Steve Aoki @ Verizon Wireless Theater
With the release of his debut studio album, Wonderland, Dim Mak Records founder Steve Aoki has embarked on his 2012 North American “Deadmeat” tour. Aoki kept the energy alive and kicking throughout his late night set in Houston last week.
Check out the rest of the review and more photos after the jump.
The night began with a lackluster performance from dubstep/hip hop duo Terravita. Featuring a vocalist while on tour can often be a slippery slope for any electro artist, and Terravita didn’t make the grade, in my opinion. The translation from the studio to the stage was muddled, and the combination did not mesh well together. Nonetheless, the group of concertgoers at the barricade seemed to enjoy it. I’m not sure whether they were Terravita fans or their excitement was drug-induced (I have a feeling it was the latter).
Datsik redeemed Terravita with a dynamic, wobbly, bass-filled set. My heart was literally vibrating in my chest. The audience instantly became more rambunctious the moment they saw his name light up on stage. With grimy hit singles such as “Swagga” and “Nuke ‘Em”, it would be difficult for Datsik to falter. He has a knack for blending dubstep with hip hop influences and even snuck in Ice Cube’s classic club hit, “You Can Do It”. You know Houston appreciated that one.
As soon as Datsik vacated the stage, the crowd’s anticipation reached its peak. The venue was filled with the deafening chants of “AOKI! AOKI! AOKI!” while the stagehands scurried to reveal the new lighting setup. As soon he ascended to his home for the next couple hours, Steve Aoki announced that he would only be spinning his own original productions. In a world of constant regurgitation and remixing, it was refreshing and respectable for Aoki to change it up and stick to his own music. Although he spun several tracks from his new album, Aoki brought us back with classics such as “Warp 1.9” (one of my personal favorites).
At any moment, you could catch Aoki crowd surfing, standing atop his booth, skipping across the stage, or showering the audience with an array of beverages (including champagne, cranberry juice, and orange juice). His constant crowd interaction kept everyone fully enthralled. Amid the mayhem, the lighting and video displays were also well-orchestrated.
All-in-all, Steve Aoki created the fast-paced dance party we all came to experience. As a wise man once said, “Once the music dropped, the shoulders never stopped.” With the relatively recent explosion of electronica into the American mainstream, Aoki’s persistence over the years is definitely paying off.