At first glance, the Washington
Avenue Armory in Albany looks like the typical event space: stadium-style seating surrounds a large gymnasium with a stage set up at the back for shows. But on September 24, the Safe in Sound Festival made its stop in Albany, and the star-studded lineup attracted fans of the dubstep subgenre of electronic music from across the Capital Region. The festival, which is touring 23 cities across the United States between September 19 and October 25, combined headlining acts Destroid and Flux Pavilion, with special guest Zeds Dead and supporting artists ΩZ and Terravita for an unforgettable night of dubstep music.
Prior to the three headlining artists, attendees were treated to the unique musical styles of Terravita, made up of Jon Spero, Matt Simmers, and Chris Barlow, and the unidentified talent known as ΩZ. Both groups excited the crowd with fast-paced and wild bass drops and mid-sections, which appeared to amplify the crowd’s excitement for the leading artists.
Next, the crowd was enthralled by Destroid, a collaboration project by Excision, Downlink, and KJ Sawka. The group came out onto stage in elaborate, illuminated cyborg costumes. Because of the musical diversity of all three artists, with songs consisting of heavy and intense bass drops, Destroid left the crowd confused but excited.
Dylan Mamid and Zach Rapp-Rovan, better known as Zeds Dead, followed the wild beats with relaxed and controlled rhythms that had an almost-hypnotic effect on the audience. Some of the particularly memorable songs from the duo’s set included their original hits “Hadouken” and “Collapse,” and their remix of the song “Lies,” which was originally composed by Marina and the Diamonds; however, overall the set was fluid and was received well by the crowd, who responded with dancing typically found at rave shows.
Even though all the acts did commendable performances, the audience appeared to be most excited when Flux Pavilion took the stage. The British producer played several of his charted hits, including “Bass Cannon” and “Starlight”, and concluded the night with “Gold Dust” as his finale. This festival was his first visit to Albany, but he promised the enthusiastic crowd that he would return soon, to which the crowd responded thunderously.
Attendees described the sets as “on point,” “hypnotic,” and “electrifying.” The audience appeared to be more than satisfied with the music played throughout the evening. The atmosphere of the event was comparable to what you would expect of an electronic music festival: some attendees sat on their companions shoulders, ‘kandi’ beaded bracelets and necklaces were traded, and interesting dancing routines were widespread. Overall, the wide variety of dubstep music stand testament to the fact that the sub-genre is very much alive and well.