By Dan Grossman
Check out our photo gallery from the show.
And Dada fucking conquered.
Dada Life, the Swedish electro house duo of Olle Corneer and Stefan Engblom, came to The Westcott Theater on Tuesday, Oct. 2nd, as part of their Dada Land Tour that boasts an impressive 200 shows across North America.
Dada Life was originally slated to open Tuesday at the Oncenter for world-renowned trance artist Tiesto on his College Invasion Tour, but due to a last minute cancellation by the Dutch producer, Dada Life had an opportunity to highlight the night and moved their much-anticipated set to the more intimate Westcott Theater.
Tickets went on sale only four days before the show and quickly sold out. Nearly 400 people packed themselves into the Westcott to witness what for sure would be one of the craziest concerts of the year.
Doors opened at 9 p.m. Brothers James and Will Saulsky, who go by the stage name Synchronice, warmed up the growing crowd for a solid hour and a half set until Dada took the stage at 11 p.m. to a roaring applause that illustrated the crowd’s anticipation for the show.
Dada Life’s success and buzz come from the unique and quirky humor and energy its members bring to every show. Where most producers and artists stop, Dada Life exceeds.
Corneer and Engblom created a philosophy called the Rules of Dada (or #THERULESOFDADA on Twitter), which not only gives the house duo a unique vibe, but also gives fans something to rally around during concerts. The rules are as follows:
1) Never bring your brain to a rave.
2) Doing the “airplane” on stage while looking up in the air? Never. The “heart sign” with both your hands? FUCK NO.
3) Tickle-punch-tickle-combo. Happy Violence!
4) Cheating is winning.
5) If you’re stuck, there’s only one solution: go harder.
6) If you only need one word to describe a song in the studio…then it’s done!
7) No bananas on the rider? Then we do our two hour deep/tech house set. Everything under 118 BPM.
8) PLUR = Potassium Lust Unity Rage
9) Arriving beautiful – leaving ugly.
10) Beautiful music = boring music. At least today.
11) Never BBQ before a gig.
12) If you don’t want to get wet, you don’t want to have fun.
13) Bass don’t cry.
14) Changing underwear at the club is cheating. Even for the members of Dada Life.
15) Never bring your brain into the club.
16) Art should be loud as fuck.
17) Always kick out the epic motherfucker. Always.
Dada Life’s ability to engage the crowd during shows is also something that sets it apart from other artists. The Swedes are notorious for pulling ravers wearing banana suits out of the crowd and up on stage before giving them a champagne shower at the height of the beat drop. So, with giant inflatable bananas and champagne bottles in hand, the Swedes annihilated everyone Tuesday night from start to finish. Their set lasted two hours — until 1 a.m. — and there was not a single second when the speakers weren’t full of face-melting sound waves.
The two started off hard and fast, and never took their feet off the pedal. Each song featured a different drop that had the floor relentlessly pushing back the force of 400 jumping pairs of feet.
One of their first tracks was the energizing Nicky Romero Remix of the Eva Simons’ song “I Don’t Like You”. Now, I’ve had this song nestled in my iTunes library since April and I’ve listened to it upwards of fifty times. In short, the deep and metallic roars of the bass make me lose my shit.
But, with the 15-plus DJs I’ve seen since April, I’ve never heard a producer drop it. Dada Life, however, pulled this track out of the splendid depths of electronic dance music and mashed it with the a cappella version of Tim Berg’s “Alcoholic.” The Westcott went haywire and the mayhem Dada had created just built, and built, and built until it reached its pinnacle when Dada Life dropped one of their newest hardstyle-influenced tracks titled “Boing Clash Boom” off their forthcoming album titled “The Rules of Dada” that is set to drop October 16th.
I don’t know how many of you listen to hardstyle, but it’s a genre of electronic music that has a very specific niche of listeners. It doesn’t appeal to everyone and leaves a lot of people bewildered as they don’t know how to react to the pounding kick drum that typically doesn’t drop below 140 beats per minute. It’s rarely ever heard at mainstream electronic dance music (EDM) concerts, but when Dada Life incorporated it into its set Tuesday night, I stared in awe. The versatility and balls it took to drop such a track put the duo on another level as it solidified their spot at the top of my DJ list.
For the Dada Life, the move to the Westcott was the perfect fit:
HIGH ENERGY + INTIMATE VENUE = INSANE SHOW
Let’s just say Dada Life tore down the roof.
Toward the end of Dada’s set, around 12:50 a.m., an 8-by-8-foot chunk of roofing collapsed on the crowd.
Senior broadcast journalism major, Richie Calabro, was taken to the hospital along with two other concertgoers who sustained injuries from the incident. He received twenty stitches to his head but was released later that night.
Dada Life tweeted after the show about the event saying, “We literally brought the roof down, so they shut us down early and we didn’t have time to play [one of their newest tracks] ‘Feed The Dada.’ Hope everyone is OK!”
A student at the concert also posted an Instagram photo of the damage.
Even the falling ceiling tiles weren’t enough to ruin the night, though. Dada Life continued their set with arguably their most hyped and popular track ever, “Kick Out the Epic Motherfucker”. The drowning electronic whine prompted a universal “OHHH” from the crowd, echoing throughout the Westcott as the track built. Catchy harmonized vocals kicked in, and before we knew it we were sitting on a mound of anticipation as the drop sparked insanity. It was a perfect end to a stellar night.
Between the collapsed ceiling (rules five and 17), sweaty students (rules nine and 12), and insane energy after the show (rules one and 15) it’s safe to say Syracuse followed the Rules of Dada. Shortly after the duo left the stage, a “Feed the Dada” chant broke out in the crowd. While the two never returned, guests were left with a lingering feeling of pulsating energy that kept their knees bouncing out the door as they yearned and anticipated their next visit to Dada Land.