Saturday night at the Skyway theatre was the one and only thing I had scheduled for my weekend and thank the gods that was the case because I am still trying to process the 5 hours of music I got to witness from the night. The last time I had the chance to see Said the Sky was opening for Illenium. I’d know both dj’s from previous shows and recommendations by EDM loving friends but never seen them live. They did not disappoint and Said the Sky brought the same energy and insane tracks to Skyway as he and multiple openers took the crowd on a 5 hour journey of dancing, singing, crying, and joy filled music.
Minnesota very own Hrmny came first and I gotta tell you, I love these guys. Where they came from I haven’t a clue but I must sing praises. I always hope for a new found gem when at shows, especially when there are this many artists to check out. But not always do I find that gem. Hrmny though, woooo boy, they killed their set. Feeding off one another’s vibes Cole and Alex very evidently are on the same wavelength throughout their set. New Worlds hands down is a new favorite track and going to be on my go to playlists for a while. Really looking forward to seeing these guys grow and keep their euphoric journey vibes going.
If Hrmny were my new found favorite then T-Mass is my surprise artist of the night. I found the name intriguing and checked out some tracks the week leading up to the show and could not decide how I felt. Come showtime though all was put to bed. T-Mass shook the building, so much so that during his set began a series of short wiring glitches. Didn’t matter, he powered right through the set and the crowd ate it up. People around me kept saying “he doesn’t even care hell ya keep going” as he ripped through tracks. If you don’t know T-Mass I’ll recommedn Can You Feel It and his Closer remix right away. He’s got a solid mash up of his own bass punching styled songs but does a great tip of the cap to the big hitters of the EDM scene with remixes. Closer and Feel Good(Daya) are both serious remixes which I would dare say I like as much as the originals as they bring new life and takes to both.
And after all the mind blowing moments of Hrmny and T-Mass came the mystery man. Stay Loose. I still can’t figure out why I haven’t heard of this guy. Maybe I have and in the midst of head bob jamming I forgot the name? Maybe he’s just managed to stay under the radar? I don’t know but I can’t forget this one again. StayLoose brings an almost Dr.Dre like “slow it down” twist to his set. Where T-Mass and Hrmny got you rolling on high vocals and mega drops, Stayloose slows you down and gets you lost in a slow drawn baseline and a stripped down sound. There’s no excessively complicated mashups of songs or beats. He mixes decisively and goes with less is more for almost every track. I loved every track. StayLoose if you’re reading this, don’t go changing. Highly recommended tracks for StayLoose no doubt are Sociopath, Mixed Signals, R U Mine(remix).
Finally came the midnight hour. If you weren’t sure who was about to hit the stage you need only check the bars and seating areas. What was previously filled with partying fans and DJs had turned to a ghost town and the main auditorium was now impossible to navigate. It was time was Said the Sky. I knew when I saw the opener set he performed before Illenium that he was due for his own headline. And man oh man did he deliver once he got it. The set built up to the popular hits perfectly and when you weren’t sure how one could top the energy of All I Got, Rush Over Me, and others… the lid blew off the place. Illenium walked onto stage and you could feel the hair on your arms stand. As if hoping for it, every fan who was dressed in Illenium gear had their dreams come true. And in an almost poetic passing of the torch the two went for it. Illenium and Said the Sky have collaborated before but this was stunning to watch because in its own way I felt like I was watching Illenium say on stage “welcome to the big league friend this is your moment”.
As Said the Sky is becoming a well established DJ and Illenium continues to collab with bigger artist(notably his recent Halsey remix of Without Me, it’s crazy to see the momentum carry. I can only hope that in the coming months and years I’ll witness the likes of T-Mass and Hrmny surprising guests with appearances by their mentors as they climb themselves. Whether those days come it was an amazing night to see DJs at every level of the genre coming together to throw a party for 5 hours on a frigid night in Minneapolis. Incredible job guys, my hat is off to you all.