People passing out, throwing up and in some cases bleeding, and a Sergio Ramos lookalike… just another gig for Nick Douwma; better known as Sub Focus.
Rockwell and Dismantle were given the task of trying to hype up an already over-hyped crowd. Stationed in the top left hand corner of the venue in a small booth, they worked through their sets with a birds-eye view of the increasingly congested dance floor. Although this meant both support acts had a clear view of the building sense of anticipation, it also meant they were slightly segregated from the audience. A potentially negative impact was avoided, however, demonstrating just how eager the crowd was. Those who were in the middle of the dance floor made sure there was a non-stop mosh pit throughout the whole night, from the first support act to the end of Sub Focus‘ set.
Sub Focus eventually took to the stage in front of a full venue. The mixture of older, more well-known songs with newer ones from new 2013 album Torus was received well. The crowd constantly increased in volume and support, and all the while Douwma stood in a colour changing strobing egg.
Although most of the crowd were familiar with his most recent album, the first real cheer came when 2005 song Rock It started. Once it had finished, the crowd were in full flow and ready for the rest of the night.
The new album also had its moments, in particular, Turn It Around featuring Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke and Endorphins with vocals from Alex Clare. Towards the end of the set, more recent songs were played, eliciting a mixed reaction as only a select number in the crowd knew sufficient lyrics to join in.
However, any doubts about the end of the gig were put to rest when recent hit Tidal Wave featuring Alpines concluded the night. No one thought about leaving as the crowd chanted the words to what could be one of Sub Focus’ biggest and best songs yet.
If there was to be one criticism of the night, it would be that Nick Douwma did not say a word from the moment he walked on to the stage to the moment he left after his highly successful set. This would have been more of an issue if it wasn’t for MC I.D., who made sure the crowd stayed jumping all night long, not that this crowd needed any encouragement.
I must admit I was a bit sceptical making my way to Rock City on the 22nd of October, but any doubts I may have had beforehand were gone once the set started. It proceeded to become a really good night.