With winter raging outside and the holidays inching closer, now is a time during the year when we all have lots of things to be grateful for. While many find comfort in family gatherings, gift giving, chestnuts roasting by the open fire, and other holidays greetings, those of us who have found our place in the world of music are very grateful for the experiences we get to have around holiday time. From the craziness of Thanksgiving Eve, to the madness of New Years, and everything in between, this frigid time of year is one that’s filled with lots of good vibrations. Electronic dance music fans in Philadelphia were lucky enough to have their own night of ‘Gud Vibrations’, brought to town not by Santa, but by trap superstars and man crushes, Slander & NGHTMRE. Their tour took a stop at The Fillmore and the show was one for the record books. Through the love and passion of music, lot’s of holiday cheer was spread on Friday night, December 16th.
The night was one filled with diverse talent from all corners of dance music. The lineup was originally set to be Slander b2b NGHTMRE, Habstrakt, KRNE, and Whethan, from headlining to opening slots in that order, however due to some rough circumstances, the night went a little differently than originally planned. First, future/experimental bass up and comer KRNE was not on the final lineup for the show, reasoning still unknown. While we were sad for his absence, we still knew the night would be fantastic with the talent still set to play. Arriving, we expected to walk in and see young producer Whethan on stage, but oddly the larger and more established opener Habstrakt had already taken the decks. Later we found out that Whethan had some transportation issues and couldn’t make it to the venue in time for his slot, an honest mistake that we couldn’t be upset over! We still had the chance to catch both opening sets (although the change resulted in our photographer missing Habstrakt’s set). Both artists showcased a variety of different styles and genres within their sets and impressed us by being able to hype up the crowd so early in the show. With Slander & NGHTMRE set to have a full two hours to play, the opening sets came relatively early in the night, but still packed a headlining punch.
Habstrakt blended together a reckless amount of different music, playing everything from bass house to trap to dubstep. His set was filled with energy and mixed perfectly, the ‘Never Say Die’ mainstay absolutely threw down, impressing us from start to finish. We enjoyed the hell out of his set, and up next, Whethan took the decks. Whethan, young enough to still be in high school, hit the stage with poise and began to play a set that was very reminiscent of early trap music in the electronic scene. His set was filled with new bangers, old classics, and lots of epic sing-a-longs. Although he is very young, the producer seemed to fit on stage as if he was a seasoned pro. We were entirely shocked by his stage presence and ability to connect with the crowd. Whethan definitely has a bright future.
Finally, the time had arrived for the headlining acts to take the stage. The duo of Slander, along with DJ/producer NGHTMRE have consistently been powerhouses in their individual careers, and after this tour, it is clear that, performance wise, they seem destined for the stage together. From the first track of their collaboration set, an electricity filled the air that was not there for the opening acts. The stage presence, song selection, and mixing quality throughout the performance, filled the crowd with roaring energy. Having a full two hours, the trio was able to play a variety of music, taking a decent amount of time to play within each BPM range. Added into their selection of electronic music were classics such as “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith and “Just A Friend” by Biz Markie. It was clear the producers wanted their show to be a party that attendees would not soon forget, and they thoroughly accomplished their goal. Watching them on stage, we were able to see the look of pure joy on their faces, and you could tell they loved every second of the show with the hyped up Philly crowd. It was truly a pleasure to watch, and we hope to see both acts in our city again very soon. There are few acts that can come together and mesh so perfectly, but the chemistry this trio has was off the charts. Hats off to the promoter, Steez Promo, all the performers, and the venue, this was a splendid night of music we had the pleasure of enjoying.
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[Photo credit: C2H2 Photo]
[Article by Adam Leopold]
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