You know that Charlie Daniels song “The Devil Went Down To Georgia”? Saturday night’s Red Bull Thre3style world finals were kind of like that except with Serato instead of fiddles.
If the cloven one were to challenge any of the finalists, he would have slinked back to the underworld ashamed, with his pointy tail between his legs. First though, some serious dap needs to be bumped to Vinyl Richie, who opened the night. Proving that his moniker isn’t just a clever name, he thwarted the Saturday night crowd with an all vinyl, almost entirely seven inch, set that featured such daring cuts as “Linus and Lucy” by Vince Guaraldi, and the original Hockey Night In Canada theme.
Every competitor had an edge to their presentation, whether it was Spanish champion BITCODE’s midi sampler being played as a keytar, or Swiss favourite DJ Bazooka firing off confetti cannons at the peak of his keystone track.
As expected though, home country and hometown super star DJ Hedspin, added extra glitz to his finals set, making sure he didn’t disappoint a seething mass of nationalists. Beginning with “Hit The Road Jack”, Hedspin didn’t shy away from any genre or any tempo. Taking time to stare down natural enemy DJ Big Once of the United States, Hedspin shot some light hearted trash talking samples at him, which riled up the Vancouver audience who were clearly still jacked about the 2010 Olympic hockey finals.
After a quick interlude of scratching over a jungle track, the Canadian was awestruck when a super fan, sitting in an inflatable raft and brandishing a hockey stick with the Canadian flag tied to it, surfed across the Commodore Ballroom’s crowd, jacking up the fans to a near immeasurable level. In what was maybe the highlight of his set, DJ Hedspin played the Rye Rye jam “Wassup Wassup” while pausing after each “Wassup” to drop in Street Fighter samples of several country’s names, showing appreciation for his fellow DJs. Not finished yet, the local hero played a custom-made Nardwuar shout out that made certain there were no longer any doubters left in the room, after which he crowd surfed, feeling not just the vocal support, but literal support from his fellow Vancouverites.
Being the world finals, added to the list of judges were Young Guru, DJ Premier, and Pete Rock, and although the audience was clearly on Hedspin’s side, the judges had a tough decision to make.
Luckily, during the deliberation, the late-nighters in attendance were distracted in the best way possible when DJ Nu-Mark jumped on the decks and delivered not only his classic routine, but also his trademark toy set, in which he set off his cymbal-smashing “Maurice” the monkey while scratching on a tiny, toy turntable.
After Nu-Mark took a bow, the anticipated announcement came for who the best party rocker in the world was. Third place went to Brazil’s Nedu Lopes, runner up was Switzerland’s DJ Bazooka, and of course, to deafening support, DJ Hedspin took home the championship belt. Congratulations were spread all around from all the finalists, while Z-Trip (or “Zed-Trip” as we say in Canada) topped off the night (and the week) with his unmatchable talents. Who’s the best party rocker in the world? It’s DJ Hedspin, at least until next year.