Through an Intern’s Eyes- Steve Aoki at The Shrine
What can I say about Los Angeles? Warm weather, palm trees, and most importantly- good house. My name is Cubby Cramer; I am one of the interns at Dim Mak Records this fall. I hail from the cold and wintery land of Ithaca, a small hipster city in New York. As a senior Television-Radio student at Ithaca College, I am given the opportunity to study abroad in California. Dim Mak heard about my experience with dance music, from editing Your EDM to hosting my own dance radio show on WICB, so I was one of the lucky few brought on board. This past week was a moment many of us at Dim Mak were looking forward to, Steve Aoki at The Shrine. As his Los Angeles stop on the Aokify America tour, I was excited to see the other artists on the roster for the evening equally as much as Steve Aoki himself. Besides- it was snowing in Ithaca- I really couldn’t complain!
My evening started with Keys N Krates, who I was immediately was impressed with. Call me biased seeing as they are a Dim Mak faithful, but it was their live setup was the real kicker. The three man group is going to be one of the real game changers moving forward, merging djing, keyboards, and drums into one live act. Seeing as everyone is a DJ these days, a trap artist that has an atypical approach like this will easily put them in front of the pack. Case in point, their live rendition of “Dum Dee Dum” was excellent, with a long bridged section leading into the track we know and love.
This was an evening of firsts. While all the artists that night I had not previously seen, it was also the first time I had seen a rapper live. Waka Flocka came on stage to much rejoicing from the crowd, while DJ Ace dropped many Brick Squad Monopoly and gunshot sound effects. Both the crowd and myself enjoyed Waka’s hits like “Hard In Da Paint” and “Grove St. Party”, it was the Beatport Top 10 reaching “Wild Out” that set it off. Hearing this big electro house record live and seeing a sea of fans jumping in unison was a sight to behold.
Alvin Risk and Iggy Azalea were both fun in their own rights. Alvin Risk brought high energy electro and dubstep from his end, while Iggy Azalea dazzled with her dance moves and backup dancers. Alvin was sure to play his high profile works like his remix of “We Are Young” and his addictingly fun remix of “Earthquakey People” from Steve Aoki. Iggy Azalea had a crazy, reflective silver jumpsuit on this evening, stealing the show with her look. I could tell that the ladies in the audience really enjoyed her set, and personally I was happy to hear “Beat Down” live for a change.
Finally, Steve Aoki took the stage, the moment everyone had been waiting for. As a dance music journalist who closely watches the public opinion, I’ve been looking forward to seeing Steve perform for a long time. Steve Aoki often gets knocked by dance music purists for believing he does prerecorded sets- but truth be told- nothing is feigned in his live performance. When it came time to cake the crowd, to much audience jubilee mind you, Steve knew just how much time he’d have before jumping back on the decks to throw on another record. Steve was sure to drop both his upcoming releases like soon-to-be major electro hit “Aoki Jump” with R3hab while bringing back old favorites like “Warp 1.9” and “No Beef”.
I must also applaud Steve for inviting Travis Barker for live drumming tracks like “Push ‘Em” and a number of others. Then to go one step further, Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park joined on stage to perform “A Light Than Never Comes”. I had never expected so many guests to join Steve on stage, it really puts into perspective how many other artists he works with. Then to close the evening, Steve engaged the crowd in breaking the Guinness World Record for longest crowd scream. What else to say about this evening but wow, Steve and Dim Mak are clearly writing the manual to event success! I’ve seen my fair share of different DJs and musicians, but the energy of this evening was unreal. From start to finish, this night will go down as a testament on how to throw a proper house party.