12th Planet has been instrumental in dubstep’s rise to prominence here in the United States, and his earth-shattering set in the Sahara tent at Coachella 2011 impressed the hell out of us here at Dancing Astronaut. When we heard that he would be playing at the Music Box in Hollywood, we couldn’t help but send a reporter out to review the show. What followed was an absolutely awesome performance in which 12th Planet effortlessly wove dubstep classics with brand new material. Read past the break for the full lowdown — as well as some exclusive previews of the tracks he debuted.
We arrived at the Music Box almost an hour before 12th Planet was due to take the stage. As we made our way through security, we were informed that the venue’s main floor was already full, and that latecomers would be restricted to the upper balconies. This wasn’t a show for casual clubbers, but rather a night for diehard dubstep heads — the kind of fans who show up early and stay late. Luckily for us, we had all-access passes with backstage privileges (just one of the perks of being an Astronaut).
When 12th Planet finally appeared behind the decks at 12:20 AM, the roar that greeted him was so insanely loud that it was a little frightening. He opened with a brand new track — an untitled collaboration with Flinch — and the packed ground floor instantly turned into a sea of camera phones. The dubsteppers were here to party, and they weren’t afraid to show it. After building and building, 12th Planet finally unleashed the bass, and suddenly the crowd was transformed into a heaving, uncontainable mass of energy.
For the next two hours, 12th Planet effortlessly alternated between MC and DJ, hyping the crowd up with the microphone and then bringing it to a frenzy with some furious drops. Blasting the audience with CO2 gas during particularly heavy drops didn’t hurt, either. He absolutely rocked the Music Box from start to finish, and not once did the noise level drop below deafening. One of the set’s highlights came when 12th Planet dropped Dirtyphonics’ remix to the Bloody Beetroots’rave anthem, WARP.
In another memorable moment, he dropped another new track, an unholy collection of sounds that sounded like the angry bastard child of Doctor P and Skrillex. As the bass crashed through the Music Box, 12th Planet transformed what were previously normal, healthy people into spineless, wobbling messes.
12th Planet – Untitled (Preview)
During another new track, titled “Corner Pocket,” a mosh pit nearly 10 feet in diameter formed. As we watched groups of shirtless men throw their bodies into another, we couldn’t help but note that only dubstep can produce such a cathartic release of emotion and energy.
12th Planet – Corner Pocket (Preview)
12th Planet is a Los Angeles native, and from our spot backstage, we could tell that he was genuinely happy performing on his home turf. We believe that stage presence is a huge part of any DJ set, and 12th Planet has plenty to spare. The man is a born performer, and he was the heart and soul of the party of that night. For his final song, he jumped up on to the decks, soaking up the waves of energy coming from his adoring fans. He then pulled out his lighter, and asked every member of the audience to do the same.
As we watched one light after another appear in the darkness, hearing the bass rumble beneath our feet, we were reminded once again that only dance music can produce such surreal, magical moments.
It was a perfect crowd, a perfect venue, and a perfect night for some hot, sweaty, filthy, dirty dubstep. Nights like these remind us while we’ll always be awestruck fans at heart.