In under two years, the production alias ‘Feed Me’ has made waves throughout the electro and dubstep genres, constantly placing tracks in Beatport’s top 10 list. Being Deadmau5′s first major signing may seem like a tough honor to live up to, but Feed Me, real name Jon Gooch, has exceeded expectations and has more than secured a loyal following away from the mau5trap shadow. This year, ‘Teeth’, Feed Me’s huge, mouth shaped platform for the DJ to perform from emblazoned with led screens, came along for the tour, with support from 12th Planet and a DJ set from Jon “Barber” Gutwillig of the Disco Biscuits.Billed solely as ‘Barber DJ’, this opening act has spawned quite the internet controversy due to lack of recent The Disco Biscuits tour dates, bringing out many curious fans a little early to investigate the action. Taking the stage in a beige sports jacket, Barber fist pumped his way through this set, switching between dubstep tracks and some house music. A good portion of the crowd raged, while many others found humor in such a relevant guitarist dancing and fist pumping to a generally empty venue. I should emphasize, Barber was busting out hilarious dance moves the entire time – lots of fist pumping, but some walking back and forth, head bobbing, and mastery of cheesy dance moves. The music, to his credit, the music wasn’t terrible – I’m a sucker for hip hop lyrics and dubstep – and any crowds gonna eat up a Daft Punk closer, but I just don’t understand why not pick up the guitar and play over the beats like Gramatik’s live guitarist? The guy’s hands were in the air a lot of the time, so it was not like he had to tend to the decks constantly, and he can obviously shred, so why not make it something a little more unique?After a brief intermission, 12th Planet, oft considered one of the fathers of North American dubstep, brought a new wave of energy to the stage, jumping and moving hectically around the decks from the first heavy bass drop. 12th Planet is the quintessential party DJ, and he manages to pull it off without seeming cheesy or getting labeled ‘bro-step’. He mixes his own high energy productions with some of the best in the genre, keeps the bass loud and dark enough, and isn’t afraid to cross genres into anything from hip hop to moombahton in order to keep the crowd bouncing. He dropped several tracks off his new EP, ‘The End Is Near!’ – which is a fantastic – album, including his collaboration with Skrillex and Kill The Noise, ‘Burst’. His other collaboration with the two artists, ‘Right On Time’, is an absolute killer moombahton track that made the venue shake. Seeing 12th Planet is always a treat, if you missed it, there is an hour and a half long set of Skrillex and 12th Planet going back to back from Ultra that is a must listen.
Finally, stagehands began to unravel the giant tarp surrounding the humongous structure on stage. This thing is massive, absolutely towering over the people standing on stage. Pictures just don’t accurately do it justice. A huge, evil smile is created on stage via about 24 giant light up screens shaped like teeth. The DJ would then stand atop the smile in the middle, with a vast array of light up tubes behind him. As the music progressed, the ‘Teeth’ would project different images and animations synched up with the music. It truly was a sight to behold and makes the entire event a whole new experience. It was hard not to be fixated on the ‘Teeth’, wondering what could possibly happen next. Feed Me’s music matches the visuals in terms on intensity. He starts out with some slower beats while the lights remain generally stagnant. The tempo slowly raises into almost a progressive house sound – not at all similar to what we are used to from Feed Me’s studio work. Eventually, he drops that signature, hard hitting electro sound and introduces some heavy wobbly bass, inciting the crowd to near riot, while the lights flicker with crazy animations. As the set progresses, we are reintroduced to some of Feed Me’s classics like ‘Grand Theft Ecstasy’, ‘Cott’s Face’, and ‘Blood Red’, while the ‘Teeth’ managed to consistently top itself with new animations. In the beginning it seems like the ‘Teeth’ are simply an equalizer, but then it begins the illusion of bleeding, or of singing the lyrics, and it is just awesome. Highlights came towards the end, with an interesting Nero mash up of his ‘Innocence’ remix and ‘Crush On You’, as well as an encore of ‘Trapdoor’ off his latest EP, ‘Escape From Electric Mountain’.
Overall, this was an excellent show. Two items of note are one, the early start time which brought just a little bit of awkwardness to those used to dancing to this music into the early hours of the morning, and two, this crowd was just bizarre even for a darker EDM show. I could have seen anything in that crowd and not been surprised. It’s gotten to the point where these young kids feel the need to one up themselves and get into meaningless fights while trying to create mosh pits on the Terminal 5 floor. Other than that, 12th Planet gave New York one of his standard over the top party sets, and Feed Me’s ‘Teeth’ is a sight to behold. Barber’s set was good, but we’d all obviously prefer if he played the guitar.