Over the last two years, the small city of Gainesville, Florida has become an unlikely electronic music hub. With students at the University of Florida shelling out cash for shows on a weekly basis, promoters have booked nearly every big-name act and solidified us as a staple stop for DJs touring the southeast. It’s an incredibly passionate and open-minded scene, so it’s no surprise that Gainesville was chosen as the first city to see a dubstep act headline Life in Color (formerly Dayglow). Departing from its usual mainstream progressive-house schedule, Life in Color broke the mold last Friday night at the Alachua County Fairgrounds with the bass of dubstep duo Adventure Club reverberating throughout the venue. With the help of local concert production/promotion company The Dynasty Group, the show saw a massive turnout and proved that Life in Color may be on to something for future dubstep bookings.
More than 3000 attendees decked out in white attire grabbed $5 bottles of paint and made their way into the fairgrounds. Awaiting them was a towering stage with lighting rigs installed at every angle imaginable. Behind the decks was Gainesville DJ Josh Yuwa warming up the crowd with his usual electro-house insanity. He finished his set around 12:30 p.m., thanked the crowd, then got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend. The crowd screamed with approval when she nodded her head yes, applauding the young couple and soaking up the loving vibes.
Riding the happiness high, Adventure Club raced onto the stage. Comprised of Montreal natives Christian Srigley and Leighton James, the duo is known for its unique sound of pairing bassy beats with ethereal vocals. Adventure Club launched into the set with their hit single “Wait” and the crowd sang along with smiles plastered across their faces.
The duo then flashed us with a slew of more fast-tempo tracks like Nicky Romero’s “Toulouse,” Skrillex and Wolfgang Gartner’s “Devil’s Den.” Knife Party’s epic banger “Internet Friends” blasted through the speakers and signaled a shift from thumping-bass to filthy dubstep madness.
By this time the paint party was raging in full-force as attendees blasted friends and strangers alike with paint. The front area of the stage was quickly dubbed “the splash zone” as colossal paint guns showered the audience with color. People are sliding around in the paint-muddled mud and tossing hoola-hoops into the sky when we start to hear hardcore unidentified trap beats blaring through the crowd. And just when you thought “Face Down Ass Up” couldn’t get any grimier, Adventure Club is scratching a seriously dirty trap version of everyone’s favorite booty-bumping track.
The BPMs continued to race with Doctor P’s “License” and Nero’s “Must Be The Feeling.” Following some of the dubbiest peaks our city has ever seen, Adventure Club slowed the pace to wrapped up the evening with a string of their original works like “Need Your Heart” and their “Crave You” remix.
Life in Color tested out the dubstep waters last Friday and we should all give the company respect for being innovative and trying something new. It’s vital that concert production firms continue to take risks like throwing a less-known but certainly rage-worthy act on stage or hosting a paint party that leaves attendees soaked but smiling. If we want to see this scene thrive and progress forward, we need to stop grabbing at household names and start embracing new sounds. Well done Life in Color, well done.