Rusko Tore The Showbox DownPosted by Daniel Ahrendt
Christopher Mercer has been an active dub step producer under the name of Rusko since 2006. He grew up in a musically vibrant atmosphere and graduated from Leeds College of Music with a degree in music production. He has put his education to astounding use putting out exceptionally up-beat music in his genre, working with M.I.A and Rihanna on their material, and touring the world as a one man dance hall fire brand.
If you don’t frequent the rave scene in Seattle then you probably would’ve found this show ridiculous. Fans lined the block looking for tickets outside the Showbox long after venue staff made it perfectly clear that the event was sold out. The central stage area writhed with teenagers and glow sticks. Rave guys flashed LEDs in their girlfriends faces whose expressions gaped in E induced bliss. Older fans danced in the bar areas away from the rabid youth but eventually succumbed to the stage’s draw. This was a bacchanal 2.0.
Usually DJs on stages are an iffy proposition. Everyone stares at a musician twisting knobs instead of dancing as is the custom with such performers. Rusko didn’t even need his background projector to keep the crowd’s attention (the device decided not to work right from the get go). His infectious energy and hyperactivity kept the crowd at frenzy pitch with hands waving and the front row pinned uncomfortably against the stage. Kids ran on stage to jump around and get led away by security, and several cases of bottled water were shot in the audience’s willing faces.
Seattle producers Kid Hops, Ill Cosby, and Crooked Clef kept the audience contained and pumped for the dub step celeb from 8-12pm proving to be truly exceptionally local representatives of the genre. This show could have easily taken place at the Wamu Theatre or Key Arena and sold out. If dancing and extroversion is your thing, you’d be hard pressed to find a better five hour grind-fest anywhere. Rusko works, and he works hard.
Rusko’s new album O.M.G.! dropped on May 4th on Mad Decent records. Listen to Kid Hops on three different shows on Seattle’s own KEXP: Positive Vibrations, Expansions, and Mo’ Glo’. Check out the videos below to see what you missed.
All photos and videos by Daniel Ahrendt