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Road Rage Drive-In paves way for safe, live music in the Northwest (DMNW Review)

Image description: the crowd of cars facing the stage at Road Rage Drive-In
Credit: Road Rage Drive-In for Detox Nightlife (www.detoxnightlife.com)

Lineup and standout acts: LAXX, Truth, and Downlink

Finally: the lineup. At first glance, it could appear as little more than a show with an abundance of screechy, brostep. But if you’re even only a little versed in the realm of bass music, you’d see infinitely more. Classic dubstep tracks peppered with downtempo, free-form bass, trap, and even a taste of drum & bass made each set unique. Even the somewhat notorious brostep felt nothing short of magical.

LAXX stood out as a top act to watch. Despite audio difficulties resulting in about a minute-long delay of cut sound, it was one of the best sets of the weekend. He transported the crowd to a dimension beyond a year of missed shows. We went back to Skrillex mashups like the past year had never happened. LAXX thrived during his trap tracks, and everyone in the crowd belted out explicit rap songs and feverishly danced like we’d never before.

If LAXX (among the killer first night lineup) predicted the second night, even still no one could have been ready for it. The transition of sets from Truth into Downlink felt like being dropkicked in a barrel off a cliff. The deep, wobbly bass that reverberated through every person from Truth was transformed when Downlink took the stage and opened with his remix of Excision’s Rumble. Lasers and smoke poured from the stage as the dubstep veteran played hit after hit for an hour, holding the entire audience captive.

Image description: Artist Truth plays at Road Rage Drive-In in Portland

Truth performs a set during the show. Credit: Road Rage Drive- In for Detox Nightlife (www.detoxnightlife.com)

Paving the way for safe live music: Everyone has to buy in

Promptly at 10 p.m. (also due to COVID-19 restrictions), the floodlights returned and the music shut off. Cheers and nothing but pure joy erupted throughout the crowd. The significance of live music’s return to Portland didn’t seem lost on anyone in attendance. Promoters, artists, security, food vendors, attendees: the overarching sentiment at the end of two nights was an abundance of gratitude.

As the world begins to open up again, we’re all anxious to return to the events and activities we’ve loved. The absence of live music has been sorely realized throughout the PNW and beyond. Witnessing its return with friends is nothing short of incredible. Thanks to everyone’s diligence in keeping each other safe and promoters for hosting responsible events, concerts are feasible once again.

While recognizing each person’s unique circumstances and comfort with outdoor shows, Road Rage Drive-In has set an incredible precedent. If you feel comfortable and have an opportunity to go, don’t miss it. For every concert or festival we missed in the last year, this makes it worth it. We at DMNW hope to see you in the crowd at the next one!

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