We had excitedly circled April 10th on our concert calendar the moment we learned that Netsky was bringing his live band Drum & Bass show to Philly (presented by Steez Promo).
Back before EDM culture was mainstream, Philadelphia was a mecca of Drum & Bass music in America. Weekly events, like Platinum at Fluid Nightclub, and Concrete Jungle packed fans in to see some of the biggest names in the biz like Roni Size, Goldie, Andy C, Usual Suspects, and Aphrodite.
While today’s electronic music fans in Philadelphia tend to gravitate more towards house, trance, dubstep, and trap, there is a new wave of artists producing and playing top-notch Drum & Bass music for those of us who adore the genre. Of those doing it, none do it quite like Belgium’s Netsky.
His rise to fame has been swift yet well deserved, earning him global praise from fans and peers alike.
Hours before the doors opened at Soundgarden Hall yesterday evening, we learned that due to inclement weather, his live band gear did not arrive in Philadelphia in time for the show. Our brief disappointment was quickly replaced with the realization that a Netsky DJ set would still give us an ample fix of Drum & Bass we’ve been craving. The show must go on.
The evening kicked off at 8pm with an extended set by local duo DFG. Playing on four turntables, they were given the duty of warming up the crowd and easily rose to the challenge. With thunderstorms moving through the area, we arrived a little later than intended but still enjoyed the part of DFG’s set that we caught.
Up next was another local DJ, Mojo Risin, who took over for the next two hours and quite literally set the stage for the headliner with some sweet Drum & Bass selections. The crowd was one of the smaller ones we’ve seen recently at Soundgarden. Maybe it was the rain, maybe it was because the event was held on a Wednesday, maybe it was the fact that it was a Drum & Bass event… whatever the reason, those that didn’t turn out to catch Netsky missed out big time.
Joined on stage for the entirety of his set by Script MC, Netsky rocked SGH for two hours that we wished would never end. It was hands down one of the best, high energy sets we have heard in Philly in a long time.
The added room on the dance floor turned out to be an added bonus for those in attendance as they were able to properly get down to the stellar track selection that Netsky offered up to the crowd. Mixing in hip-hop, bass music, and some funky throwbacks from generations past, the young Belgian worked the room like nobody’s business.
Because he had been forced to play a DJ set instead of his live show, he extended his performance (which was originally scheduled to end at 130am) for an additional 30 minutes to the delight of everyone in the venue.
When his set finally ended, he signed posters on stage and passed them out to the rabid fans at the front of the stage.
We hope Philly can really get behind Drum & Bass music again and begin bringing back some of the biggest names in the genre from across the globe. We did it once, we can do it again.
[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]
You can view an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):