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Concert Experience

Recounting Raves: Bubbles, Trap, & TroyBoi

April 21, 2016

It was sometime in early January when I was scrolling through my FaceBook feed and stumbled upon a one-night festival lineup to be held on April 2nd in my hometown, Dallas, Texas – ticket prices were only $24! A pretty solid collection of trap artists, only one name stuck out to me: TroyBoi. For those of you who know me, it is apparent that I kind of have a thing for TroyBoi. I was sold in an instant, and the countdown began. The night was part of a collection of shows called Foam Wonderland, hosted by Crowdsurf Concerts, that travels around the country with various artists in various cities during the peak festival seasons, spring and summer. The overall appeal to this rave was the foam cannons that shot foam out at you during certain portions of the night; this was a wet occasion. I had never been to a performance like that, and I had no idea what to expect initially. Friends recounted to me their previous experience at Foam Wonderland 2015 – I would most likely be getting wet, and this foam stung when it got into your eyes. When April 2nd rolled around, I took their words to heart: a swimsuit underneath my clothes, sandwich baggies for my phone, and, seriously, my lab goggles. I WAS SO READY FOR THIS. [caption id="attachment_435" align="alignnone" width="300"] Processed with VSCO[/caption] TroyBoi performed from 9:00PM-10:0PM that night, so I was sure to roll up to QuikTrip Park by 8:15. The French trap/moombahton artist, Cesqeaux, was performing his set when I walked into the baseball stadium. The stage was on the back end of the baseball field, the curtains removed and ramps in place to allow rave-goers open access to the stadium eats and the dance floor. Bass booming and lasers moving, I walked across the field. The central dance floor was padded with thick rubber mats, and there were six camouflage-painted cannons in total – four in the center of the dance floor, two on stage pointed outwards. The crowd was a gradient of attendees, from normally dressed people of all ages to the most colorful of characters; American rave paraphernalia abounds, I saw arms loaded up to elbows with neon-colored beaded bracelets (dubbed ‘candy’), leg warmers on ladies, psychedelic and galactic and complex patterns, lights laced into clothes, and those animal hood hats with the paw/hand pockets. This is what the rave scene in America has evolved to over time. On a side note, the overall vibe of this rave, and other I’ve attended has been only positive – nothin’ but good vibes at American raves. I went to Foam Wonderland alone (PSA: I do not recommend going to concerts alone, it’s always good to go with a friend; stay safe, don’t be like me), as I’ve done other concerts, but ravers here are particularly kind. Everyone is happy to be there, they all are there to dance love the music, and have a great night. It is very unlikely one would ever run into negative energy at a rave, as the crowd treats the concert like a small, temporary community. I digress, Cesqeaux played a solid set, my favorite song being his own remix of Moksi’s “The Dopest.” Cesqeaux’s mixing style was one that I’ve always been impressed that he mostly dropped songs from one to another at the perfect time, nothing offbeat, as opposed to transitioning via mixing one song over another. His set leaned more towards a heavier/industrial trap sound that sometimes leaked into a dubstep sound. I admit, though, I was counting down the minutes until TroyBoi came on. His name is one that is very uncommon to find on any music festival lineup, in my experience, and I was bursting with excitement. Finally, 9:00PM rolled around, and TroyBoi came on stage. I lost my mind along with the rest of the crowd when he opened up with his own song “Amadeus,” already setting an excellent precedent for the rest of his set. His mixing has never let me down in the past when tuning into radio shows he’s featured on, and he certainly didn’t disappoint this time. Playing sounds from his old and new favorite trap artists, he touched on the sounds of the iconic duo, TNGHT, and dropped “Bugg’n” and “Higher Ground,” his fellow United Kingdom trap artists Stooki Sound and HUCCI with the song “Ball So Hard (VIP)” and the unique beats in “Uppers” by one of my favorite upcoming artists, Mr. Carmack. Maintaining his unique style, he kept this mix a little more trap-heavy than things I’ve heard in the past, dropping several of his energetic and eclectic songs like “Forgive Me Not,” “DU$H,” “W2L (Welcome To London),” “Soundclash,” “Fyi,” his new release “And Wot?” and “Do You?” He ended off his performance by having Nina Sky come out to sing the finale, his own collaboration with Diplo named “Afterhours.” The artist proceeding TroyBoi was the vomitstep artist, Snails, but I didn’t really care to stay. Truth be told, I’m not the biggest fan of what he calls ‘vomitstep.’ I enjoy the sounds themselves a lot, but the way he uses them makes me slightly nauseous, ironically. Additionally, I was more than content with having seen TroyBoi – I was calmly euphoric. To finally see him, one of my favorite artists, is a feeling of satisfaction and happiness that is indescribable. It’s a strange yet familiar sense of being fractionally more complete. This has been Toni Nittolo, hoping you’ve enjoyed my anecdote.

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