March 19, 2015
Most electronic dance music artists aren’t ones for eloquent word play, they leave that to the angelic female vocalists of their songs and a choice few rappers. Steve Aoki sticks to this equation for beginning of his set, letting the sound effects and his tower of video screens pull the audience into his fantasy world of the Neon Future. He builds the tension only to cut it with an explosion of streamers and confetti raining over the gyrating crowd.
Aoki is known for his heavy use of production equipment in comparison to other artists of his genre. His flamboyant style has him running and climbing around the stage, using his mobility to connect with his crowd and act as his own best “hypeman.” With all the subliminal messages probably hidden within his on-stage video stream, the audience is brainwashed to be completely in love with him… or possibly to assassinate Kanye West the next time they hear the song “I Wanna Be Like Mike.” Either way, no one is complaining.
The most remarkable feature of his show are the Aokibots 2.0 who make multiple appearances during the set. Bootleg versions of Optimus Prime come to life on stage, morphing from stage decorations to LED stripped dancing fog machines that let loose upon the crowd following the heaviest drop in “Back to Earth” as confetti and streamers burst from the stage. Aoki also included his usual rafting and cake-to-the-face antics, with at least 10 cakes flying through the air during his two-hour set.
He featured new songs from Neon Future Part 1, collaborative works such “Horizons” and “Boneless,” previous works like “Turbulence” and “No Beef,” and remixes of other popular songs such as “Wonderwall” and “We Will Rock You.”
Not only did Aoki’s beats keep the crowd begging for more, but his openers are a talented group of up-and-comers from the DJ scene. Dutch hardstyle DJ Head Hunterz's one-hour set in itself showcased a promising individual with smooth transitions and tasteful mixes including the original song “Nothing Can Hold Us Down,” a collaboration with Hardwell.
Although Aoki’s style is a departure for typical EDM and house music fans, the six-hour show definitely has the bang for your buck.
Head Hunterz partial setlist*
Rise Once Again by Ian Carey ft Michelle Shellers
Nothing Can Hold Us Down by Hardwell & Head Hunterz ft Haris
Beautiful World by Blasterjaxx & DBSTF ft. Ryder
Stay the Night by Zedd ft Hayley Williams
I Got You by Duke Dumont ft Jax Jones
Shocker by W&W and Headhunterz
Let's Rock by Tatanta
Original song by Headhunterz
Everybody Raise Your Hands by Avicii
Virus by Martin Garrix and MOTi
Tomorrow by Rocko
Bang Bang by Nancy Sinatra
How You Love Me by 3LAU ft Bright Lights
Steve Aoki partial setlist*
If I Lose Myself by One Republic
Neon Future ft Luke Steele
Back to Earth ft Fall Out Boy
Horizons ft Linkin Park
Born to Get Wild ft will.i.am
Rage the Night Away ft Wocka Flocka Flame
Delirious (Boneless) ft Kid Ink
Turbulance ft Lil Jon
Free the Madness ft Machine Gun Kelly
I Love it When You Cry ft Moxie
Afroki with Afrojack ft Bonnie McKee
Get Me Outta Here ft Flux Pavilion
No Beef with Afrojack ft Miss Palmer
Wonderwall by Oasis
We Will Rock You by Queen
Pump Up the Jams by Technotronic
*DJ set lists are estimated and incomplete