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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Urination, Groping, and Enlightenment: Live Reporting from the Skrillex Show

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 11:30 AM

CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio

When it comes to San Francisco culture, there are a lot of different niches. This weekend if you were riding any form of public transportation near Golden Gate Park, you were probably packed in like sardines with people who are part of the rather young, colorful, and hip culture that surrounds Outside Lands. From the outside looking in it can be a hard culture to understand, particularly Skrillex and his fans. I know the old man who was on the same bus as me Sunday, looking around with an expression on his face that said, "I fought for ... this?" certainly didn't get it. And I have to be honest, I didn't get it either. That's why when I first saw the schedule of bands for the weekend, I made the cold, calculated decision to see Skrillex. But I wasn't going to just watch him from afar -- I was going inside the belly of the beast. That's right, I was going to report live inside the dubstep breakdown pit. With an open mind, I made sure to arrive at the stage early and immerse myself in the culture of Skrillex, who I had never heard before.

As I pushed my way to the front, I heard the thousands of broken plastic Heineken cups crackling under the anxious feet of the crowd. Just as I found a spot close enough to satisfy my morbid curiosity, a countdown clock hit the big screen and the crowd roared. There was no one over 30 in sight. When the clock hit zero, Skrillex boarded the spaceship on stage and the dubstep madness began. Lights flashed, steam shot from cannons, and the crowd ate up every minute of it. Behind Skrillex's spaceship DJ booth was a screen playing seemingly random clips, including Call of Duty head shot videos. The "music" was repetitive and seemed to only have a single trick -- a momentary pause immediately followed by a breakdown accompanied by lots of flashing lights, lasers, and steam. The entire performance and crowd seemed completely void of any substantial meaning or artistic value. Basically just pure pop culture garbage spliced up with lots of bass. I really couldn't understand what attracted people to this nonsense. Just as I was noticing how truly horrible of a time I was having, a guy aggressively brushed by me yelling, "Oh my god! Oh my god!" I turned to look at the direction he was running from and saw a second man with his penis out, relieving himself all over the ground and on the back of people's legs. As people fled in every direction from Mr. Just Can't Hold It, who had started slowly spinning in circles, making sure to equally spray all of his nearby concert-goers, I noticed his facial expression was completely calm and relaxed, as if it was all no big deal. I ran away to a new spot where a group of girls were thoroughly enjoying the night. One ran up to me and asked, "Can I get on your shoulders?" I responded the only way I thought was appropriate: "No." Undeterred by my lack of enthusiasm with my current environment, she smiled and said, "Can I dance with you?" "Sure," I said, thinking to myself, "I said I was going to go into Skrillex with an open mind. Besides, what would Hunter S. Thompson do?" So we started dancing. Typical silly bump and grind high school-type dancing. As our hips gyrated to the music, I thought to myself, "Why do people do this stuff? Why do they listen to this nonsense? Is this where all those kids who really enjoyed senior ball go after graduation?" Then the girl turned her head back towards me and we started making out. She limited her use of tongue about as much as Skrillex did bass. Then she put her hand behind her back and grabbed my meat sword right through its denim sheath. In that very moment, as she squeezed, I understood Skrillex. The music, the lights, the lasers -- it all made sense. Now I don't want to say that I had a religious experience while watching Skrillex (I don't think I would ever be able to admit that to myself. Plus, just one stage away, Stevie Wonder, resident Outside Lands preacher, would NOT approve of such sinful activities.), but when she touched me everything just ... made sense. She was E.T. and I was the little boy, and her magical touch taught me everything there was to know about dubstep. Physically, I took two showers to try to wash the dubstep shame off of me. Mentally, I'm just going to write off the whole day as training for my future embedded-with-the-troops wartime journalism.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.
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About The Author

Matt Saincome

Matt Saincome

Bio:
Matt Saincome is SF Weekly's former music editor.

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