops were perfectly timed, the energy and dance moves that Funtcase flexed on stage were absolutely phenomenal. Thank you for making my 26 hour drive worth every penny.
Here’s the really fun part of the review folks. This isn’t the first time that I’ve gone to a Datsik show and felt so inspired that I wanted to do a write up on the show. When he came to Charlotte on Cinco de Mayo in 2016, he blew us all away. When he came to the Fillmore in 2015 for the Ninja Nation Tour, practically the first rave that put me on the media list, I almost had a heart attack because of the raw bass. I even took my girlfriend at the time to see him, Crizzly and Virtual Riot all the way up at Rams Head in Baltimore, which remains to be my favorite Datsik sets to this day (aside from every Datsik x Imagine Festival set I’ve ever seen). And now you’re telling me that I had the chance to see him in Florida and DC? Come on folks, the way life plays out in this beautiful universe is absolutely outstanding. I was now in the presence of one of the gentlemen who has inspired me for over eight long years to delve into the world of Bass Music in an thrilling yet care free fashion. It was nearly four months since I had seen Troy Beetles perform live, the last time being when he shut down multiple sets at Lost Lands including a b2b with Excision that had everyone in tears (because it was an absolute dream come true). Would you believe me if I told you that in the blink of an eye, as a fury of smoke covered the stage, Datsik popped up directly behind his mixer posed in his limited edition Raiden costume. The ultimate Dubstep Ninja Warrior was now prepared to unleash an array of destructive Bass tunes to the thousands of fans that packed out both sold out shows. DC and Pompano were equally lit – I can’t say that one show was better than the other because both crowds were getting down ferociously to the sounds of Datsik’s new EP Master of Shadows. But seeing his Ninja Nation set for the second time truly made me appreciate the fact that these guys are willing to perform all over the country just so that fans like me can experience their craft live.
Imagine what it’s like to hear “Pressure Plates,” “Ronin Riddim” and “Warriors of the Night” in a live setting. Datsik has some of the greatest visuals I’ve ever seen – he immediately takes you on a Dubstep journey to Japan as heater after heater gets thrown in your face. The entire room froze once Datsik started playing his new collab with Excision and Dion Timmer, “Find Me.” As the familiar voice echoed “You know where to Find Me tonight” one could hear the thousands of glorious voices shouting out the lyrics to this special tune as they danced away their problems and focused on their loved ones.
Soon enough, I heard the familiar phrase “Give me something Nasty!” blare through the Echostage soundsystem, and as I looked around, all I could see was people grabbing their faces in complete awe that this tune actually exists. Throw Virtual Riot and Datsik on a track together and you will get absolute mayhem. I also have to give a lot of props to Datsik for bringing on Trinidad Jame$ on his tune “Tantrum“ another shut-down-squad banger that almost brought the roof down. But another one of my all time favorite Datsik tunes has to be “Wreckless” featuring the dark and mysterious vocals of AD. It was really nice hearing familiar tracks just as it was hearing new ones. If I wasn’t sporting a disgusting stank face as I stomped around each venue, I had a smile that stretched from ear to ear as I enjoyed the blissful transitions that Datsik has learned to master. And to answer your question folks, yes, he performed “Just Sayain.” TROY, I want to sincerely thank you for such a beautiful experience – I will gladly catch a Datisk set any day of the week, just make sure to call first! (Joking).
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