We have seen the Dubstep scene consume America in a short amount of time making many artists from LA to New York, but the origins of this raver bashing, echoing, eccentric music goes back to the UK. It began years ago and has evolved to be mastered by Joseph Ray, Daniel Stephens, and Alana Watson, or better known as Nero.
This group has been around for a number of years creating tracks, but with the wave coming to America, we see them in a different spotlight than their earlier work. “Innocence,” was the first single of their current album ‘Welcome Reality,’ which came out in spring of 2010. This track made them a more recognizable name, but what really made the group seize the hierarchies of Electronic music was, “Me & You.”
After growing recognition, American producers and DJ’s began to make remixes with Nero’s tracks, such as the popular, “Promises,” remix done by Skrillex. The latest remix was of “Crush on You,” whose video pertain to school girls performing incantations and horror while seducing a single male student. It was remixed by Knife Party and uses the playfully melancholy vocals of Alana to set up the main drop.
Their music is something which is not heard of in the hardcore Electronic music created here by artist such as Borgore or Rusko, but instead holds a steady pace only to twist it and contort the music into a pulsating throbbing beat which can only be described as an escaping of a confined beat. Each track on the album does not hold the same raw intensity and power as another making them easily identifiable and unique.
They have previously played in Identity and UK music festivals such as Glastonbury, Reading, and Wireless. This time they will be playing a number of festivals and tours across the country in the coming months including Coachella and Sasquatch.
As American Dillon Francis took the stage the crowd knew of the skills that he possesses. Having toured extensively around America for the past few months, he has gotten a name for himself which is easily recognized as one of the best DJ in North America.
The lights of the Bayou Music Center were turned all the way off and with the lack of a light show, the actual booth from which Francis mixed was a luminescent table, which was the main source of light of the venue with the letters “IDGAFOS,” one of the titles of his latest tracks. The majority of the time he mixed top 40 hits with some of his own still including some of the mainstream American dubstep. The entire set lasted about an hour with the majority of the adolescent to adult crowd jumping and dancing to the recognizable beats.
After he was done there was oddly not a smooth transition from him to Nero, which seemed a bit odd since Nero is a group who is known for their transitions and solid fluidity as a set. The lights of the venue turned on allowing the audience to move freely throughout the venue, which was not a sold out crowd. (During the weekend of this show, there was an Electronic Music festival known as Nocturnal in Apache Texas, which held some major names in the scene, in which Nero was also making an appearance.)
As the lights dimmed ten minutes until eleven, the robotic monotone voice from “New Life,” this was talking about Second Reality, the theme to their album, “Welcome Reality.” The set began when these immense black curtains were removed from the cloth of the booth. It was a steam punk styled set up with small monitors, old amplifiers, as well as old computer equipment piled to make this nearly two story tower of power. There were lights on either side of the stage as well as large LCD panel behind and beside the duo which would show off images of the music videos pertaining to the current track currently at play. The dubstep came immediately to the crowd as Nero began their set with, “Doomsday.” Everyone screamed in unison and let the intensity and sound waves hit their bodies to create that enticing and undeniable feeling to move.
Not only did Nero have an astounding set, they also brought along their original vocals for various tracks, Alana. She started off the night by coming up and backing up “Guilt,” one of the few tracks that she would do vocals for. As the night went on she came in and out, mainly being recognizable hyping up the crowd before the drop on, “Me and You.”
Another favorite, “Innocence,” shook up the crowd as they were revitalized after the mellow track of, “Reaching Out,” which though rhythmic and enticing, does not hold the same pulsating and throbbing beats with Alana saying, “Innocence, you’ll never be mine.”
As the night continued the crowd grew more restless knowing that there were still many other Nero defining tracks. The group stuck mainly to their versions of tracks, not mixing the mainstream version of, “Promises by Skrillex,” with theirs, leaving the impression that they were solely a Nero show. The only noticeable remix was one which has been topping the charts and recently featured in many sets worldwide, that of Knife Party remixing “Crush on You.” Finally as the set was coming to a close, Alana stepped out one last time to do the lyrics to the American favorite, “Promises.”
The set ended with the crowd roaring and enticing chant of, “Nero!” There were few who left the venue missing out on the remixes the duo compiled themselves for this special encore. As the lights dimmed once again, the background LCD and side panel lighting lit up the duo now mixing without the use of their futuristic glasses exposing themselves and exposing the intensity and potent music that was demanded from them. Alana came out once again giving a final performance ending the nearly twenty minute encore screaming, “Thank You Houston.”
This album has been released for nearly two years, and has finally broken America. There is much to look forward to from this group and can only hope their future projects venture them into something as exciting and riveting as what they have achieved this time.
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