I recently just got back from an extended trip away from home, and the whole time, I was counting down the days until Excision brought his massive ‘Executioner’ stage, designed by PK Sound, as well as Paper Diamond and Vaski through North Carolina for two back-to-back stops on “The Executioner Tour”; the first at The Fillmore in Charlotte (put on by Sugar Society), and the second at Longbranch in Raleigh (Sinergy Productions). When I received word that my trip was going to be a little longer than expected, I started to freak out a little. I already didn’t have much buffer time, but my new flight was to land in Raleigh (which is about 175 miles from Charlotte) just a few hours before the Fillmore opened it’s doors! Left with no more room for error or anymore travel delays, I spent the entire trip home with insane anxiety. Luckily, everything from that point forward went smooth with the flight. I immediately stepped into my car and hauled ass all the way to the show in Charlotte, road-raging at anyone and anything that seemed to hamper my progress.
I missed half of Vaski’s set the first night due to a long and slow line, but I caught the whole thing the second time. This guy is a pretty young producer, but just listening to his brand of dubstep, you would never know. He did an incredible job of warming up the crowd both nights, with heavy-hitting tracks like his remix of “Sandstorm”, and honestly there’s no question in my mind that he could hold his own headlining a show of this magnitude.
Next up was Paper Diamond, who kept the energy going with a healthy serving of trap originals and remixes. Aside from the eargasm of bangin’ 808’s, the coolest part of his set to me was the modest lighting set up he brought with him. The actual lights weren’t anything game-changing, but when lit up, they turned Paper Diamond into an unmistakable silhouette, with those big-ass glasses he is never without. After he finished on both nights, the crowd was screaming for an encore, which is rare to see from anyone but the closer…but that’s just how good he was.
Even though these two supporters were amazing, there’s was always a part of me that was eyeing the giant, covered monstrosity behind them…awaiting for the black drape to be removed and for the ‘Executioner’ to be unleashed. I decided since I had two nights to experience it, I would take two completely separate approaches. The first night, I was going to get right in the middle of the madness and I would spend the second night backed up a bit so I could take in the entire production. I honestly can’t tell you which was better.
The night in Charlotte, I managed to get as front-and-center as you could get, right in front of the massive stage and face-to-face with an endless wall of subwoofers. I expected a lot of bass…but I didn’t expect so much that I could feel my eyeballs rattling in their sockets. I love bass music for the sensation it gives you, which is normally a thump in your chest or a boom in your ear drum…but this took “next level” to the next level. I couldn’t clench my teeth hard enough to prevent them from chattering together. Absolutely everything in the venue was rattling, bumping, and thumping…and I loved every second of it.
In Raleigh, while still able to feel the immense bass, I could take in the visual aspect of the ‘Executioner’ and it’s 3-D projection mapping. I’ve seen a lot of cool visuals; like deadmau5’s cube, Datsik’s Vortex, and Amon Tobin’s trippy ISAM live…but this one was my favorite by far. One second you’ve got some crazy mechanical visuals of robots and gears grinding (which most people imagine when the first hear dubstep), but then out of no where, you’ve got race cars zooming past or sharks with freakin’ laser beams on their heads staring you down. It was the perfect visual compliment to the beating that Excision gave our eardrums.
There’s still a few more stops on the tour, and I’m sure Excision will be bringing the ‘Executioner’ to any festival that will support it, so look out for upcoming dates and buy them tickets up because they’ve been selling out. You absolutely have to experience this, and show up early so you don’t miss out on Vaski or Paper Diamond. All the friends I went with in Charlotte (who claimed that one night would be enough) quickly changed their tone afterward and had to buy from scalpers to attend the next night. After going twice, I still want more…there’s two stops in April that are about a three-hour drive from me and you can guaran-damn-tee that I’ll be at both.
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