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Review: SKisM, Mayhem, CRNKN at Deluxe 

click to enlarge SKisM producing on his four-deck setup. - BRIAN WEISS
  • SKisM producing on his four-deck setup.
  • Brian Weiss
Contrary to my last show at the Deluxe, a respectful and loyal crowd didn't take precedence over the artists performing. That's because there wasn't much of a crowd in the first place. I'll be generous and say the crowd reached triple digits at its peak; a despicable turnout for a town that has been showing increased support for local electronic shows. I can't put my finger on a specific reason for such a small crowd, but I suspect spring break had a say in the matter. For the fans that did show up, well they received one hell of a show.

I first heard of CRNKN at the beginning of his journey as a music producer - just over a year ago. A remix of Purity Ring's "Obedear" caught my attention and he hasn't lost it since.

20-year old Gabe Baer has come a long ways since those days, dabbling in a multitude of different EDM genres but settling in mostly on trap. So it was no surprise when Baer played a festival-trap filled set, not that I'm complaining one bit. Remixes of Schoolboy Q's new banger "Man Of The Year" and Drake's "Trophies" were great, but it was everything else that made Baer's set so great. There wasn't one track that I would've walked out on, which is saying something since the temperature was close to reaching the boiling point halfway through the set. Oh and anytime you spin some Kanye West into a set, you earn some bonus points in my book, for what that's worth.

Before we get any further I'd like to throw out a disclaimer: I am not the slightest bit in shape. Trust me, it's relevant.

Next on stage was Atlanta-based DJ Mayhem, who tried his best to live up to his name and cause mayhem. Anthony Rotella is a fan of microphones. Or at least that's what I gathered from his hour-long set. Rotella, making his second stop in Indianapolis, was an avid user of the mic, attempting to get the crowd hype at every possible opportunity. I lost count of the times he said, "Indianapolis, get loud." But it worked, and it worked well.

Playing a heavy dose of trap music mixed in with a pinch of dubstep, Mayhem accomplished his goal. The amount of dancing, jumping and arm flailing was intense. I, for one, started to cramp - told you it was relevant. Judge if you wish, but I say it's a byproduct of a great set. Plus, who doesn't love a nice workout to some great music? Beats a gym membership in my opinion. Rotella added the admittedly overplayed DJ Snake's "Turn Down For What" to the end of his set providing a cliché but appropriate transition to headliner SKisM's set.

Tommy Dash, better known as his stage name SKisM, is headlining the Rage By The Pound tour. But I'd like to rename it the Rage By The Ton tour, because one pound isn't enough for this experience. Huge drops and electric beats was the name of game here as SKisM kept the momentum from both openers rolling. The dubstep was powerful. You could hear the passion in it. At times, I thought the floor was going to collapse. None more evident than when Dash remixed Flosstradamus' "Mosh Pit."

The place went crazy. Some dude tucked his arms into his shirt impersonating a T-Rex and break-danced on the floor. Picture that for a moment. Another was hopping around like a Kangaroo in the Australian desert; to say it was an interesting few minutes would be an understatement.

SKisM also mixed Benga's "Night" with some filthy dubstep to make a track that I wouldn't mind hearing over and over. No encore, which was a little disappointing; but if that's my only gripe, it was a great show.

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