When we heard that Rusko was coming back to Philadelphia for a show at the Electric Factory on Saturday, October 19th, we thought it would be a similar experience to when Bassnectar or Zeds Dead played at the same venue earlier this year (both fantastic shows). Boy, were we wrong. We got to the Electric Factory just before 10pm, which is by no means a late arrival for a Saturday night concert. We made our way inside and simply could not believe our eyes. We have covered numerous shows at the Electric Factory and this was the first time ever that the entire upstairs was closed off (due to lack of people to fill the downstairs).
We expected to walk in and catch one or two of the awesome opening acts that Rusko was touring with, such as drum and bass legend, Roni Size. However, we literally did a double take as Rusko was already on stage! We were flabbergasted that the headliner of a Saturday show could already be on stage this early in the night.
We did our best to try and remind ourselves that we were in the presence of one of the greatest pioneers in electronic music, but it just seemed like the entire night was off. First off, Rusko was wearing shoes, something we have never seen him do in the many times we have seen him perform. Secondly, there was little to no production value to the show. Rusko was performing with no LED light panels behind him or even a laser in sight. There was only a plain, metal DJ booth that Rusko stood behind. Lastly, he was performing with an M.C. Rusko is known for his extremely energetic performances. He plays such with such intense energy that he is literally his own hype man. But we are not going to say the M.C. did a bad job, because that is not the case.
With everything seemingly going against this show, we thought the night was ruined, but then it hit us: this was Rusko we were watching. And just like every other time we have seen him, his music carried the night away from a total waste and somewhat made up for all the things going against it.
Suddenly at 1130pm the lights came back on. We could see Rusko talking to someone off stage. Rusko pointed to his watch, held up his index finger signifying “1 more” (had it been the middle finger, we might have drawn a different conclusion), and then dropped one last song.
This is why we still love Rusko. He genuinely loves what he does and loves making people dance. We’re not sure why the attendance was so low for this show. Perhaps it had to do with a numerous other shows in Philly that night, or maybe it is an indication that the Philly market is so flooded with EDM shows, that this is a harbinger of things to come. The very next night, a scheduled show with Wolfgang Gartner and Tommy Trash at the Electric Factory was canceled. The reported cause was production issues but rumor has it that the show was canceled because ticket sales were too low.
[Photos by Garfinkel]
You can view some additional photos in the gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):