Music Feature

Mad Decent Block Party 2012 @ Great Plaza

by Tim Blackwell
Loud music, water guns, and an Amish crowd surfer... Photos by Tim Blackwell & Joshua Pelta-Heller
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So Saturday morning I woke hungover, a pulled muscle in my lower back from shooting at The Barbary the night before, then I hobbled over to the refrigerator to an empty coffee container... Shit. Then I realized, it's the day of the Mad Decent Block Party. Stop bitching, drink a beer for the hangover, call a taxi. You're going to do photography at a concert venue, not working at a construction site.

Before last weekend, I was a block party virgin. Due to working Saturdays at a day job I absolutely hated (Thank you for firing me. Seriously.), I was never able to go in the past. I've shot more than a few Mad Decent events, always had a good time, but never witnessed the massive event that is MDBP. I wasn't disappointed. Amazing show, amazing people, amazing vibes. Everything I thought it would be.

8-9 hours in a lot of heat and humidity, didn't matter. Hangover and back pain, suddenly non-existent. I've photographed a lot of events the past few years, this ended up being one of the best photography experiences I've ever had. From Dirty South Joe, all the way up to the headliner Major Lazer, there a lot of crowd surfing, and more hands in the air than a bank robbery. Even the security was much looser than usual, and were having water gun fights with crowd.  I was also impressed by the diversity of all of the acts in between (Lunice, Po Po, Reptar, DJ Sega, Kito, Paul Devro, annnd Riff Raff.), but the Mad Decent label has never held their selves under any specific genre, so that didn't surprise me. Personally, the most memorable set of the day for me had to be Flosstradamus. These dudes literally melt faces, and blow eardrums every time I've seen them do a live set. I'm talking riot inducing shit. The reaction of the crowd was a sight to behold. The whole Mad Decent Philly crew dancing onstage, the crowd jumping in the air, and an Amish dude crowd surfing. Yes, I said "Amish dude crowd surfing", that's not a typo. 

The night ended with Major Lazer playing back to back to bangers, their two amazing dancers "dropping it like it's hot" non-stop, about 30 girls jumping onstage to "Express" their selves, and Diplo walking on top of the crowd inside of a huge blow-up ball. Whether you got in for free and bought multiple $7 beers, or paid for the VIP tix, I'd say everyone got their money's worth... Officially not a MDBP virgin anymore, I'm hooked. I'll see you in Summer 2013 Philly.

-Tim Blackwell (ShotsFired.)

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