Anytime you go to a Steve Aoki show, one has to know that it’s going to be an all-encompassing experience. Not just for the cakes, but for the crowd rafting and a plethora of confetti throughout the night. It’s a show that is not only meant to appeal to your musical senses, but to get the crowd involved. Then again – that should be the goal for any artist. Aoki is one of the hardest working electronic artists out there, often touring more than 200 days out of the year. Twitter and social networks were ablaze that mild March night as the Hammerstein Ballroom show sold out just a couple hours before it was due to start.
Caked Up, who are artists on Aoki’s Din Mak label kicked off the night with a mostly trap-infused set. Within the middle, they played their latest single, “Rave Police”, which the crowd really responded to. The duo also played their various remixes from artists such as Flosstradamus and Borgore. Oscar Wylde and Vegas Banger threw their fair share of water into the crowd which was well received when the drops of bass came through. This was a good warmup to the show.
Next up to proceed over the night’s festivities was Headhunterz. At first, this set was a little weird to me. This was my first time seeing a Headhunterz set since his declaration that he would not be a primary hardstyle DJ. There were a couple notables within his set, primarily the Hardwell remix of Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding track, “Outside”. There was a little treat at the end of the set as there were a couple hardstyle tracks that rang throughout the Hammerstein Ballroom like a hammer. The crowd of kids busted into shuffling before the set ended.
By the end of the night, the “cake me” signs went up and the elements of the production was upped considerably. Steve Aoki played an hour and a half set with most tracks from his album Neon Future. Highlights included Aoki spraying champagne into the crowd and Aoki bots coming out decked in LCD lights with fog guns. During “Rage The Night Away” their was white water raving, which had fans surf in a raft. There were not one, but two cake throws – seems the New York crowd got the best of it.
If you look at electronic music as a whole, it has grown into a full blown production. Having been to many Steve Aoki shows, the Neon Future Tour is the culmination of that evolution. One part sensory overload mixed with another part interactive experience.