On May 19th here in Austin, Texas, Red Bull hosted a DJ competition titled the “Red Bull Thr3style” bringing the top 8 DJs in Austin together to battle it out for a check of $1,000 dollars and a chance to move into the finals in Florida. The doors opened at 8:30pm at the Beauty Ballroom as the opener and last year’s winner Big Once took the stage. Around 10:40pm the first DJ in the competition, Abe the Assassin, took the stage to a crowd of around 250 people and the contest was on its way. The DJs that followed played their set in the following order: DJ QD, Mike Swing, Kid Slyce, Chorizo Funk, DJ Protégé, Bird Peterson and DJ Orion. All DJs did an outstanding job as they played to the crowd and judges of the night which consisted of DJ Mel, Klever and Big Once. These are all the facts of the night, now depending on who you talk to the days that followed the contest the rest of the night ended in either a bad or good opinion.
At this point I guess everybody should just come out and say what is on their mind after every contest ends and that is the fact that contests are lame, weak, stupid, etc. They are in the same category as top 10 lists. Its something we can all relate to. I know for a fact I get sick when people tell me that Radiohead should be in my top 3 bands of all time. So when all the smoke cleared and the hangovers seceded a winner came out victorious and not just any winner, apparently the underdog of the whole event. At 12:35 as all the judges took the stage and DJs were called up for a last final bow and thank yous, Abe The Assassin ended up holding the mighty check of $1,000 dollars with 2nd place going to Kid Slyce and 3rd place going to Bird Peterson. Standing on the side of the room observing the whole event I noticed a sudden gasp went out when the final winner was announced, if you could read the vibe of the room in the form of a hashtag I’m sure that hashtag would have read #shunned. At 1:00am as Abe walked around the room with his trophy it wasn’t hard to see the battle was still going on but this time it was taken to Facebook and Twitter.
Now we here at Mischief feel all DJs were outstanding and should be credited that way, but to say Abe raised the bar would be an understatement. Abe The Assassin came to battle and battle he did. Calling out all DJs while doing what a true DJ is supposed to do, entertain the crowd and judges. DJ Orion would later go on to tweet “That DJ Gallagher shit takes the focus away from the content or the lack there of.”, and at some point we can agree with that. Yet we have to remember that it is a contest and to entertain is in some aspect in the job description. People love a show, both judges and an audience. By the time we got home at 2:00am our wall feed was going off on the fact that Protégé was the only one to actually play a tribute song to the fallen Beastie Boy and didn’t even get credited in any way. The many videos of Kid Slyce riding a boogie board on the crowd while Surfing USA is playing have been watched over 1,000 times and our photographer is still trying to get the confetti off her clothes that Bird Peterson shot out into the crowd. People either agreed with the outcome or hated it.
In our opinion the true winner of the event has to be Red Bull for getting people talking about DJs and their skill again. In an era of SYNC pushing and Paris Hilton DJs in the world, it’s good to go back to basics and remember that DJs overall are talented musicians and hold a lot of power over a crowd. As Orion played his amazing cumbia set at midnight to a crowd of over 400 people, we couldn’t help to look over the audience and enjoy a crowd that was there for both the music, their friends, and most of all their city. And as Abe goes on his way to Florida to compete in the next round you cant help but to fell honored that here in Austin we have all these DJs to look forward to every weekend.
You can see the rest of the event pictures over on our Facebook page!