WRITTEN BY: ERIN BLEWETT
My trip to the Electric Factory for Zed’s Dead’s concert was chaotic to say the least. That being said, chaos has never been so fun.
Armond Arabshahi, also known as Unlike Pluto, was the perfect act to begin the night. Unlike Pluto’s set primarily remained in the musical realms of house and dubstep. One aspect of the EDM community that never fails to lift my mood is the amount of people actually dancing at shows. It’s a shame that dancing at concerts has become so rare, but these days it’s more common to find concertgoers on their phones recording the performance. Needless to say, this was a nice change of pace.
Unlike Pluto’s set mainly consisted of mixing the work of other artists with very few originals. However, I did recognize the Unlike Pluto remix of Temple alum Diplo’s hit song “Revolution.” At this point in the night, the Electric Factory was only filled to half capacity, but those who were present took advantage of the space by exhibiting some pretty impressive shuffling skills.
Following Unlike Pluto was Ghastly, a producer from Los Angeles. I won’t lie, my ears aren’t as attuned as they ones were to the layers inevitably present in a lot of electronic music. However, just by exercising my running knowledge of EDM music, I know for a fact that Ghastly killed it. His set was dominated by dubstep tracks which were seamlessly mixed with slower songs that played when he wanted to address the crowd. Ghastley’s high energy commanded the crowd’s attention, making sure that everyone remained sufficiently excited for Zeds Dead’s forthcoming set.
Just a friendly tip: if you’re going to your first rave, don’t bring any valuables. I’m not sure if it was the lively music or the amount of psychedelics ingested, but people were absolutely losing it. At one point, someone was dancing so explosively that he chipped his tooth. Believe it or not, he continued dancing after smashing his face into a metal railing, so it’s safe to assume that some type of substance was the result of his quick recovery. A large portion of my night was spent frantically moving my camera bag out of harm’s way.
All of my anxiety dissipated as soon as Zeds Dead hit the stage. This sudden calm could also be attributed to my newly found hiding space on stage right near a security guard, but I like to think that it was the duo of DC and Hooks that saved the day for me. The boys immediately set themselves apart from the previous acts. Their set was played atop a fortress of moving light fixtures. My fellow photographers and I were warned by nearby security guards not to stare at the lights for too long, for fear of likely damage to our eyes. Hopefully that gives you a sense of the enormity and brilliance of Zeds Dead’s lighting display. This massive piece of their stage setup made it exceptionally difficult to get any photographs of them. Regardless, I can’t imagine their show would have possessed the same bigger-than-life quality without the stage’s grandeur.
Their set went well past midnight, but no one in the crowd seemed to mind. It was not uncommon to look at the crowd and see at least 20 concertgoers simultaneously flashing the “Z” for Zeds Dead with their hands. Zeds Dead are known for more ambient dubstep hits, like their remix of “Eyes on Fire” by Blue Foundation, as well as more recent releases, like their original song “Frontlines.” That night at the Electric Factory, they mixed bass-heavy dubstep songs for the majority of their set. It was clear who the crowd came to see. Almost everyone in the room was singing along to each of the electro house anthems played by the Canadian twosome.
All in all, the apprehension that I experienced throughout the night was worth it. It is always eye-opening to attend shows that don’t necessarily align with the genres of music that I typically listen to. It is very easy for those who don’t listen close enough to overlook the finesse with which many electronic music producers seamlessly blend differing sub-genres of EDM into one cohesive set. Keep an eye on Zeds Dead. As a friend to a friend, I strongly advise buying a ticket next time they come to town.
Featured photo courtesy of “Live Nation”