Surprisingly, Pittsburgh has become a regular stop for some of the biggest names in EDM. Just a few years ago, only a major event like Dayglow — now known as Life In Color — brought well known artists to town, but Tuesday night, Stage AE was blown away by Sonny John Moore – better known as Skrillex. Due to the type of music and massive crowds — it’s difficult to see one guy on stage through a festival crowd of 100,000 — many people couldn’t choose their favorite artist out of a lineup. Skrillex, however, is widely known and instantly recognized for his long black hair and adorable glasses — what can I say, I like nerds. It’s not just his looks that people recognize but he has also produced some of the biggest bangers in the EDM and pop scene. That’s probably more introduction than this household name needs, so on to the show.
With the limited venues able to house huge EDM crowds in Pittsburgh, Stage AE was the obvious choice to host Skrillex. However it came as a surprise to many that the show was outside, at night, in the rain, with a high of only 57 degrees. For those unfamiliar with the space, Stage AE can be utilized as an indoor or outside concert venue; the indoor area can hold 2,400 people and the outdoor amphitheater can accommodate 5,550. With a following as big as Skrillex, hosting the event outside to allow for more ticket sales was understandable. However, many Facebook posts on the event page were from people who already bought their tickets and were backing out because of weather. Isn’t this Pittsburgh, a city whose residents regularly tailgate outside in the snow?
I arrived as Big Gigantic was about to finish their set and the crowd and the music were amazing. Between the great energy and dancing, it was easy to forgot how cold I was almost immediately. There was about a 15-minute set change, which seemed excessive when standing outside in the conditions, but Skrillex came on and rocked the house, as expected. He played everything from Peanut Butter Jelly Time to the Lion King theme song. The lighting and visuals were impressive. During the Lion King theme song he even had a beautiful sunrise — he may want to be careful with that, Disney is into suing Deadmau5 for his likeness to the mouse — and he had some adorable bananas dancing during Peanut Butter Jelly Time.
I was pretty close to the stage during the show and I was glad because Skrillex’s crew was handing out bottles of water to everyone. Everyone appreciates when artists look out for their fans. For the last hour of his set it poured down raining, and while it felt good when dancing, it got cold fast after the show. I have seen Skrillex multiple times at different venues and he clearly puts the same effort into smaller shows like Pittsburgh as he does in Vegas. I would highly recommend even non-EDM fans to check him out. He even had a little something for the rap lovers when he mixed Tuesday by Drake which was fitting because it was Tuesday and people were raging.