A rave is the only place where it might actually be considered cooler to dance by yourself than to dance with a partner. To be honest, I havent been to a full-blown warehouse rave like this since I was 17 years old, and for a reason. Raves are sweaty. Theyre full of weird people, high on who knows what, spinning glowing things all around to music thats way too loud and all sounds the same to me. But I decided to venture out of my old-man closed-mindedness about raves to try it out once more. And it couldnt have been on a better night.
The first thing you think of when somebody says Salt Lake City probably isn’t raving. But, believe it or not, SLCs got a pretty reputable rave scene. The company that threw this particular event is called V2, and they regularly throw massive raves/dance parties. Oh, and they have their own Go-Go dancers (you totally just clicked on that link, perv). Over the past few years, theyve hosted numerous raves that have included showings from basically everybody whos anybody in dance/rave/house music: Benny Benassi, Deadmau5, The Crystal Method, Tiesto, etc. In other words, V2 knows how to throw a party.
However, this night was particularly good, because it also marked the first event to be held in Salt Lake Citys newest venue, The Complex. And what better way to pop the proverbial cherry of a new venue than with a sweat-on-the-walls rave? I mean, I usually do my ecstasy on nights that arent Thursday, but who am I to tell people how to do their drugs? Trip balls away, my raving friends.
Speaking of ravers, unless youre one of them or closely related to one of them, you sort of forget they exist until you hit the Sahara tent at Coachella or find yourself at your local rave. It doesnt really matter who you are. If you want to be a raver, you can. There are no prerequisites; its for any who care to join. Consequently, The Complex was full to the brim with Juggalos, frat boys, hacky sack hippies, and Hot Topic poster girls as the first DJ took the stage at 9:30. He was just some local schmoe. Nothing to write home about.
And usually, thats okay. But when you give that same schmoe an hour behind the table and then let two more just like him do the exact same thing, it’s not okay in my eyes. Rusko didnt go on until precisely 12:02, which didnt sit well with the sober people in the audience. In between ear-splitting bass cuts, you would unequivocally hear chants of Rusko! or Stop playing shit! The kids that were high, however, had no qualms with the endless wall-bumping beats. They danced for hours on end before Rusko even went on and then throughout his set. Ravers have the superhuman stamina of thoroughbred racehorses, I swear. I dont know. Maybe its the drugs.
At any rate, Rusko did go on, and he did burn the place down (metaphorically, of course. I think the buildings probably pretty up to code, it being brand-new and all). He even got the tired dancers off the walls and out of their sitting positions to come play with him. And how could they say no? With club hit and Dirty Projector Amber Coffman-featuring track Hold On, it was almost as if the UK Dub aficionado was beckoning to the crowd, daring them to dance.
And this fest of surprisingly fun and danceable music continued on song after song, without ever dragging, which is quite a compliment for a Dub DJ. The set was largely comprised of his latest (and only) real studio album, OMG!, which satiated the crowds thirst perfectly. It was a blessing in disguise to have three mediocre DJs play right before Rusko. It really highlighted how much better he really is and why his dance music is popular and your friends buddys older brothers isnt. Ruskos got charisma, and hes just got more talent and vision than your average DJ. And it shows in his music. He samples more precisely, cues beats more accurately, and pushes the limits of what can conceivably be done behind a turntable and a MacBook.
This is usually the part where wed add a setlist for the show, but I doubt Rusko himself followed his own setlist. DJ-ing is a bit of a fly by the seat of your pants affair. We can tell you this however. He did play mostly tracks from OMG!, the most memorable barn burners being Hold On and the unbelievably catchy Woo Boost, which you should all go listen to right now. He sampled Imogen Heaps Hide and Seek and Ludacriss How Low Can You Go? He played the Caspian version of Cockney Thugs and didnt play his remix of Kid Cudis Day n Nite, which I was expecting. If you want an actual setlist, you might have to ask Rusko. Or better yet, just go check him out as he tours. Hes an impressive artist on the rise, to be certain.