It was the summer of 2008 that I first heard Rusko’s remix of “Pro Nails”. To say that it changed my life would prove to be an understatement. It was the first sampling of this heavy new form of electronic music called “dubstep” that would sweep the nation in the years to follow. It was rambunctious and aggressive– I felt like a badass when my friends and me danced around our s***ty rental in Boulder, CO with it turned up super loud. It’s my personal belief that we should hold Christopher Mercer partially responsible for the spread of dubstep into mainstream American music. Influenced by UK grime with an edge of drum & bass, his party-perfect sound was infectious and unforgettable. And the rest is history.
Flash forward six years and Rusko is playing a massive homecoming show at the Hollywood Palladium in his newly adopted playground of Los Angeles, CA. As the line of concert-goers filed in, dubstep/moombahton master Whiiite warmed up the crowd inside the legendary Sunset Blvd venue. This LA resident has a vibrant persona–reminiscent of a zombie/Frankenstein version of Jack White. His set was full of amped-up tracks that got the crowd in the mood for some mischief. Adam F, one of the industries most impressive artists/producers/label heads/superheroes, electrocuted the crowd further with his heavy, choppy style of drum & bass.
By the time Rusko got on stage, the Palladium was already a sweaty, steamy mess of people thirsty to keep the party going. Met to a deafening wail of excited fans, Mercer took the stage wearing only his socks (we like to call it Party Casual attire). Accompanied by two of jah best hype men in the business, Rusko was his typical larger-than-life self. His unrelenting energy and enthusiasm keeps his crowd engaged and eager. (Fun fact–he actually has pogo sticks for legs and is a distant relative of the Energizer Bunny). From “Pro Nails” and “Everyday” to “Jahova” and “Cockney Thug”—his set touched on every Rusko anthem we have come to love so unconditionally.
His production was bright, colorful and it got weird…I seem to remember technicolor tap-dancing cows turning into two-headed sheep? For added ambiance, the Palladium offered all liquor drinks in a glowing cup. The result? A lot of really Vodka-drunk people throwing colorful cups around, an activity that fluctuated very quickly between really fun and really painful.
Yes, there was a lot of neon. Yes, there were a lot of shirtless bros. But YES, it was a lot of fun, too. Rusko is an excuse to just stop giving-a-s*** for a second and get shamelessly turnt up with the rest of your awesome friends. Though his tour wrapped up last Friday at the Palladium, Rusko will be rocking Boston on NYE this year; get your tickets here.