There are two types of Bloody Beetroots concertgoers in this world: those who flock to a local venue to bump to their DJ set, and those who are able to witness the magnitude of a raw, thrashing, deafening, honest-to-God instrumental live show – an experience denoted by the addition of the phrase “Death Crew 77” to the trademark Beetroots name.
On Thursday night, the Telus Theatre was fortunate enough to be hosting the latter type of performance. Even before the Italian electronica superpower took the stage, the air was thick with the crowd’s contagious enthusiasm, as well as enough body heat to power a small village. Stepping onto the dance floor just shy of 11:30 p.m., I caught the last hour of Los Angeles-based Valentino Khan’s set, who proved within a matter of moments to be a prolific table-turner and hypeman. After generating a reasonable amount of perspiration, the curtains closed on Khan and feverish anticipation started to build.
Seemingly out of nowhere, the stage revealed itself once again, the headliners storming the scene with a shred of the electric guitar and a blinding flash of pure white light radiating from the Bloody Beetroots logo covering the back wall, signature jagged font and all. As if a switch had gone off in every attendee’s brain, the crowd went from zero to 60 in no time. With every seismic release of high-powered bass and screeching instrumentals, the concertgoers responded by going positively ballistic, creating a mosh pit that would make any punk show tuck its tail between its legs and saunter away defeated. Attendees were knocking each other around like ragdolls and limbs flew every which way, with so much sweat being exchanged that it could have been used as currency. Next time I see these guys, I’ll be donning a football helmet and steel-toed boots.
A horizon of bobbing heads and migrating crowd surfers split the scene between the DJ’s and their worshippers below, as the Beetroots bounded across the stage slamming keyboards, commanding guitars and dominating the mic. The show was one long raunchy ribbon of seamless, endless, sublime noise, punctuated by crowd-pleasers like “Warp 1.9” (Steve Aoki was there in spirit), “Cornelius,” and “Dimmakmmunication,” the namesake of which gives a nod to their record label Dim Mak.
An hour and a half and a suburban above-ground pool’s worth of perspiration later, the curtains fell once again and the mob made its exasperated exodus to coat check.