Written By | Samuel Pena
It was a chilly Saturday night in the heart of downtown Atlanta, but things were about to get very heated inside the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle is a historic venue that originally served as a church until being converted to a concert hall in 1996, when it quickly become one of the best places in Atlanta to catch a show. The mid-size venue has a capacity of 2,600 people, with three different levels that all together offer an intimate experience with the performers. Saturday’s Subtronics show brought an almost sold-out crowd to the venue, and the energy inside was electric.
The night started off with a solo performance by Chee, a stoic young DJ hailing all the way from South Africa. Chee’s set started off a bit mellow, with the energy levels increasing as his set went on and the crowd grew. After about 20 minutes, Chee was joined on the DJ decks by Digital Ethos, a long-haired DJ hailing from New Jersey. Together the two DJ’s performed a solid B2B, or back-to-back, set, trading song after song to get the night’s bassy vibes started off right.
Following Chee and Digital Ethos was another B2B duo, featuring DJ’s Al Ross and Bommer, heralding from L.A. and St. Louis, respectively. The pair of DJ’s turned up the energy levels a notch, with the charismatic Al Ross jumping around the stage and interacting with the crowd throughout the set. The crowd’s reception to the duo was quite positive, and the expected headbanging to the music was in full swing.
Following Al Ross and Bommer was HE$H, who once again turned up the energy levels, and who’s set could easily have driven its own headlining slot. The young DJ from Dallas commanded both the decks and the crowd in a masterful way, creating an incredible vibe to lead us into the show’s headliner, Subtronics.
Following HE$H’s set was a ten minute break to prepare the crowd for the upcoming onslaught that is Jesse Kardon, also known as Subtronics. The Philadelphia DJ’s set began with a melodic intro song, building up the anticipation before his first massive bass drop of the night. Subtronics performed on an elevated platform in the center of the stage, back by a huge LED screen and surrounded by colored beam lights. During moments leading to drops, massive CO2 cannons would fire in front of the stage, giving even more energy to the headbanging audience. Subtronics made his way down to the lower stage multiple times throughout his set, jumping around and interacting with the receptive crowd as they cheered him on.
A highlight of the night occurred during a pause to the show caused by an audio malfunction during Subtronic’s fifth song. He explained the issue to the audience and the crowd showed its support by breaking out into a resounding “ATL Ho” chant, the beloved war-cry of the Atlanta EDM scene. Subtronics enthusiastically replied with, “You guys are fucking insane and I love you a lot”, solidifying the connection between the charismatic DJ and the lively crowd.
Subtronics ended his 1.5 hour set with a riddim banger, with all stage lights and CO2 canons blasting at full force. As the last notes of the song faded, Subtronics waved out to the crowd one last time and walked off stage, leaving the headbanging, moshpit-loving crowd sweaty, happy, and full of love. Overall, Subtronics put on an incredible performance that surely rivals some of the greats that have graced the stage of the Tabernacle throughout the years.
Photos By | Samuel Pena