On Saturday night, Webster Hall celebrated the end of an era with their last club night for potentially quite some time. As part of a series of final shows before the venue closes for renovations under new management, AEG Skrillex was tabbed to play the final late night show with some special guests. Duex Twins, Ekali and Boys Noize all joined Skrillex for an epic finale to the venue’s storied history…. For now.
As a native New Yorker who has been going to shows in the city for almost a decade, Webster Hall is as familiar a venue as any. I have been there on nights when it was maybe half full and others when it was sold out, but this was packed to another level. The entire upper deck was packed to the brim and the main floor was overflowing to the sides with people all wanting to catch a bit of history.
Catching Skrillex at a non-festival venue is a rarity nowadays. Catching a four-and-a-half hour set from him in a three thousand cap venue is a once in a blue moon type of occurrence even for someone who loves to DJ as much as Skrillex.
After Deux Twins and Ekali get the room nice and hot (it was really hot in there), Skrillex steps up at 1 a.m. and got right to it. In his first session for an hour and 45 minutes he ran through some of his recent stuff like “Would You Ever” and “St. Laurent” with DJ Slink, who came out for the song and later to help create a mosh pit at Skrillex’s request.
Like Skrillex’s productions and personality, the set was a frenetic mix of various genres, jumping between tracks from System of a Down, Jack Ü, Joyryde and himself. There were plenty of his classics, like “Kyoto” and “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” bringing it back to some of the simpler times when he was first booked at the venue.
Boys Noize came on stage around 2:45 for a session of Dog Blood that the city has not seen for years. There is a definite change in mood with the lights almost disappearing in the venue and the music getting much darker. Boys Noize’s influence is felt immediately with some chugging techno and some Dog Blood classics like “Chella Ride.” They snuck in a minute-long clip of a new Dog Blood song as well.
Things started to loosen up around 4:30 with some rap and more dubstep being mixed in as Skrillex took more control of the set, though Boys Noize was still present with some selections. The most important thing was the party and even at 5:30 when Skrillex was standing on the decks, leading a chant of “We Are Your Friends” to a still full venue, that was foremost on everyone’s mind.
The night finally ended around 6:45 when security came in to cut the music. The venue is known to host New Years Day parties that start in the early morning and last well into the next day, but this had a very different feel to it from the normal club nights.
The venue has been host to some of the best DJs in the world at the beginning and peaks of their careers. It will likely be back, but it isn’t clear how it will look or operate under AEG. The club nights have always been some of the most unpredictable and energetic events at the venue so it would make sense that Skrillex would be the one to help send off Webster into the morning glow.
We will miss you Webster Hall. We have shared some wonderful memories together, but this is not the end, just the beginning of a new chapter. Skrillex was the perfect punctuation to that long and fruitful chapter in Webster Hall’s history.