By Tom Charles
Asst. managing editor
Check out our photo gallery of the show.
Borgore is the greatest.
Or at least that’s what his hat said when he performed at the Westcott Theater on Monday, Oct. 8. And based on the crowd response throughout the night, he very well might have been – at least for the two hours he was on stage.
The 29-year-old Israelite looked at home in Syracuse as he danced to his own beats while donning a Westcott Theater souvenir T-shirt. But before Borgore took the stage, the crowd was warmed up by Syracuse’s own Ridiculous Nights. In what can only be viewed as an attempt to appease the tastes of Borgore’s audience, Ridiculous Nights traded his typical electro trance sound for one a bit more bass-heavy. The highlight of his set came when he dropped a remix of Psy’s K-pop viral sensation “Gangnam Style.” Unfortunately for him, however, he was outdone by his successor, DJ Subset, who also incorporated the track into his set. In fact, downtempo progressive drum and bass remixes seemed to be the Brooklyn resident’s forte, dropping jaws with incredibly minimal remixes of Swedish House Mafia’s “One” and G.O.O.D. Music’s “Clique” from Cruel Summer.
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JJ Lazarus, better known as Kayo, was next on stage, boosting his ever expanding résumé which already boasts sets opening for such nationally touring DJs as Zeds Dead, Laidback Luke, and The Crystal Method. Despite telling me before the show that he’s recently taken a new interest in trap music, the burgeoning genre was largely absent from Syracuse local’s set. Instead he focused primarily on his own original productions, as well as (approximately) 60 BPM remixes of smash hits from the early aughts, including Daft Punk’s “Technologic” and MIMS’ “This is Why I’m Hot” – not to mention the ultimate cliché: “Sandstorm.” (Don’t worry, Borgore dropped Darude as well, so I suppose it wasn’t entirely tasteless.)
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The difference between Borgore’s set and his support acts, however, was his inability to get stale. By mixing in tracks for all walks of life, he kept the crowd energized from start to finish. In the process, he provided a set almost as dichotomous as his personality. His time on stage was seemingly split into two movements: the first representing his misogynistic persona as a dubstep/hip hop producer, and the latter reflecting his violent roots as a drummer for the death metal band Shabira. (OK, so maybe the two aren’t all that different after all.)
Immediately working in slow-moving remixes of tracks like Two Chainz’s “Birthday Song,” Riskay’s “Smell Yo Dick,” or his own “Foes,” Borgore quickly set the mood. Ladies, the sex-hound has spoken: it’s time for some booty poppin’… and you’re not allowed to stop until the day’s over. As Monday was rolling to a close he dropped Waka Flocka Flame’s “Grove St. Party” before asking the Westcott to turn the lights down – things are about to get real cozy. But no one goes to a Borgore concert for some sweet loving, and he knows this more than anyone. To solve this soon-to-be-dilemma, he dropped a brand new yet-unnamed track before seguing into Knife Party’s summer ragger, “Internet Friends.”
Now it was time for the boys to have their fun. “Ladies, I don’t suggest you stand in the middle,” advised Borgore. “MOSH PIIIIIITTTTTTT!” And just like that, for the remaining hour, shit was on. It’s hard to tell who got on whose nerves more: Borgore, or the guards who had to keep breaking up the pits he egged on. “Fuck it, round two!” encouraged Borgore as soon as things got separated. And then round three. And round four. Track after track, he dropped a quick succession of remixes each more aggressive than the one prior – from Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” to Benny Benassi’s “Cinema” (the Skrillex remix, of course) to his own “Decisions” and “Nympho.” After his allotted set time came to an end, Borgore thanked the crowd for being “a ten out of ten” (so much for college crowds not going hard, eh?) and pleaded with the Westcott for one more song. “I’m going to do something I haven’t done in a long time,” he said. “It’s called a wall of death. Half the crowd on this side, half the crowd on that side. It’s kind of like playing football.” In short, the show ended just how one would expect: one giant bow-throwing sing along.