Having dominated festivals up and down the country over the last few years, Sub Focus has taken his production up a notch and debuted his new live show to a full house for a headline gig at the o2 Brixton Academy. Fresh off a heavy touring schedule, Sub has revamped his classic set up and given it a powerful 2018 reboot.
Brixton was energised and full from early, with eager Easter ravers, ready to kick off their long weekend with a huge slice pounding DnB, topped with a dazzling light show and lots of LED flavouring for good measure. A special guest appearance from San Fransisco native Jauz went down a well as he dropped a mashup of electronic genres with Turno hyping up the crowd just before him, aided by his mic and a bumpy garage bass set. Admittedly, both support acts did look quite lonely up there, on an empty stage, by themselves with limited production and probably limited sound too.
The reason for the vacant space soon became apparent once the 20 man production crew stormed the stage and rigorously hauled in mountains of LED light boards and projectors. These guys were like the SAS, they all worked harmoniously together, effortlessly rigging up the whole thing in no time, teamwork at its finest!
The man himself took the controls of his face lifted circle spaceship and took off just before 2 in the morning. The familiar Sub Focus production that we have all seen at numerous festivals over the last 5 years set up had now got bigger, it has evolved and now consists of more creative and complex lighting arrangements, presenting itself as some form of artistic lighting set, helping to visualise Sub Focus’s ever-growing catalogue of bouncing bass bangers. His classic round LED light structure was ever-present but was now sporting some newly added LED arrows from the sides, which was an addition to his live show from last year. At some points, the stage did literally look like it was ready to take off with Captain Focus firmly in the cockpit. The tight synchronicity between specific sounds within his tracks against the lights and visuals on stage was impressive, giving his already infectious tracks an immersive conceptual experience. Another great creative touch which added another layer to his audio-visual assault was the use of 3D projections in the show. It created a distorted reality amongst all the lights while it calibrated with the music nicely and was remarkably captivating, giving his new show that extra aesthetic appeal.
Sonically, his live show revolved around some new bits, including some new fire from him and Wilkison. Tunes such as "Lingua" feat Stylo G were featured early on in his set and created the perfect build up for confetti finale that followed. Some of his better-known classics were being manipulated live, providing that nostalgic “hands in the air” euphoria which always goes down a treat and hyped for festival season. His set was mixed with some alternate genre anthems such as ‘Turn Back Time" and one of his latest tracks ‘Don’t you feel it’ was well received. His brand new production provided a fitting backdrop that commanded stage presence and will no doubt be in demand at festivals around the world this summer.
I suppose his new show represents him now evolving his performance and encompassing what’s happening right now in the world of electronic music. There are a few electronic artists choosing to dedicate more time to the anaesthetic accept of their performance. It has almost become an art form in itself, each striving to show off the latest technology in their shows to wow partygoers around the globe. One thing is for certain however, his new show is unashamedly good. Ok, it’s not groundbreaking, but it definitely adds a whole new level to what is an already spectacular live show.
The last year saw him down residencies at Amnesia, Ibiza, whilst returning to Reading and Leeds festivals with bigger shows. As for 2018, its more of the same, with Sub Focus returning to Ibiza for Together at Amnesia, headlining WE ARE FSTVL in May and dropping a new future festival classic with Wilkinson entitled “Take it up”.