Chances are, if you’re into electronic music at all, or even if you’re not, you have heard the name Zeds Dead thrown around. Hailing from Toronto’s dubstep scene, Zeds Dead has become one of the top dubstep producing duos in the world.
Originally producers of hip hop beats, they have been able to flawlessly mix elements of electro, dubstep, hip-hop and drum and bass into their productions, making unique tracks in an electronic culture that sometimes lacks creativity and originality.
The members of Zeds Dead were kind enough to make a pit stop on their highly anticipated Graveyard Tour at UCSB’s own Hub just in time for Halloween — and post-Halloween — celebrations. The show was put on by Sigma Phi Epsilon, and proceeds of the event were donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
The show opened with a set by Kyle Robinson, also known as DJ K-Rob, a student at UCSB. K-Rob has also been studious when it comes to spinning — his set was filled with electro and house tracks that got the crowd going and kicked off the evening perfectly.
After his set, another one of UCSB’s very own, very talented mixers, DJ Audio Pool, switched up the vibe with his heavy bass-ridden tracks, sounds most audience members were looking for. He succeeded in keeping the crowd going and pumping them up for later acts.
Slade House, a drum and bass producer out of Ventura, was up next. The crowd was already energized from the previous DJs when he came on, and I’ll be honest, I wanted to give this guy a chance. I really did.
But playing drum and bass with no rhythm with an MC yelling who knows what into the microphone doesn’t really cut it for me. I’d have to say the crowd agreed. It was as if the first two DJs filled up a balloon full of air that was about to burst, and instead of putting more air into the balloon until it exploded with energy, he pricked a needle into the side and completely deflated it.
By the end of his set, no one was dancing, which is pretty hard to do considering just about anyone can throw their iTunes on and get at least some people moving. A brief and somewhat awkward intermission ensued until the next performer, one half of the dubstep duo the Killabits, came on.
The Killabits have been known to collaborate with Zeds Dead, so their appearance as a special guest was not a huge surprise. It’s also safe to say that the Killabits killed it (no pun intended … well, maybe a little bit).
Bringing heavy bass throughout his whole set, the DJ dropped new remixes of Kid Sister as well as a fair share of crowd pleasers, such as “Reptile’s Theme” by Skrillex, which got everyone moving. After about thirty minutes of pure bass goodness, he wrapped up his set with Nero’s “Innocence,” which got about three or four people kicked out of the Hub for crowd surfing. Not a bad way to set the stage for the main event, Zeds Dead.
Zeds Dead’s performance was absolutely phenomenal. Straying from their usual dubstep set list, they mixed in elements of drum and bass, as well as house beats. However, they still kept true to their dubstep roots, dropping tracks such as their original production “Out for Blood,” and their remix of Blue Foundation’s “Eyes on Fire” (it’s a remix of the “Twilight” theme song. Don’t ask me how I know that). The energy Zeds Dead put into their set resonated throughout the crowd, making the Killabits seem tame in comparison.
Being near the stage was not for the faint of heart; crowd surfing and mosh pits were aplenty, much to the dismay of our school’s Community Service Officers. But let’s be honest here, what good is a live music performance without a little mayhem? Zeds Dead would not have been doing their job if they didn’t cause a ruckus.
After 45 minutes of flawless mixing, Zeds Dead finally finished off the event with an encore of recently produced, unreleased tracks.
The one characteristic Zeds Dead has in common with every great performer I’ve seen is that when I left the show, I wanted more. It’s like when you drop a girl off after your first date, and you’re thinking, “Damn, I wish that could have lasted just another hour.”
I’m not saying Zeds Dead is anything like the girls I date (or girls I wish I were dating), but they do put on a hell of show and I would love to see them again.