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Mace & Crown | March 23, 2018

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The final boss: Excision

The final boss: Excision

Erik Billings | Contributing Writer

Do you like glitter, costumes, headbanging, dubstep or any combination? Then, why were you not at the Excision concert on March 5 at The NorVa? Because you missed one memorable show. And despite the sore feet, a minor case of whiplash and ringing eardrums this show was amazing.

The show started off, not in the venue but, in line outside. Enthusiastic fans eagerly waited and all too happy to so share their vast knowledge of the show. “It’s not an Excision show if there isn’t a risk of death,” one fan jokingly said as he pointed out the team wheel in crates of pyrotechnics. Following that statement was shouts and yells as the crowd pumped themselves up. They chatted with one another as though they were family and continued to keep everyone entertained at the spontaneous shouts, cheers and tech talk.

As the crowd made their way into The NorVa. The scene seemed bland when comparing what was said outside and the endless amount of props the crew brought through. However, everything was cleverly hidden and it was up to the three opening acts to keep up the hype and keep the fans from taking a peek. And that’s just what the warm-up acts did, they kept the crowd headbanging and blissfully unaware of what’s happening behind the curtain.

MONXX was the show’s opening act and he opened with a bang. MONXX, whose real name is Josh Carling, is a music producer/ DJ from Peterborough, United Kingdom. Little is known about him outside of his work in Electronic Dance Music (EDM), which only adds to his stage persona.

MONXX had everyone fooled as he wore a head to toe Adidas apparel and looked more like an average person and not a DJ who’s played all over the world. However, mouths dropped open the moment he began to play on stage. Lasers shot from the stage and lights flooded the sea of fans, and hundreds of hands rose to the sky as the first beat dropped.

Following MONXX was by far the most astounding of the three opening acts: Dion Timmer. As the youngest act on the tour, being at the age of 18, Timmer knew his crowd. Originally from the Netherlands, Timmer became a huge sensation from his work with Excision and was asked to join him on tour.

Timmer came on and was instantly a huge presence. He engaged the crowd with “Let’s make some noise Norfolk.” followed by his first base drop which started the first crowd dance of the night, a crowd synchronized head-bang. Out of the three acts opening for Excision, Timmer was the most memorable of the bunch for his sheer love of his music and connection with the crowd.

After Timmer finished, he was joined on stage by Liquid Stranger. His birth name is Martin Stääf and hails from Sweden. Stranger made a name for himself in the dubstep community, being the most noteworthy of all three opening acts. However, to fans, his performance was the weakest of the three. “If he’s here to hype us up. It’s not working,” said fans as they left the crowded floor, “It just lacks. Energy. This isn’t his best performance.” Despite a rough start, Stranger was able to perform one last song before the main act. The song redeemed him in many of his fans eyes as they began to jump around and thrust their hands into the air.

As Stranger left the stage the lights went off. The crew rushed on stage and started taking the stage apart as if the show was already over. However, the crowd only got louder as the men placed the turntables in their cases.

The concert hall went black, everyone went silent and the curtain dropped. Instantly the hall was filled with thick white fog, red and green lasers, and a visually stunning display. Excision came on the stage and screams filled the air, arms went up in the air in the form of an X “Make some noise, Virginia!” Excision thrust his arms up in the air in the “X” formation and more cheering erupted.

Photo by Erik Billings

Jeff Able, or Excision, is a Canadian producer and DJ who became a sensation after releasing his first full-length album “X-Rated.” Following his success Excision begin to work on a dinosaur themed music festival called “Lost World” which became wildly successful.

Excision’s show continued to grow after the “Lost World” success. He combined his high energy music with stunning visuals and created a group of loyal followers called “headbangers.”

On the stage, onlookers watched an entire show of lights, smoke, lasers and LED displayed a video-game like dream world where the music became the battle to vicious creatures. And as the Headbangers thrashed about the monsters would take damage until finally being defeated. Until the last boss in this video game world, Excision himself. Or was it?

The crowd demanded an encore as the last song played. No one wanted him to leave. “I can’t hear you, Norfolk. Let me know how bad you really want it,” Excision said and his voice was quickly drowned out by the screams. As the lights came back on and the final boss of the Excision tour accompanied with a remix of “In the Pit” by Lil’ Jon.

Photo by Erik Billings

The show carved itself into the memory of everyone who came.

“It was brain melting,” Eric Patton, ODU student stated, “If bass music could melt your brain, mine is gone. I cannot wait for the next show.”