London, Berlin, New York and San Francisco have long been strongholds for rave culture and the music that accompanies it. So when an electro/dubstep act sells out the Market Pavilion in Little Rock, Ark., on a Sunday night, it’s worth taking note.
The beats, breakdowns and basslines that once dominated a largely underground, urban music scene have become mainstream. These days, artists like
Skrillex, known offstage as Sonny Moore, got his start as the frontman for From First To Last before pursuing a solo career. He released a free EP for download in summer 2010 that generated plenty of buzz and AM Only’s Lee Anderson signed on as his agent soon after.
Additional EPs, supports with Deadmau5 and club dates raised Skrillex’s profile, but Anderson told Pollstar he had his first “holy cow” moment earlier this year when Skrillex sold out the 750-capacity Republic Live in Austin, Texas, in hours. The show was moved to the 4,200-capacity Austin Music Hall and sold out a couple of weeks in advance, he said.
Festival slots and dates in “nearly every nook and cranny” in North America followed. This month, Skrillex makes a leap to 2,500- to 3,000-cap rooms with his “Mothership” tour throughout the States, Europe and the U.K.
But even though growth is good, Anderson explained that for Skrillex, it’s less about moving into a bigger box than it is about creating an exciting, interactive experience for fans.
“He stagedives almost every show into the crowd,” Anderson said. “He wants to be out there.
“You see some artists just rush off the stage and want to get away after, but he sits and talks to everybody. … It’s important for him throughout the performance – before and after – to definitely keep a connection with the fans.”