REVIEW: Skrillex’s Legendary 5-Hour Red Rocks Return Was A Historic Moment for Dance Music

Photo: Olav Stubberud

It’s safe to say that Skrillex’s return to Red Rocks after 9 years of absence was a special moment for everyone who was there, including the man himself. At some point during the performance Sonny (Skrillex) got on the mic and started chatting with the crowd. In his own words, “I decided to do this show on a complete whim… I don’t know what I’m going to do, what I’m going to start with, what I’m going to end with, I don’t know, but it’s been an amazing journey all these years.” While paraphrasing, he then essentially told us that he really liked the idea that he could do the whole set himself. He told us that initially, the people around him expressed that it was a difficult concept to grasp, and there was only one date that the venue could even potentially let him perform on such short notice. Nonetheless, there we were, on a perfect night at Red Rocks in the spring, getting 5 hours of Sonny DJing.

Most of the 5-hour tracklist was entirely his own music, spanning all genres and all of the years of his massive discography. There was seemingly never before played edits of 10+ year old bangers, alongside all of the latest and greatest from his two brand new albums “Quest for Fire” and “Don’t Get Too Close”. It was everything and anything that he had ever produced, and the crowd was there for it ten-fold. So much of his identity as a producer has always been about collaboration with other artists so the set always felt new and fresh. He did occasionally feature songs from other producers that weren’t his own, but rarely.

Credit: Last Suspect

As the energy grew in the night, so did the song choice, as well as the light production. To no surprise, the show really felt like an extremely honest and authentic DJ set, something Skrillex is renowned for doing regularly, but never for 5 whole hours. It was truly special to hear him play the music that has defined his life and career, all in one go, and all by himself.

The doors opened at 7:00 PM and Sonny went on right at away. He didn’t stop DJing or even leave the stage for the entire 5-hours, despite a quick transition from the soundbooth to the stage during the first 30 minutes. No other artists, or actually anybody, were brought out to perform alongside him. That is, until the finale, when his friends and family all stood behind him while he closed out the performance, cheering him on.

Something unique was that everyone who attended was given a white wristband when they walked through the gates. At points in the show the wristbands would light up in-pattern with the music (check out a clip of this in action below). Personally, I have never seen so many people dance for such an extended time period. It never felt like there was a lull, or a break. It really felt like an intimate night with your friend who is a DJ, who just happens to be Skrillex. The lighting production was minimal, but effective and unique, and I don’t think anyone left dissappointed.

Credit: Jas Davis

At the very end of the show he came back on the mic saying, “Sorry I have to stop… I don’t want to get kicked out of Red Rocks forever!” It’s my opinion that had Red Rocks not closed at midnight, Sonny would’ve kept DJing until 3:00 am, and I don’t believe anyone in the crowd would have left.

However, before leaving the stage he took the mic one last time and asked, “If I come back to Red Rocks will you guys show up?” To which the amphitheater erupted with a unanimous, “YES”.

It was of the most incredible and touching shows I’ve ever attended. Hats off to everyone who had a hand in the production of the show, to Red Rocks, to the amazing crowd, and of course to Sonny Moore himself. 11/10.

Be sure to check out Skrillex’s latest two albums “Quest for Fire” and “Don’t Get Too Close”, both out now, on Spotify. Also stay tuned for any new’s regarding dates for his upcoming shows whenever they are announced!

Credit: Marilyn Hue

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REVIEW: Skrillex’s Legendary 5-Hour Red Rocks Return Was A Historic Moment for Dance Music