Vissa Royale took place on Wednesday April 26th on Kings Night at Poppodium 013 in Tilburg, the Netherlands. Vissa Royale was an eclectic showcase organized by Vissa Events, of what can best be described as Meme Techno. But what is Meme Techno? And who is Gladde Paling (translated in English as slippery eel)?
Amy Melissa Farina
*All of the photos provided in this review are from Niek Filippo (@Niekfilippo).
In order to dive deep into this review, we need to define a few key terms and outline who exactly are the key players in the new emerging genre of Meme Techno. Meme Techno is a new style of electronic music that combines hard techno, drum and bass, and hard dance. But how is this different than from other sub-genres of hard dance that combine different genres of music into one track or for example freestyle?
What is Meme Techno?
What sets Meme Techno apart is the use of samples from a myriad of media outlets such as commercials and internet memes. Another distinguishing aspect of the genre is the anti-establishment philosophy compared to the traditional aspects of the hard dance or techno scene which often are serious (think DJs and ravers dressed in all black with a continuous beat). Between the hard beats, catchy lyrics, and fast paced changes in musical style, this genre has tended to resonate deeply with a generation that has been captivated by TikTok and short catchy content (but also me at 32 years old!).
Vissa Royale was the perfect demonstration of Meme Techno because it incorporated some of the key players in the genre for example Gladde Paling, Vieze Asbak (English for “dirty ashtray”) and Natte Visstick (English for “wet fish stick”). Now that we’ve explored the phenomenon of Meme Techno, let’s dive into what made Vissa Royale such a wild night (if everything I just explained didn’t make it seem wild enough!).
We arrived at the venue around midnight. We came by car from Eindhoven having pre-gamed first at a friend’s place. Parking was quite difficult as it was Kings Night, but that was to be expected. Then it was just a short walk from the parking lot to the venue.
Vissa Royale took place at Poppodium 013. Poppodium 013 is a popular concert venue located in the heart of Tilburg. I’ve attended other electronic music events here before and was looking forward to attending another event here (despite it being very far from my house in The Hague). The party consisted of two areas, the main room, and a side room with more mainstream electronic music.
There were plenty of chill areas inside the venue to sit and at no point was the party so crowded that you couldn’t navigate around. There was always space to dance and multiple bathrooms and entrances to the rooms which made it easy to find your friends!
First up for the night was French artist Roland Cristal. It was my first time seeing him and I was pleasantly surprised by his implementation of the keyboard and live singing. He had us singing along to the bouncy melody of Vendetta and his song Voyage en Europe (Travel in Europe) will forever be stuck in my head. Roland’s energy and high knee kicks brought a huge smile to my face throughout his set. His performance set the mood for the remainder of the night which can be described as expect the unexpected.
Next up was the much-anticipated set of the night Gladde Paling. Starting off the set on a more serious note with the famous Dutch song 15 Miljoen Mensen (15 Million People) but then of course the hyperactive vivacious remix. The set amalgamated so many different tracks and genres into one hour it’s almost unfathomable however somehow every time seamlessly done. One of my favorite moments of the set was when he had the crowd going crazy to nostalgic classics like We Like to Party and Gangam Style. The set was a perfect mix of his hyperactive hits such as Dolfijn and Sprinter/Intercity with remixes of sing-along 90’s/00’s classics. Gladde Paling 100% knows his audience and that is one of many reasons why he is dominating the scene.
Next was the experimental sounds of Vieze Asbak. It was my first time seeing him live and was blown away by the diverse mix of industrial, hard techno and hard dance. Dropping bangers like Heads Will Roll and Meet Her at the Love Parade with hilarious visuals in the background made this an unforgettable set.
Kicking things off with fan favorite Lekkere Boterham (Delicious Sandwich) which is a collaboration between Natte Visstick and Vieze Asbak, everyone went HAM. Natte Visstick was the surprise act of the night and the perfect addition to this insane line up. One moment that stood out for me was when he dropped his remix of the Push Up as fish stick visuals rained down in the background. The juxtaposition between a dark hard techno track and ridiculous images and sample vocals is really what makes Vissa Events so unique.
Of course, any opportunity I have to see GPF I’m there. From singing my heart to How Far I’ll Go from Moana to getting hit in the head by inflatable male genitalia during Who’s Your Daddy I will always have a smile on my face when GPF is on the stage. Between the energy of the crowd and insanity of the theatrics, GPF puts on a show time and time again.
Vissa Royale was 100% worth the six-hour total round trip from my house and I am counting down the days until the next Vissa Events party. The concept of meme techno really resonates with me because of my love for nostalgia, the fact that my heart beats at 200 beats per minute, and that my brain runs even faster than that. The event was also extremely well organized, the visuals were hilarious, and the sound system throughout the night was exceptional. There’s one thing for sure that this is just the beginning of a new sensation, and that Meme Techno is here to stay.