To the careless observer, Krewella and Excision may not be so different. Both have a reputation for playing heavy but energetic tunes, have been linked to "dubstep," and cater to audiences who come hoping to leave sweaty and totally wasted.
But the similarities end there, and in fact, the two groups of dance fans don't even see eye to eye. Like, seriously, most of the excision crowd just stood around making fun of the Krewella fans, and half the Krewella fans didn't bother sticking around.
Yep, it seems impossible, but there's a rift emerging in the banger scene itself.
From the club owner and promoter's points of view, it was a brilliant move. Both acts have a huge cult-like following, and both sold out shows at the larger Club Cinema venue earlier this year. Selling tickets for a double-header of this caliber is like a girl in a neon tutu poppin' mollies -- so easy.
The line was tremendous from the start, and security inside was on high-alert. The cops and fire department never seemed too far away, constantly hovering about the parking lot in case shit got a little too rowdy. The crowd was as young as a Revolution show ever is. Just being 25 made us look old.
Krewella's crowd is also especially feminine. The trio is fronted by two sisters, although the spunkier, younger one was missing from this show due to illness. All their songs are about partying as hard as possible, love, friendship, all the things young girls think are really, really important.
Though the presence of Yasmine was definitely missing, Jahan did a pretty good job of running around the stage by herself as producer Rain Man stayed behind the deck. Part of the reason Krewella have skyrocketed to rather mainstream fame is their stage presence. Krewella is very influenced by pop rock bands. They recently worked with both the lead singer of Fall Out Boy and the drummer of Blink-182. Basically, Krewella is the pop punk band of EDM.
That being said, it's easy to understand why the Excision crowd, who prides themselves on being much darker, deeper, and all-around more macho, chose to spend this time mostly hanging around the halls, making fun of Krewella fans. There was a lot of talk about "white girl anthems" from the peanut gallery. But as soon as Krewella played "Alive" for a second time (yes, they opened and closed with the same hit single), the crowd underwent a noticeable shift.
What was at one point a completely packed dance floor thinned out as wide-eyed little girls went home. It was time for the big boys to play, and immediately, the mood got heavier. All the shit-talkers moved indoors and started thrashing along to Excision's face-melting drops.
The Canadian brostepper doesn't have a sister act to dance around stage for him, so the hired dancing girls reappeared on stage to fill the pretty-girl void. His DJ booth was modified a bit to include a big screen in front, complemented by the screen behind him. He just sort of melted into flashing lights.
He mixed for about an hour and a half, playing through crowd favorites and original hits until about 3:15, when the local guy closed out and security basically gave up. A huge crowd of people stormed the stage and danced on until close. Most of the people hanging around would all tell you that, obviously, Krewella was lame and Excision was awesome, meanwhile, you know every girl in the place was there to see their favorite girl group rock hard and "get wet."
You know a genre has "hit the big time" when it can be dissected into the pop group and the underground movement, and as much as Excision is not what we would call "underground," the strange dynamic between the crowds seemed to indicate that EDM has gotten so big, it's splitting in multiple directions. It's not all the same party anymore, but it still just wants to "go hard," whichever way you break it.