Zeds Dead Summer Tour – TOUR REVIEW (Official Lollapalooza Afterparty)

We had the awesome chance to review such a unique experience at the Congress Theater in Chicago. It doubled as the Chicago date of Zeds Dead’s summer tour and an official Lollapalooza afterparty that featured Big Gigantic, Midnight Conspiracy and Big…

Zeds Dead Summer Tour – TOUR REVIEW (Official Lollapalooza Afterparty)

We had the awesome chance to review such a unique experience at the Congress Theater in Chicago. It doubled as the Chicago date of Zeds Dead’s summer tour and an official Lollapalooza afterparty that featured Big Gigantic, Midnight Conspiracy and Big Chocolate. You can check out our review after the break.

The moment I was stopped on the street outside Congress Theater and asked about heroin and mescaline, I knew it was going to be a strange adventure.  Encounters like this are the norm whenever I visit this Logan Square neighborhood venue.  There are always odd characters inside and outside the theater, but that never stops a good time for happening.  Being an official Lollapalooza after party, folks didn’t start leaving Lolla and showing up till door time, and even then the crowd was quite sparse.  There were a lot of teenagers in neon colors waiting in line, quickly trying to conceal their illegal items before heading in for a thorough and partially invasive pat down.  The crumbling Congress Theater slowly filled up with ravers and it was sure to be a strange night.

Big Chocolate kicked off the night’s festivities around 10pm while the theater was still hardly occupied.  Cameron Argon is a one-man show that has a big sound and a major impact.  Cameron “Big Chocolate” Argon mixed the classic Darude track “Sandstorm” into his set, but he also included a little Skrillex as well; two artists that every producer seems to incorporate at one time or another.  With a huge sound consisting of elements from drum and bass, dubstep, and complex house music, Big Chocolate had the small audience going crazy.  The response was amazing to me, I have never seen a crowd respond that well to an opening act before, but Big Chocolate brought his A-game and in return he got a wild crowd.

By the time Midnight Conspiracy took the stage, the plumes of smoke were starting to rise from the dance floor, the temperature was reaching an all-time high, and it was definitely time for some grimy dubstep.  Chicago-based Midnight Conspiracy had a sort of performance art going on with their show.  With the bass dropping in all the right places, during the show there were three women on stage doing a variety of things.  Two of these women, who were dressed in what appeared to be tight leather outfits, had fabric-looking wings connected to them that they twirled to the beat, while a third woman had what looked like an angle grinder that she used spray sparks all over the stage.  It was all very bizarre, but entertaining nonetheless and the music paired very well with all that was happening on stage.  Along with mixing in a little Knife Party, Midnight Conspiracy played their new 2012 release “The Eye” which had had the entire theater shaking.

Around 11:40pm Big Gigantic came out to a killer applause and their name flashing in lights above the crowd.  Big Gigantic, or Big G for short, is an interesting ensemble consisting of a saxophone player with a laptop, as well as a drummer.  Before this show I hadn’t heard much from Big G, but now I can’t get enough of them.  These two guys jammed almost constantly until 1am, stopping for only a few words between a couple songs.  As well as playing all their top hits like “Going Down,” “Sky High” and “The Uprising,” Big G also laid down a powerful remix of Kanye West’s “Lamborghini Mercy,” which absolutely made the crowd go nuts.  For over an hour Big G strung together a set that was so fluid and well executed, their entire set could have been just one complex and amazing song.

Somewhere around the 1:30am hour the Canadian duo Zeds Dead took to the decks and immediately got the house pumping.  With a massive sound system to work with and huge LED board displaying trippy graphics behind them, Zeds Dead started in on an intense hour and a half long set.  Before artists DC and Hooks first became Zeds Dead they were together under a different title in 2004, which is when they started sampling rap and hip-hop into their music.  Years later that hip-hop influence still shows in their music.  The line “it’s a party” from Waka Flocka’s “Grove St. Party” was instantly recognizable and had the crowd in an uproar.  Later on in the set Zeds Dead started with their 2010 song “Rude Boy,” which they mixed into Kanye West’s “Lamborghini Mercy,” which in turn was mixed into “Make It Bun Dem” by Skrillex and Damian Marley.  These seamless transitions had me immediately convinced that Zeds Dead is the king EDM.  With all this chaos going on I finally realized what a completely sold-out show at the Congress looks like, and it is quite the sight.  The crowd went wild for Zeds Dead; there were hula-hooping girls, crowd-surfing teenagers, and a lot of people trying to get away with smoking inside the Congress while listening to the music.  During the hour and half set Zeds Dead also made sure to work in “Sleaze – feat. Mistajam” by Knife Party as well as the famous “Intergalactic” from Beastie Boys.  Zeds Dead rapper Omar LinX also made an appearance on stage before the group finished their set and left the stage.  Soon after, however, they came back for an encore remix of “Fight of My Life” by Colin Munroe ft. Pusha T.  With their hands in the air, DC and Hooks told the crowd to do the same, and when the bass dropped the audience inside Congress was the most rowdy I have ever seen, especially at 3am.

This sold out show was unlike any I have ever experienced before.  The crowd consisted of every type of person imaginable, and all were having the time of their lives.  This show had a little bit of everything too; dubstep, drum and bass, performance art, hip-hop influence, and more.  For those who aren’t too moved by electronic dance music, I’d bet that Big Gigantic will make you want to dance, and for those who haven’t yet heard much from Zeds Dead, or even Midnight Conspiracy, I absolutely recommend giving them a listen.

Information about the tour…
Tour:  Zeds Dead Summer Tour / Official Lollapalooza Afterparty
Artists:  Zeds Dead, Big Gigantic, Midnight Conspiracy, Big Chocolate
Reviewer:  Michael Nutting
Date: August 4, 2012
Venue:  Congress Theater in Chicago, IL