The return of the Full Flex Express in 2015 was easily one of the most anticipated summer events on the Canadian calendar. The fact that Skrillex and the rest of his crew managed to organize such a huge tour on a train is no easy feat, and just shows the kind of commitment they had to their Canadian fans. Fortunately the commitment goes both ways as they were awarded with a huge turnout of approximately 25,000 in attendance for their first tour stop in Ottawa.
This year's Full Flex lineup offered a little something for everyone, ranging from in your face style and great fan interaction from A$AP Ferg on the hip hop side, Kiesza with her smooth vocals and dance moves, Anna Lunoe/Mija with some Future House, and the live acts of Tycho and Hundred Waters. But things went up a notch (or two) when the two main headliners, Toronto's own Zeds Dead, and Jack Ü brought the bass in a very big way to Ottawa on Wednesday night.
Zeds Dead is known for their penetrating bass tunes, but lately they have diversified with their break out hit "Lost You" which generated significant radio play in 2015. The question I asked myself was what kind of Zeds Dead performance would Ottawa be getting? The bass/dubstep style that we are familiar with, or will they double down on their "Lost You" success and give us a more future house vibe? The answer came quickly as 2 minutes into the set Zeds Dead was already busy testing the bass limits of the festival speakers.
Known for putting together memorable mixes online, Zeds Dead can also craft a mean live set. Mixing in ZD originals like "Wit Me Dub", their latest release with Megalodon, they also dropped a few key tracks from other artists like Flux Pavilion's "International Anthem" or Grandtheft's "Let Me Tell You Something". We were even given an ID early in the set, which sounds very promising. Zeds Dead hit their set out of the park.
Jack Ü's Canadian debut is a long time coming, but they made sure that Canada felt their presence by laying down a perfect performance that set the tone for the rest of the Full Flex Express Tour. Fresh off a brand new album released earlier this year, Skrillex and Diplo have brought their Jack Ü act to the biggest festival stages across the world.
The Jack Ü project between Skrillex and Diplo is a union of two styles that blend well when they come together to play live. Their set started off with a bang as they brought Calgary's Kiesza on stage to perform their hit "Take Ü There". Besides playing Jack U originals as expected, both artists managed to showcase their own tracks as Skrillex played his remixes of "Bad Man", "Ragga Bomb", and even his old remix of "Levels". Diplo dropped "Roll The Bass" fresh from his latest album with Major Lazer, his 2013 hit "Revolution" and even gave us a few surprises like adding in Kanye West's 2010 hit "Power" into the mix.
Both artists are well known curators and heads of their respective labels, and they both played some of the hottest tracks of the summer including Flosstradamus remix of "Bitch Better Have My Money", Ookay's Lit bootleg of "Lean On", and Dillon Francis's take on "Runaway (U & I)".
The highlight of the night came towards the end when Skrillex took the mic to sing his part of the lyrics of "Mind". Another highlight was when they showed beautiful night time shots of Ottawa on the back screen while playing their 'Get Free/Cinema" VIP. "Where Are Ü Now" featuring the vocals of Justin Bieber ended their set on a high note.
The kick off of the Full Flex Express Tour in Ottawa was a major success to say the least and provides great momentum as they make their way across Canada. If you're on the fence about Full Flex, don't be, because this is one show that you do not want to miss.