The “Rage Room” experience finally landed in downtown Phoenix, after three months of waiting, on March 4 as a sold-out show at the Van Buren. The performers and crowd competed to match each other’s energy throughout the whole event.
Doors officially opened at 9 p.m., although a good chunk of people, myself included, were piled up in the space between doors and security about 15 minutes prior.
Jessica Audiffred was slated to attend, however local DJ SVNDAY DRVR filled in at the last minute as an opener, and he did not disappoint. SVNDAY DRVR also recently performed at Lovey Dubby hosted by Bass Place in Tucson just two weeks prior.
A mosh pit started in the first 20 minutes of the DJ’s performance — something not many opening acts can accomplish. The opening crowd was decently sized, unlike some shows where lots of people wait until the headliner’s set time to show up.
A back-to-back set from local DJs MUTIL8 and Sed’s Vortex was next on the menu that night. The duo played well known tracks in the scene from multiple genres, as well as IDs. Sed’s Vortex also performed vocals of one of her unreleased tracks live on Saturday. She is also performing in early April at PHXLights: Among the Stars.
The two then came down to ground level to hang with the crowd on the side for a few minutes, as Executioner began his set. During this set there was a decrease in the crowd’s energy and overall engagement, but it was still an amazing set.
Tape B took the stage next, with lots of deeper music from the more natural side of dubstep. He also hung out and took pictures with the crowd after. Tape B will be performing at Hard Summer 2023 along with B2Bs by Kayzo and Sullivan King, Skrillex and Fred again.. and many others.
INFEKT, Tape B, and Executioner are all traveling support for the “Rage Room” tour, along with a hefty lineup across the entire tour, including Chee, Al Ross, Moore Kismet and Versa, to name a few.
As INFEKT played, I noticed the stage was becoming hazy, presumably from all the fog being dispensed and the large amounts of vapes present among the ravers. INFEKT played a lot of his signature gritty style of music, including tracks like “Orgalorg 2021,” a third official variation of the classic “Orgalorg,” and “Das Riddim” with Virtual Riot. He opened his set with “CAVERNS,” a collaboration with Samplifire from his latest EP, “CHOMP.” He also played a slightly edited version of “Paul McRiddim”; the lyric that usually goes, “so this is what they call riddim?” was edited to say “trench” in its place.
There was a roughly 10 minute wait before MARAUDA powerfully took the stage. The room was instantly washed over with red and yellow strobe lights. My earplugs became uncomfortable after about five minutes because of how loud it was.
Every single transition between songs was soaked in hellish delay, and as the set progressed I couldn’t tell whether the chanting was in the song or the crowd around me.
New tracks like “RAGE ROOM” and “SINEWS'' blasted through the speakers, while familiar songs like his remix of Herobust’s “WTF” and his iconic edit of Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike’s “Tremor” dominated the venue. Unreleased tracks like “SPILL YOUR BLOOD” with SVDDEN DEATH were also prevalent.
Unfortunately, events like these can also take their toll. A man seemingly passed out and was carried outside by staff in the middle of the set. Shows like these can get sweaty and tiring quickly for many people, and those who attend should stay hydrated as best as they can.
After the show ended, the crowd began chanting “one more song!” to no avail, as the lights came on and MARAUDA took a picture with all of us. Then he silently left the stage for the night.
It’s amazing how distinct every set was, with each artist showcasing their own style of bass, and hopefully each artist returns to Phoenix in the near future. All we can do now is wait.