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On 1/24/2023, Subtronics returned to Los Angeles to headline a very special show. This was expected to be the biggest headline show that Subtronics has played to date. Presented by Insomniac’s Bassrush, the Kid Forum would also be specially decked out with pyrotechnical fittings, additional bass, and lasers upon lasers. In anticipation for the show, I scrolled Subtronics’ Twitter feed and saw a Tweet stating, “I cannot even begin to describe how insane the production is for the Kia forum show // we took our 3 semi trucks worth of stage and nearly doubled it // AND HAVE EVEN MORE LASERS”. I knew this was going to be big. Subtronics absolutely crushed it in 2022. Upon releasing the highly anticipated Fractals project, he followed it up by tearing a war path through the USA/Canada on The Fractal Tour. At the tail end of the year on December 16th, he then dropped Anti-Fractals. I was beyond stoked to see him melt the Kia Forum at his Los Angeles stop of the AntiFractal Tour. Let’s hop into it.

Once I pulled into the parking lot, I knew this was a sold-out show. A massive line of eager bassheads wrapped around the iconic venue. From about 7 PM till 9:30 PM, the crowd was treated to rolling basslines and hard steps from a grip of DJ’s including Austeria, Atrix, Sweetooth, HOL!, MUST DIE!, and LeoTrix. With each set, the production seemed to get better, and the bass seemed to get deeper. By the time Virtual Riot hit the stage at 9:30, we were dealing with a full house. Every seat was filled and the crowd on the floor was endless. I got the opportunity to walk the floor and it felt like being on the floor at massive festivals; the culture, the people, the lights, the vibes, and the beats. Virtual Riot switched it up by easing on the dubstep, introducing more electro, and dropping pop samples throughout his set. But don’t get me wrong, the set was still as heavy and filthy as the next one. Even in the bathroom, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the mirrors were vibrating so hard that it wouldn’t surprise me if one of them gave way.

After a solid layup from Virtual Riot, Subtronics hit the stage with what could have been one of my favorite sets of all time. Sure, we had smoke and lights all night, but the production for this set was next level. This Subtronics set was a fully immersive experience that lured in the whole crowd with pyrotechnics, lasers, and mind-bending wobbles/drops.  Each song was as intense and high energy as the next. The crowd “whoop-whooped” as they maneuvered through original Subtronics beats and heavy takes on pop samples such as “The Next Episode,” “Pepas,” and “In Da Club”. A couple of the security folks up front looked over at me in complete disbelief as they saw the synchronous headbanging which led back as far into the crowd from the barricade as we could see. I knew they got a real kick out of it. I saw fans completely give up and put their hands in the air in disbelief as they succumbed to the bass.  It’s moments like this where I appreciate the power of music. The Kia Forum show was a milestone show for Subtronics, but he’s clearly not done yet. Cop a ticket to the next show he headlines next to you. Bring ear plugs and a heavy appetite for some bass. This is a wild one! 


Kris Kuganathan

Photojournalist - Orange County

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