Thursday, March 9, 2017

Never Say Die Black Label Tour @ Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver, Colorado (3/4/17) [Review]

Review by:
Justin D'Amico

Photos by:
Emma Ceaglske


Saturday was a highly anticipated night for the rowdy riddim heads of Denver. Together Reload Productions and Rebudz formed like Voltron to bring the people a massive show. The line-up featured the heavy hitters from Never Say Die Black Label: SKisM, Trampa, TrollPhace, and Ponicz. Along with Denver's own !Tyro and contest winner Bloodhound. The place was hot and sticky for such an intense display of dubstep, it was almost to much to handle.


This was the most extensive stage production I have ever seen before at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom. There were nine lasers all together, two coming from the back of the room to the front, and seven on stage zapping over the crowd. It was a literal river of light flowing in the air just above the people on the main floor. From above on the balcony so many beams were glowing that you could barely see the hundreds of people dancing underneath. Absolutely epic laser show indeed, and you know I love me some lasers.


Starting off the night was DJ mix contest winners Bloodhound. They got it going with a few hundred peeps who made it out right at eight o'clock. Denver has the most dedicated crowds, the guys from Bloodhound were stoked to see such a good turnout so early in the evening. They were hype and got the place in the mood for a night of fire. Bloodhound did a very good job with their live mix keeping it fresh and fitting with the theme of the night, dark bass music.



Next was the homie !Tyro, possibly the most talented producer in Denver and emerging fast in the game. Lately !Tyro has been doing big collabs with his friends and fellow producers like Detrace, Shank Aaron, and for his other project Slabs. For the second half of his set he brought up Detrace for a little impromptu b2b which was proper lit. !Tyro was a perfect way to transition into the Never Say Die Black Label squad, he is probably not far from becoming a part of their crew. His crushing dubstep and creative production will soon lead him to a label like Never Say Die I'm sure of it. The most memorable part of !Tyro's set was where he had the crowd sing along to "Woo Boost" by Rusko. It was hilarious to hear everyone yelling out "Wub, wub, wa, wa, wa, wub wubb." To close out his set !Tyro shared some brand new music which was just straight daggers of bass, so crisp and clear the music stabbed you in the heart.

New to me was Ponicz, one of the amazingly talented guys representing the NSD Black Label. I have never had to privilege to see Ponicz before and what a treat it was. He, like all of the Never Say Die producers, is very clever in how he mixes his live set. Starting off he was sort of melodic and eerie and then all the sudden he pulled out the wubs! Extreme riddim and helicopters through out the course of the set. Well constructed transitions and unpredictable changes, this is another theme of many of the artists SKisM endorses. Anyone can spin some music, but a Never Say Die artist will brilliantly twist it into a whole new feel as only they know how to do. Ponicz fits in well with the NSD Black Label and with talent like his he could headline a tour before long. 



The boss man SKisM took the middle of the rotation, and as always he was essentially flawless. He came out with a track that said the word "mosh" and immediately half of the room turned into a mosh pit. It was incredible to see the energy of the room amplify so quickly. If you don't realize it, you should, SKisM is always the best DJ at the show. He never slips up and always has something you haven't heard yet. Not only that he will create triple and quadruple drops live. You rarely see him with his headphones off for longer than ten seconds, because he is always working to perfect his live mix. It's overwhelming how many drops were packed into his hour on stage! SKisM is a great conductor for the crowd too, he always knows exactly how to bop around and dance to every song he is blending into the set. If you ever feel lost just watch him and he will guide you to where the changes are coming next. He loves to switch out the drop at the last second for a harder one, and he does it so well. To close his set it sounded like SKisM had all four of the CDJs spinning with a massive quad-drop, it was beautiful.

It was now time to go hard, as Trampa took the stage. My god does he know he to get things riled up, after about thirty seconds he had more than half of room moshing again. He yelled out to the crowd, "Hey Denver! Enter that mosh pit right now!" This set was a complete headbangers ball, hair was flying around as were bodies, just utter mayhem through out. Trampa has very fine tuned skills with his live mix, he always kept you guessing what was next. A particular section I remember Trampa built up one song, then right before the drop started a second build up, and when that build was at the peak he switched to a third track for the drop! His style is non-stop drops, just about every thirty seconds it was appropriate to flail extremities. Trampa is a mad man on the decks, a perfect example of the Never Say Die Black Label and just how hard they can go.

Closing out the night was the big man TrollPhace. Right away he addressed the crowd saying, "You know this is the last stop on the tour right? I can't think of a better place to be." TrollPhace slammed on the gas pedal and never let up for his whole hour on stage. He got the mosh pits going again, and was able to match Trampa's intensity with super hard hitting bass. During a section of the set he slowed down and told everyone, "Here's a new future bass song, I hope you'll fux wit." He started to play a melodic build up and then all the sudden; dubstep cannons! TrollPhace gets back on the mic, "Did you think I was fucking serious dude?" We were all trolled live by TrollPhace, absolutely classic! He left the room breathless and couldn't have done a better job closing out the night and the Never Say Die Black Label Tour.





Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom was ablaze after a show like that. This was one of the hottest and sweatiest shows I have ever been to. Partially due to the amazing performers, but also because of the dedicated bass warriors that represent their city in Denver. Let's not forget the superhero promoters that put these events together Rebudz and Reload Productions. Stay up to date with show announcements and contests by following both on all social media platforms. Big props to Emma Ceaglske at Eyediola Photography for capturing such brilliant images for us all to enjoy. Coming up next month you can catch the Hyper Future Tour at the Ogden Theatre with the another chunk of the Never Say Die squad including: Eptic, Must Die!, Gentlemens Club, Shank Aaron and more. Peep the link for tickets. Love and luck to everyone in the Denver bass family, see you all soon. 

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