EDM Events/ Concerts

Review: Thunderdome Showcases Excision’s New Visuals + Much More

Image credit Luis Colato

This year’s edition of Excision‘s notorious Thunderdome mini-festival was undoubtedly the best yet.

Held in Tacoma, Washington, over three bass-filled nights on February 2, 3, and 4, 2024, the weekend was utterly unbelievable.

The festival has wildly expanded since its beginnings in 2018. It has grown from a small one-day show to a massive three-day festival, becoming one of Excision’s most significant events among Lost Lands and Bass Canyon.

Attendees now travel from all across the country to be in the same space as the best artists in the game and witness the magic of an Excision show.

Excision, real name Jeff Abel, did not hold back when creating the Thunderdome lineup, hosting bass music’s best DJs including ATLiens, LAYZ, SIPPY, Wooli, Mersiv, HOL!, INFEKT, NIGHTMRE, Zomboy, RAY VOLPE, GorillaT, Emorfik, AlienPark, Benda, and Rated R with Excision headlining and closing out all three nights.

The festival also showcased incredible back-to-backs from the talents of Hairitage and DRINKURWATER, Bear Grillz and Bad News Bears, EPTIC and Space Laces, and Excision himself, B2B SVDDEN DEATH (hilariously nicknamed Svdden Jeff).

Music is only the start of what makes Thunderdome unique to many people.

Excision knows what it takes to blow minds regarding production value and world-class visuals. Excision was proud to awe his crowd and unveil his brand new, high-shock-value visuals as the first stop on his Nexus tour.

Displaying 3-D-esque mythical creatures, angry dinosaurs, hallowed skeletons, and a demonic Shrek, the visuals were like nothing we’ve ever seen, with the characters ripping through larger-than-life screens and engaging with the crowd.

Combined with pyrotechnics and over 200 high-powered lasers from various artists and five laser companies, the show was an audio-sensory dream. It was apparent how much dedication and passion Excision and his team put into producing this show.

Excision fans have a very high standard for stage production when it comes to his shows, and we really didn’t think it was possible to top his already impressive visuals and lasers, but he somehow managed to outdo himself. Being the first to see this brand-new show put on by Excision was an incredibly exceptional experience.

The surprises didn’t stop with the visual performances. Excision kept the crowd on their toes by bringing out world-renowned DJ Marshmello to join himself and SVDDEN DEATH during their B2B performance on Sunday night.

Debuting ten new songs and remixes, including a new banger by Excision, SVDDEN DEATH, and vym3, the trio brought some major heat to the Tacoma Dome arena. Marshmello’s energy was just what the crowd needed, and an explosion of screams and claps filled the venue as he ran on stage.

Image courtesy of Luis Colato

In all transparency, we were a little disappointed in the closing B2B set.

Although the talents of three incredible artists blended nicely, the set wasn’t as angry or complex as we had wanted it to be, especially with such heavy names as SVDDEN DEATH and Excision.

We wanted the set to be dark and scary, and it simply wasn’t. The visuals also weren’t of the same caliber as the first two nights, which was a letdown for the finale set. Overall, the set wasn’t bad; it was different than expected.

Something above our expectations, and an extraordinary surprise, was getting down with our favorite DJs in the crowd.

One of the most unique aspects of electronic music is the support artists have for one another and how accessible DJs are to their fans. Emrofik, Layz, and HOL! were headbanging in the crowd, while Sullivan King was spotted playfully working the merch booth.

Emorfik went insane in the crowd, bouncing his lengthy self all around and dabbling in the mosh pits. It was incredible to share a space with his energy and love for electronic music.

Image courtesy of Luis Colato

Being one of the most giant wooden domes in the world, the Tacoma Dome is the perfect venue to house hundreds of lasers and upwards of 20,000 patrons.

The Tacoma Dome has housed multiple EDM events and festivals throughout the years and continues to impress time after time. One thing we are not the biggest fans of at Tacoma Dome, however, is security.

We love strict security. We do. Our community and artists’ safety should be a top priority, and we commend teams that uphold our PLUR values. The security just seemed to be over the top.

At the door, you can say goodbye to your chapstick, balloons, lip glosses, and 1.2 mm standard BIC ballpoint pens. Security was seen taking people’s vapes from their hands in the bathroom lines and, surprisingly, out on the sidewalks before they even approached the venue.

Female security could be heard banging aggressively on the bathroom stall doors, demanding that anyone with more than one person per stall exit the bathroom immediately.

Again, we can’t emphasize enough how important safety is and how crucial it can be to follow the venue rules, but it all seemed unnecessarily hostile and rude.

Image courtesy of Luis Colato

We did, however, appreciate the staff passing out free candy and water to audience members throughout the show. The last thing we need is hungry, dehydrated ravers, especially after hydro packs and sealed food continued to be banned from the festival.

Overall, the weekend was one we will remember and cherish for many years.

Excision is so detailed and organized when he puts on his events, and it flawlessly comes together to produce a once-in-a-lifetime, exquisite show that is quite special to his fans.

We can’t wait to continue seeing him at various stops during his Nexus tour and will be anxiously anticipating Thunderdome 2025.

Written by
Katie Katuscak

Katie is currently working as a travel nurse with a specialty in Pediatric ICU but has a deep passion for electronic music. She's been going to festivals since 2017 and loves the free-spirit energy that comes with festivals. Her favorite artists are Zeds Dead and Subtronics. If you see her at a show, please come say hello!

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