|Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen|
with Waka Flocka Flame, Borgore, Felix Cartal, and Deorro
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Steve Aoki brought an insanely intense crowd of young dancing maniacs to a number of peaks with his unique brand of gigantic sounds and chaotic showboating. Saturday at Epic, the variety show included dubstep from Borgore, electro-house from Felix Cartal, and rap from Waka Flocka. It resembled a festival in both range and excitement levels.See Also: Slideshow: Steve Aoki at Epic 11/9/13
Deorro started the night off with standard peak-and-valley EDM, bringing the audience up with triumphant drops only to interrupt energy with yet another build. The actual music spun certainly provided the eager fans what they were looking for, but the insistent tension-building/vocal-sample/drop formula wore thin as it went on. But, keep in mind, City Pages was among the only ones at the event taking dutiful notes instead of mood-enhancing substances, so any criticisms aren't really in line with the audience. And much of the X'd hands of the main crowd looked like they were already having the time of their lives, even as early as 8 p.m.
As Waka Flocka Flame's DJ began to setup, he asked people to hand him their weed so that he could smoke onstage. It was nice to see some legitimate Atlanta trap versus the EDM rebranding. Waka himself basically defined the sound as we've known it since 2009 by rapping over Lex Luger beats. If the addition of a rap act seemed left-field on this tour, Waka's focus on-stage energy instead of actually rapping was reminiscent of Aoki's own chaotic push-button sets. There was a lot of lip-syncing but it's hard to say that a set that riled so many people up is a bad rap set.
|Photos by Anna Gulbrandsen|
He was immensely entertaining, and spent most of his time running around rapping at the crowd. The beats featured live drums and incessant gun sounds. At one point, he sprayed the crowd with some sort of mist with diabolical glee. Leaving after performing the massive "Hard in the Paint," Waka's set met with thunderous applause and screaming, which continued into the DJ dropping "Hard in the Paint", again. Waka would return to perform during the other DJs' sets, and spent most of the rest of the night upstairs smoking blunts with fans in the VIP area.
Quickly after Steve Aoki arose from behind his glowing stage playing "No Beef," wearing a vest illuminated by colored lights, the music suddenly stopped. Security flooded the front stage as staff attempted to repair a barricade that had been broken thanks to a barrage of unruly fans.
"Epic Nightclub, you need to invest in a better barricade!" said Aoki amidst the atypical backdrop of silence. "You guys gotta be careful. Let them fix the barricades so I can play music again!" Once the issue had been resolved, his Afrojack collaboration kicked in again and the crowd resumed insanity. The sold-out show was packed with hyped fans, and a sheen of youthful exuberance hung above the night. Aoki continued with hits ranging from his song "Turbulence" with Lil' Jon and his song "A Light That Never Scenes" with Linkin Park, and his trademark stage madness began in full force.