DanceMission at Madison Event Center, 2/24/12
DanceMission with 12th Planet and more
Photos by Benjamin Leatherman 12th Planet tears it up at Madison Event Center last night. See more photos from the event in our slideshow.
Madison Event Center
Friday, February 24
Not to be too dramatic, but I probably suffered some permanent hearing damage last night while watching 12th Planet. It would take a doctor to confirm (perhaps even Doctor P), but there's been a constant ringing in my ears after getting blasted with the deadly drops, filthy hooks, and the screeching sirens inherent to his gorey electronica and dubstep.
And you know what? It was completely worth it. Being able to witness an artist as skilled as 12th Planet (currently one of only a handful of truly great dubsteppers in the world) perform an epic set both in his prime and at the apex of his popularity is something any EDM fan should do.
Ain't no show like a 12th Planet Show
And it indeed was an epic set. When he last blew through town last October on the Mothership Tour, 12th Planet (a.k.a. John Dadzie) only got a 45-minute set opening for his padawan Skrillex. This time around, however, the spotlight was all his as he put on a two-hour performance while headlining the DanceMission electronica event.
It was pure unhinged exhilaration as Dadzie's gig was perfect melding of music, light, color, and showmanship. When he took to the stage, the roar that greeted him was so insanely loud that it was scary. He opened with a brand new track -- an untitled collaboration with Flinch (who also appeared at DanceMission) -- and the packed ground floor instantly turned into a sea of movement. The club kids and ravers were here to party, and they weren't afraid to show it.
Dadzie kept hitting the crowd with wave after wave of original tracks like "Burst" and "Lootin' 92" as well as remixes aplenty. He gave his due to his erstwhile prodigy Skrillex (natch) by playing such tracks as "Syndicate" and "All I Ask of You," before busting into Borgore's "Fuck Dem Hoes" and Avicii's "Levels" (which is constitutionally mandated to be played by every DJ at least once per night).
He masterfully built the energy of his set to bigger drops and even more grueling bass detonations, with each climax resulting in an explosions of light and pixilated video from the large LED video wall in front of his DJ booth. And each time, the crowd was transformed into a heaving, uncontainable mass of energy.
And if dancing was indeed the mission of the more than 500 people in attendance (the biggest crowd at the Madison since last year's Colossal Event), then they accomplished it. The crowd was a maelstrom of movement as Dadzie laid down his audio assault. Hell, even the off-duty officers from the Phoenix Police Department who were moonlighting as security bobbed their heads to the beats.
Given the current electronica zeitgeist, it's guaranteed that thousands of club kids and twentysomethings will - much like Skrillex did before them - get into the EDM game with dreams of superstardom. After they get done raiding their student loan money to buy a MacBook Pro and downloading a pirated copy of Ableton Live, they might want to take a few pointers from Dadzie on the art of making electronica as well as how to pull off a captivating show and maintain an arresting stage presence.