On December 7 dubstep artist, Snails, shook Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom (literally) on his The Shell 2.0 Tour. His bass heavy set, prefaced by Hekler, SVDDEN DEATH, Voyd and Bro Safari, featured cinematic visuals and was centered on remixes of his own album, The Shell.
While the transitions were seamless and the drops heavy, the set overall was somewhat one-noted. Sustaining an over hour long set with just fast and weighty bass can be exhausting for crowd-goers. Do not get me wrong, I enjoy head-banging just as much as any other dubstep-loving music listener, but after a while my neck starts to hurt. I believe the set could have been improved by altering the pace to allow for slower build ups and thus deeper drops.
However, pace aside, the highlight of The Shell 2.0 show is the visuals. With two screens, one behind and the other in front, Snails was able to construct an almost 3-D like effect. In addition, the images were almost cinematic, telling the story of a hero and his laser gun-toting snail squad as they fight alien creatures. At a point in the show a giant inflatable snail exploded from the DJ stand, making it appear as though the Canadian artist was riding its back.
Overall the show is a must see. The stage set up and production is one-of-a-kind, and Snails skill as a DJ are inevitable. It is not easy to remix one’s own music and then seamlessly interweave it together to create an exceptional dubstep show. A few dates are still available on the tour which you can check out here.