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Review: Together Opening Party 2013

The noisiest party in town is back.

It seems a lot of people had been waiting for the return of the wild dystopia that is Together. Amnesia was rammed early on, with a young and eager sneaker clad crowd ready to go absolutely mental to the bass laid before them. There was practically a picnic going down in the car park outside when I arrived, only missing grass, sun and a cheese platter. Amnesia had wisely allowed attendees beyond the usual smoking pen and punters had spilled out of the walls and were sitting in circles on the ground and dangling along low walls as far as the eye could see.

I ventured inside during Major Lazer who were stoking an already frenzied fire by hyping crowd with shout outs and the cheeky dance moves their dancers are known for. At one point they were victims of their own success, as an over-eager front row invaded the stage in such high numbers they had to pause and firmly usher these eager beavers back to ground level. The young ladies were having such a time they seemed not to get the message, until the crowd gleefully chorused in unison with the Major Lazer team “get the f*** off the stage!” and business resumed with the Major Lazer hit ‘Watch Out For This'.

Over in the main room a DJ set from Chase and Status was properly going off; this was bass music in its most abrasive form. Punters lurched and thrashed to slow and varied rhythms whilst the speakers growled, spluttered and coughed out hits from Chase and Status' No More Idols like ‘End Credits'. Red flashing lights aided the apocalyptic industrial ambiance and rebellious youth sentiments were high, as fans relished the very fact that this is music most of the world does not understand. The scene was only marred for me by the ever-present MC, whose role of hype-merchant is completely defunct in a room so highly charged, and in the end just clutters the already dense music.

Later in the main room, a DJ set from Pendulum was met with even more appreciation, if possible. It was a neat packaging of Pendulum best-ofs, which featured plenty of the chunky drops we know Pendulum for best. A beatless ‘Hold Your Colour' made for an exciting introduction, dropping into the golden oldie ‘Slam' to start the dancing. ‘Witchcraft' and ‘Tarantula' were other highlights of a set which had all the right ingredients, but chewed through them a little too quickly and carelessly for my tastes.

In the Terrace it was headliner time. The infamous Skrillex was starting on the back foot where I was concerned. I'm not a fan of his music, but was hoping to be won over by the energetic show I've heard so much about. Conditionally, I was. Whilst I'm not about to go buy his album, Skrillex's energy, creative song selection and the sheer guts to his production has clawed away my clinging prejudices and I can genuinely say - boy's got skills. Considering his relatively short time on the global stage, he had a vast catalogue of hits to thrash out, including ‘The Devil's Den', Rock'n'Roll', ‘Make it Bun Dem' and ‘First of the Year'. These neo-dubstep monsters were peppered with some genre hopping classics like Disclosure's ‘When a Fire Starts to Burn' and not-one-but-two favourites from Notorious B.I.G. with ‘Runnin' and ‘Juicy'. This helped break up the heavy onslaught with some colour and also cleverly roped in the line of skeptics around the room's edge of in which I was stubbornly standing until this point. It was savage, high-octane music, matched excellently by an incredible laser show, the perfect visual accompaniment to sub-basslines which reverberated through one's vital organs all the way to the bone.

Skrillex himself made for good viewing – easily as into it as the entire front row put together. Such a shame then, that he was cast in gloom for his set's duration. Despite this technical misdirection, individuals in the packed out Terrace were keen sighted enough to pick out his movements and ape them a thousand times over. He danced, they danced; he sang, they sang. “You're like a rave choir!” he yelled at the crowd, after a particularly fulsome vocal effort. His final offering was the track that began it all, ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites', which he first played straight up, then double time and finally closed with a piano interpretation of the main theme, as blue lasers combed the roaring masses. “Holy shit!” Skrillex bellowed into the microphone. “Make some fucking noise for yourself - we survived!”

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