World famous DJ Alesso stopped by the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC) in New Brunswick, NJ on 4/19/2013 to drop an hour-long whirlwind set as part of his Spring 2013 tour. Why so short, you ask? Seb Ingrosso’s protegé tweeted that he was heading to DC right after to play another show. Regardless, this was a jam packed set that included mostly all of the major hits like “If I Lose Myself” and “Calling.” Read on to get the full scoop…
Opening the show at 6:30 was DJ Vaega, followed by recent Red Bull Thre3style U winner, Brostradamus. As the crowd filtered in, these Rutgers Natives kept a groovy house beat going, albeit not too crazy. This whole concert was no doubt very Progressive House oriented; no trap or dubstep to be found here.
Once 8 o’clock rolled around, the Jane Doze took over the stage. At this points, the lights on stage were fully fired up, and the floor was dark. If you’ve ever heard the Jane Doze live before, they’ll keep the crowd reasonably entertained with mashups of Top-40 songs and mainstream EDM tracks. In a nutshell: they are crowd-pleasers but not rage-inducers.
Going to this concert brought back the inner A/V stage techie in me (from back when I used to work the sound and lights in my highschool days). The stage for this show was a reasonably impressive one given the venue. The DJ booth was lined with LED screens in the front and rear. The light array included ~12 motorized LED pars, another 10 or so intelligent spot projectors, strobes lining the top of the stage, and concert-standard floods pointed towards the audience. Two tall hanging stacks of speakers and subs lined along the front of the stage on the floor that no doubt provided enough thump for the RAC. There were a couple issues though, one slightly more concerning than the other. The concrete walls and expansive tin roof provided little padding for the sound, which caused reverb out the wazoo. As you might imagine, the vocals of any track were fairly washed out from my point of view (in the 200-level), and the bass echoed for a minimum of two seconds everywhere in the venue. The more concerning matter was that RUPA (Rutgers University Programming Assoc, the organizers) grossly undersold both the floor and the 100 level section. The floor seemed rather bare, with only half the area taken up. Likewise, only about two-thirds of the 100 level was filled.
Grievances aside, the crowd’s “rage mentality” was not disrupted. Once Alesso took the stage just around 20:48 EDT, a deafening cheer resonated all throughout. The energy was ubiquitous. The ideology behind the intro was very One-Last-Tour-esque with some interesting visuals on the LED screens and a dramatic musical buildup.
Alesso dropped several tracks by friends of Refune (read: Seb, Axwell, SHM). “Don’t You Worry Child” got everyone singing, which is not an uncommon phenomenon. Seb’s “Reload” vs “Sweet Nothing” feat. Florence Welch and “Rasputin” by Hard Rock Sofa were among the other songs dropped. Alesso surprised us by putting a different spin on some of these tracks though. The version of “Pressure” dropped was an ID (listen from 7:32 in the video below). The version of “Calling” he dropped seems like it was the same one dropped at E-Zoo last September vs. Tiësto & Dyro. Also recognized from other recent shows was Collioure, or as some of us might recognize it, his remix of R.E.M’s “Losing My Religion.” Note: the Calling remix is rumored to come out sometime this May.
Alesso, despite having only an hour, did not rush through his set and cram in as many songs as possible. All the drops had nice buildups and his breaks were skillfully placed without interrupting the beat. By 9:55, all was wrapped up and the crowd disappeared into the rainy New Brunswick abyss. Overall, everyone seemed very pleased. It still gives me chills knowing that Rutgers hosted Alesso.
UPDATE: The other track inside the mashup Alesso dropped with the “Calling” vocals has officially been identified as “Paradise,” an upcoming track by Tiësto & Dyro.
UPDATE 2 (7/17/13): The track mashed with “Pressure” is SLVR by Steve Angello & Matisse & Sadko
“Note: Credit to Martin Bernstein & Shawnie Caslin for pictures used throughout this post. Videos are credited to their respective owners.