Live music venues comes in all shapes and sizes, from motor speedways to motorhomes. I love that great music transcends venue size and that while fireworks are fun, often you can find a vibe at your local shows that a festival can’t reproduce.
Insight, a newer local (for me) promoter in Eugene, Oregon, has been bringing bass and trap bookings to the smaller venues in town. Last week they brought out Josh Pan, Great Dane, Um.. and Suma b2b LSV.
The last show I had been to up until this point was Calvin Harris’s Coachella set, which was insane spectacle of light and lasers, so the contrast between the same venue that I’ve DJ’d a sorority formal in verses the Coachella main stage was huge. WOW Hall is a small community center, but occasionally plays host to trap lords such as RL Grime.
I digress, however; the show began before I even entered. The subwoofers shook and rattled the building like a tin can. I honestly bet WOW Hall could withstand a solid earthquake, but $20 was all you needed for your ears to ring the next morning.
Um.. Was Exactly That But Better
I got in right as Um.. had begun. I had heard their names thrown around but weren’t all too familiar with their music. They’ve got an, Um.. distinct style of bass music that I might call “squeeky crazy slightly trappy hybrid dubstep”. We’ll go with Umstep. I’m unlikely to sit down and listen to Umstep too often but in a live setting their music makes people do some crazy things on the dance floor. Mostly students looking for a fun release, the crowd had great energy from the bizarre noise. They dropped songs off their new EP do it for the kids plus plenty of remixed classic bangers like “Burial” and “Core”. Their mixing could be improved, however, they had a few repeated problems with their CDJ’s not playing music that Great Dane and Josh Pan didn’t encounter, and there wasn’t a particular direction to the set.I find many bass and trap artists still have little concept of flow to a set and often don’t create moments that warrant the type of drops they randomly interject in their sets. After about 40 minutes I was ready for Great Dane, but I think they have huge potential since they’ve only put out their first track a little over a year ago. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them touring as a supporting act of a larger tour and on more and more bass lineups.
Great Dane Took Vibing Hard To A New Level
Great Dane has a slower, hip hop influenced trap sound similar to Hucci and UZ. Super deep sub-bass, aggressive claps and snares, smooth pads and often catchy chime synths dominate his sound. He’s been on my radar for over a year and his sound is much more up my alley than Um..’s.
His set was a mixture of trap in the chill and hype varieties, future bass, rap, and at one point he even threw in a house song that he said a friend made. It was a risk that paid off well. Halfway through his set I found myself sitting on the speakers with my buddy Devin letting the bass hit us, vibing quite hard. It was great to see familiar faces at these events. The promoter running the show happened to be in my writing class last year, and here he was, bringing talent to our town.
His “imma great dane” is always a complete slapper as is his “speakers shake” remix. Great Dane even able to perform a miracle and resuscitate “Lean On” into his own remix that went off. Notably missing from his set was his collab with King Henry “Tamale”, which in my opinion is his biggest track. Save for a couple of weak mixing moments (imma great dane dropped by a slow fade looped into the intro of the song and it lost its impact), he knows his way around the decks and left me excited moment after moment.
Josh Pan Stuck With His No-Formula Formula
Josh Pan spun a mad show. I had high expectations for the elusive producer who was once revealed to be a collective of over 20 artists, but that is not actually the truth. It has come to light as a publicity stunt, an an effective one at that. Josh has a completely unique style of trap that varies from song to song, but his set and many of his tracks have that tribal/jungle What So Not sound to them, but with edgier sound design and slightly less formulaic.
Because Josh’s tracks are all so unique, naturally his set becomes more dynamic as well. He was running through so many beat variations, sample sources and synth types every 5 minutes but it never felt overly rushed. He was in the zone on the Pioneer CDJ’s and really was running the crowd through genre to genre, often backspinning out of a song as a smooth transition.