Rusko Spring Tour 2012 – REVIEW
We got the chance to attend and review Rusko’s spring tour recently when it made its stop at the Congress Theater in Chicago. You can check out the review of the show after the break.
We got the chance to attend and review Rusko’s spring tour recently when it made its stop at the Congress Theater in Chicago. You can check out the review of the show after the break. On May 5 the Rusko Spring Tour rolled through Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood at the historic Congress Theater. Before one could possibly fathom how this Rusko experience went down, it must be explained what it takes to enter this venue. I ended up driving over to Congress due to this being a late show. The drive there was fine, but trying to navigate the venue’s section of Milwaukee Avenue is a nightmare after the show let out. There were half naked teenagers running through the streets every-which way! The line for entering Congress starts across the street and is slowly snaked around the corner and towards the venue. If you don’t want to be yelled at by large security guards, this is not the place for you. This venue’s crowd control methods are a bit questionable at best. After having my ticket scanned by a friendly gentleman I entered the line to be searched. I’ve been searched at every single one of the shows I’ve attended at numerous venues, but nothing compares to a good old fashioned Congress search. One reviewer on Yelp.com explains this process beautifully by saying “…if you have testicles they will finagle them and if you have breasts they will grope them.” After a body search that can only be equated to a practice the TSA might employ, immediate entry into the Congress lobby presented a large high-ceiling room that appeared to be quite old and historic. There was a DJ spinning in the lobby who I recognized to be a recent graduate of the high school I went to, so that was quite a coincidence. Moving forward presented two options, either head upstairs to the balcony, or straight ahead to the dance floor. The floor was the only option for me, so off I went, wading through the rave kids who were hardly wearing any clothes. As I moved further inside the Congress there was already an unrecognizable DJ spinning on stage. There weren’t many people at the venue yet, and it stayed that way till Rusko took the stage many hours later. After this local act finished another DJ came on, and he also wasn’t on the bill. Neither of these producers really impressed me as their styles were generic and nothing really stood out. After the riff-raff was out of the way DJ Zebo started spinning and the crowd finally started responding. Zebo is a Chicago local who varies in style from Electro, to Dutch Tech House, to even Juke Core. I enjoyed Zebo but did not find myself wanting to get out on the dance floor and enjoy his music. I checked out Zebo from a distance and what sounded more like simple Drum and Bass beats just weren’t all that appealing. Like most acts, however, Zebo had his ups and downs. His highlights included a mix of Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Sandstorm” from Darude, and “Chi City Bitch” which was a remix of Tyga’s “Rack City.” Zebo closed his set with a Beastie Boys mash up, no doubt in remembrance of their late member Adam Yauch who passed away on May 4. While Zebo’s style was not entirely on par with my taste, Sigma took the stage and blew me away. Sigma, who is from London, came off as more of a dubstep producer even though he describes himself as being more focused on Drum and Bass as well as Electronica and Dub. There was plenty of wobble bass to be heard from Sigma, and he mixed all the crowd favorites into his set. Major hits from Flux Pavilion, Skrillex, and even a Rusko song or two were worked into his flashy set. I enjoyed Sigma quite a bit because he had a certain flow to his set that made it very easy to dance to. The rest of the crowd picked up on this as well and all of a sudden the raging was on. A melting pot of every color, age, and size of person imaginable were all together on the dance floor, flailing around in whatever fashion they chose, expressing themselves with the music. Finally the crowd was entirely involved, and the party had officially started. It took Rusko a good 15-20 minutes to come on after all his equipment had gotten set up on stage. The crowd was quickly getting restless as many were complaining about the heat. When you shove that many people together while they are all dancing and moving, the situation is going to get a tad hot and sweaty. Rusko then shows up on stage, him and all his mullet-mohawk gloriousness, and the crowd was once again ready to move. As I expected, Rusko mixed quite a few tracks off his recent 2012 album release “Songs” where he sampled “Somebody to Love,” “Skanker,” and “Whistle Crew” from. Rusko’s fairly recent teaming with rap group Cypress Hill also came into play with a remix of their partnered track “Roll It, Light It.” A very unexpected mix of rapper DMX’s “Party Up (Up In Here)” brought more applause than I ever would have thought. I wouldn’t have figured a bunch of rave kids to know much about a rapper such as DMX, but the track was so wildly popular I was almost convinced the floor was quaking under the dancing and bouncing around. Rusko also made sure to mix in his ever popular “Everyday” song as well as “Woo Boost” that had the crowd yelling a silly sounding “Woo” at all the appropriate times. The venue was not only at its fullest for Rusko, but the crowd was also the most active and the loudest, proving that of course even a very talented opener such as Sigma could not trump the famous Rusko. What added to Rusko’s stage presence, besides the constant energy he put forth to dance along to his music, was his stage platform that raised and lowered at different times. Hanging behind him was Rusko’s name in lights that was set up in such a way that each letter could individually move up or down to help form different arks or slants with his name. Despite the many kids that were falling over from the drugs, the heat, or the alcohol, this show was an incredible experience. If you don’t get a chance to check out Rusko I would recommend giving any dubstep show a chance. The one thing I’ll be looking for in the future is artists that produce music that’s easy to dance to, not just constant bass and robot grinding noises such as with some dubstep. Rusko wasn’t just a show, but an experience, and after hearing Sigma as well I’m definitely going to check him out some more.
Information about the review…
Tour: Rusko Spring Tour 2012
Artists: Rusko, Sigma, Zebo
Reviewer: Michael Nutting
Date: May 5, 2012
Venue: Congress Theater in Chicago, IL