I arrived at Skybar 247 just before 12 o’clock, anticipating the night’s headliner to take stage at the stroke of midnight.
“Hey! Do you know what time Dieselboy goes on?” an anxious, almost frantic, stranger asked me as I ordered a drink at the bar in the back of Skybar’s Bass Room.
“Right now,” I calmly replied.
He looked at the stage, shook his head, and argued, “That’s not Dieselboy.”
“I know. He goes on at midnight. Any time, now.”
Little did I know, it would actually be two more hours before the legendary drum and bass DJ would arrive to play his set.Minutes after my run-in with the Dieselboy fan at the bar, Mutiny (a local emerging drumstep and drum-n-bass duo) announced that the evening’s headliner was experiencing travel problems and had not yet arrived.
“We’re gonna play for you until Dieselboy gets here,” said Hollowpoint, one half of Mutiny.
Mutiny fills Dieselboy’s timeslot in his absence.
This announcement was met with applause, despite the room being packed with people who had come to see Dieselboy’s highly anticipated return to Indianapolis. In the crowd, amongst Mutiny’s ever-growing troop of devotees (decked out, as per usual, in pirate eyewear) were unsuspecting bass lovers who lost their Mutiny immunity. They began their set booming- fast and aggressive enough to hook the entire room and help them forget that the headliner was absent. As one of the G9 Collective’s fastest rising acts, the opportunity to hold down the fort until Dieselboy’s arrival was well-deserved and filled without reservation.
As the night proceeded, the dance floor crowd began to thin a little bit. Understandably so, as an entire two hours passed before Dieselboy arrived at Skybar. Just as hope was beginning to fade, nearly a quarter after 2 a.m., the man of the hour finally appeared and took control of The Bass Room to slaughter the devoted crew who still remained.
With so much pent up anxiety from re-routed flights, hazardous weather, and hours of idle time, it’s no wonder Dieselboy’s set was brimming over with clenched-fist, teeth-grinding, body-convulsing intensity. Entranced by the chaotic, agile beats, we danced with vigor for what felt like 20 minutes but in reality was more than an hour. As the clock crept past 3 a.m., Dieselboy grabbed the mic and shouted, “Come on, Indianapolis! We got just a little bit left!”
Fifteen minutes later, he was still cranking out jams. The finale of all finales began with the first conclusion to his set.
“Thank you so much. I barely made it here tonight. It was the most ridiculous shit ever. You know when you might be sitting on an airplane like, ‘Why the fuck aren’t… Why isn’t the plane moving?’ It was stressful. I just wanted to be here for you tonight. So, thank you. I’m gonna play one more. They might shut me off… but I have one more. Thank you Indianapolis!”
A few minutes later, just before the drop, he chimed in again, “By the way, thank you to the club for letting me play for an hour. God damn!”
Another interjection followed minutes later: “I want to big up all the drum and bass DJ’s that played before me. We need you.”
In this video, you can see Dieselboy look up as the lights turn on; he continues to slay.
Two minutes later, he concluded again:
“Thank you so much! I didn’t think I was gonna make it tonight. Indianapolis, thank you so much! Can we play one more or…” he trailed off, looking around to mixed signals- fans begging for more while the Skybar sound staff advised to quit. He decided to play one more anyways.
Dieselboy’s crowd begs for more.
He threw the mic down and disappeared below the table, digging through his bag for something special to close with. Perhaps the best moment of the night was the look of utter disbelief on Dieselboy’s face when he realized he was actually going to get one more track in. After the music restarted, he continued to play with the sound man, pleading for more time and more volume.
“Sound man- can we give this shit three minutes? The cops won’t arrest you.”
“The sound guy won’t turn me up.”
“Sound guy, come on, man! Come on! You know you want it!”
“Why you gotta tease me like that, sound man?”
Still not ready to quit, Dieselboy picked up his monitors and flipped them around to face the audience to boost thier sound while a growing number of fans on stage continued to dance like no tomorrow. More than 30 minutes past closing time, he still showed no sign of fatigue.
Dieselboy played well past 3:30 into Saturday morning, then at last found an end to the music and concisely concluded his show for the third and final time. “Once again, fuck you, U.S. Airways and THANK YOU INDIANAPOLIS!”
The lights come on as Dieselboy’s set stretches well past 3 a.m.
Special thanks to Nightlights TV for the video clips.