Audiences were energized and invigorated by the pulsating electronic beats.

Audiences were energized and invigorated by the pulsating electronic beats.


By Mike Martinoli
Alumni Contributor

I’ve covered a good number of shows at the E-Factory in the past, but the atmosphere of Excision’s performance on March 16 heightened our senses to a completely new degree.

The night began in the long, winding will-call line where I had the time to have a couple of conversations with a few groups who made the drive to Pennsylvania for the show.

I recommended Jim’s for post-show cheesesteaks and we admired the graffiti on the wall ahead of us.  The muffled yet strong bass from the inside could already be heard.

Security was hyped since the fiasco after Zeds Dead, their seriousness was comical to say the least.

But alas, I walked in and began to soak in what was in store for the Electric Factory tonight.

No matter how similar or different you are to the person standing next to you, one unique aspect of live EDM shows is that every person is connected through the tempo and repetitive rhythm of the beat pumping throughout the venue.

The crowd looks to the DJ as their conductor, defining and creating a storyline expressed through his choice of music.

As I made my way to the front during Paper Diamond’s opening set, each of my senses was simultaneously stimulated.

The scent of curly fries from the snack back, the bass amps that vibrated my skin, the lasers that slowly began to light, I knew that moment was the calm before the storm about to erupt.

The room suddenly lit up and a curtain dropped, grandly revealing “The Executioner”  structure to the crowd.  It consists of a 420-square-foot bunker that Excision DJ-s inside of with hundreds of 3-D animations projected onto it throughout the entire exciting night.

This video mapping masterwork projected animated clips that were perfectly synched to the music.  Picture this—a sliding window revealing Excision DJ-ing at times then closing to complete the structure for projected clips.

Excision raised the bar of the electronic music performance by incorporating this intense audiovisual component to his set throughout his current tour.

Unlike your high school math teacher’s projector, the projections employed by Excision effortlessly helped to create a futuristic stage production which completely redefined the whole experience of witnessing a live electronic show.

These epileptic visuals were also combined with 100,000 watts of bass delivered by the unmatchable work of the PK Sound crew.

The first time I experienced the delivery of their equipment first hand was when I shot for Caspa at Union Transfer,  yet Excision’s set up is even more complex.

Simply put, more vibrating bass.

The night climaxed when he slowed down the tempo and played a trance-like version of his hit single “Sleepless.”  The strobe lights ceased and a mellow blue fog filled the venue.

The music dropped and a burst of cotton confetti exploded into the air and slowly drifted onto the heads of the bodies below.   I allowed myself to fall into the trance, a one-on-one intimate relationship with the music in the sea of the diverse crowd.

His particular style of expression is something that all EDM fans can understand.  The packed crowd at The Electric Factory was universally plugged into his groove for hours until the front doors opened again at closing.

Excision returns to Pennsylvania this Saturday, April 6 for a show at Stage AE in Pittsburgh.

After this enjoyable performance, I’m looking forward to seeing what artists stop in Philly this coming summer.


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