I rarely attend concerts alone, but when I do, I always seem to have the most fun. Not knowing anyone, sifting to the front of the crowd, and constantly getting free drinks from the hounds who see me alone at the bar-- It’s not all that bad, really.
After a 20-minute wait in a what-seemed short line, I entered Empire Control Room. Unfortunately day late on the free RSVP, I had to pay a cover, $15 for GA but upgraded to VIP for an extra $5, based on the premise that there was an open bar in the back serving free drinks.
My VIP wristband got me access to the roped off area outside where they were giving out “free drinks” of Beatbox Beverages, a libation that tastes like MD 20/20 in a Franzia bag. You could taste the hangover after one sugary sip. Next time, I’ll stick to my classic vodka sodas.
The venue is fairly small; an outdoor patio for smokers and an area inside that is sectioned off by what appears to be old beams from broken down walls. Headless mannequins dangle by chains from the ceiling, and on the stage a mannequin head is resting on a perfect little mannequin butt.
A younger crowd, as expected, has control of the floor. X-marked hands littered the scene, and I caught a glimpse of some underagers covertly taking sips of their legal friend’s drinks. Someone even sparked a cigarette inside, right after I involuntarily became a participant of a light-up finger glove show. ...Kids these days.
Half past midnight, the main act finally meanders his way on stage. The alter ego of the young, 20s-something Clockwork, RL Grime is the side project of all side projects. The name comes from a play on the author of the Goosebumps book series, R.L. Stine. Hailed by Diplo as one of his personal favorite producers out now, I would even go so far as to say he alone is reshaping the electronic scene.
Almost out of thin air, RL Grime has made his way to the forefront of the future of electronic music. His bootlegs of Kanye’s Mercy, Rihanna’s Pour It Up, and Benny Bennassi’s Satisfaction has gained extensive attention. By infusing the roots of southern hip hop with electronic dance music, he has emblazoned the trap scene.
Playing hit after hit, RL Grime didn’t disappoint the amped crowd. Each track better than the last, they were real bangers (much different than Miley’s Bangerz) full of swelling beats and smooth progression; something you could really bump you head and get into. It wasn’t like your typical show where everyone is mindlessly standing and staring at the visuals. People were getting down. Fists in the air, rocking side to side; I call that the universal trap dance.
Call me a sucker for trap, but I can’t wait till the next time RL Grime comes to Austin.