By Danny Contreras
He has many nicknames and is part of dance music royalty—Steve Aoki rocked the house this past Friday as part of the CCSU Spring Concert which he co-headlined with Kendrick Lamar.
The small, long haired DJ and producer opened up with support of Will Brennan, the first hip-hop act to be signed onto Dim Mak, Aoki’s own music label.
It was a short set that lasted about ten minutes, but it didn’t foreshadow Aoki’s craziness. His set was very well put. He constantly switched back and forth between electro and progressive house, and of course played his club hits to the delight of his hardcore fans. But it was ultimately a fun, catchy setlist that satisfied both old and new fans.
Aoki’s set focused on hard hitting, loud bass-kick tracks that have been trending in dance music for the past 6 months or so. Breakthrough producer Showtek made a couple of appearances with “Slow Down” and “Crunk.” He quickly added some bootlegs and remixes of his biggest song such as the Tommy Trash “Sunrise” mash up of “Ladi Dadi” from his 2011 production, Wonderland.
He kept the crowd on all systems go with constant mic work. Aoki yelled at CCSU for energy, with the crowd obliging to his request. His ground and pound tracks kept coming as everyone in attendance jumped up and down to beats.
Unfortunately, at the very beginning of the concert some technical malfunctions ruined the light show for about 15 minutes. Somehow the video screen was stuck one a single image for approximately 15 minutes, until it was turned off, and fixed later in the show.
It didn’t hinder Aoki, who just kept churning out club hits like “So Freaking” with Chris Lake, and the banger “Jump” with Dutch DJ R3hab. Thirty minutes into his set he brought the first of many champagne bottles to spray at the crowd.
Aoki’s sets are not only known for their intensity but also for the amount of props he adds to the performance. He is known to add inflatable props in addition to the constant spraying of champagne and some edibles.
He continually supported the artists signed to Dim Mak. The label is largely an electro label focusing on dutch house releases, but also delving into some dubstep and drum & bass. A fan of any of those genres could hear Dimitri Vega & Like Mie, in addition to Booka Shade and Kill the Noise.
To say Aoki has an overabundance of energy would be an understatement. The set was not only energetic, but so was his performance. He kept jumping up and down between the booth and the front of the stage where he interacted with the crowd. One of the highlights was when Aoki summoned his inner vocalist for “Warp 2.0”. One of his biggest hits to date, he grabbed the microphone to yell the drop live to the clamoring crowd.
“1,2. WOOP WOOP!” yelled Aoki from the ground on the stage, as the crowd just destroyed the ground in Kaiser.
A brief interlude gave the crowd sometime to catch their breath before the conclusion of the show. Aoki returned with his trademark inflatables and a good amount of cake. It was a show where you see everything. He began the end the show with arguably his biggest song “No Beef” which he produced with another Dutch DJ, Afrojack.
The inflatable mattress made its cameo when Aoki followed up with the incredibly psychedelic “Cudi the Kid,” one of his singles from Wonderland two years ago. The dubstep song preceded “Beat Down” his latest release featuring Iggy Azalea. The Dutch house inspired song with an overly compressed sub-kick and hard hitting lazer lead that managed to capture the intensity of the whole show in 5 minutes.
To say the least, Aoki did not just impress in his set, he completely destroyed the CCSU crowd. It was an incredible set that had prog house, electro and dubstep. Just about everything that the crowd was looking for. A minor visual setback did not detract from the controlled chaos the DJ set upon the Kaiser crowd.