Friday at this year's Exit festival was a huge flashback for me, and I didn't even realize it until I got to the fortress. And then, it hit me - ten years ago, only on Sunday, I was at this same stage, at the exact same time, watching the same band - Elvis Jackson, who I saw for the first time. I finished that same night seeing Chase & Status set on the Main stage for the first time, so history pretty much repeated itself. That night in July 2009, headlining the Main stage were mighty The Prodigy, whose frontman, Keith Flint tragically passed away earlier this year, and who was honored on this occasion by C&S.
The duo, along with MC Rage just recently released their brand new album 'RTRN II JUNGLE,' and along with it, presented the brand new show concept of the same name. Going back to their roots, but also to the roots of the genre, Chase & Status delivered a carefully curated set, selecting tracks from the genres long history and combining it with their own music, predominantly taken from the new album, along with some older tracks and deep cuts. Ever since the announcement, we knew this won't be a classic Chase & Status set, and it surely wasn't. Trimming out every piece of their own music that doesn't belong to the concept, no matter how big of a hit the track may be - and there were some massive hits left out - was a pretty brave decision, but in the end, it paid off. At least according to the crowd reaction. New singles such as 'Retreat2018,' 'Heater,' and 'Program' earned a massive reaction, while 'No Problem' saw quiet a few mosh pits all around the place. Add an older favorite such as 'Take Me Away,' and you'll have the idea.
However, this set wasn't all about Chase & Status. The whole RTRN II JUNGLE concept lasted for more than two and half hours, with DJ Brockie and MC Det opening it. The duo delivered a great warm-up set, taking the crowd on a journey through genre's history, and preparing them for what's to come next. Kabaka Pyramid was the next to hit the stage for a short set, quickly winning the crowd over, and gaining a few fans on the way. He also returned to the stage a couple minutes later with C&S for the massive performance of their collaborative track 'Murder Music.' For their fifteenth anniversary, Chase & Status decided to do something big and something different. They used their stature and authority to honor and give back to the genre that gave them so much, and they succeeded. As well as the album itself, these shows are something that every drum and bass fan should see, and I'm glad I was among those who got the opportunity.