Steve Aoki @ Axis Radius|2/9/13
If you don't believe in Jesus, alright, but Asian Jesus is real. Steve Aoki, record producer, DJ, and founder Dim Mak Records, graced Scottsdale's Axis/Radius with his presence last night, spreading his music to all and making one amazing mission trip to land more followers and share the word and sound of EDM.
It seemed as if the scene was there -- and the crowd was ready early on. Aoki has crossover appeal, and he does great mission work converting pop fans into hardcore EDM fans, and pleasing his dedicated following.
As the opening DJs dropped a remix of 2 Live Crew's "Pop That Pussy," we awaited the beloved Steve, I was reminded of the recent piece that the L.A. Times wrote about the EDM culture and Kaskade's response to it. This is a growing scene, a worldwide phenomenon. As whole, EDM isn't responsible for all the bad elements discussed (EDM concerts have the same risks as any other type of music festival or show.) It's easy to miss it beyond the lights and bluster, but this phenomenon is a gathering of all types of people from different generations and separate cultures. It's not the drugs that bring these people together, but rather the music and experiences that can and will be shared for the rest of their remaining lives.
But the crowd last night seemed to have a curious stance on the EDM ethical code of peace, love, unity, and respect. Things kept building up over time last night. Where was Steve? That question began to circulate as midnight passed. The crowd continued to grow in size, but also anxiousness.
A chant of, "we want Steve," circulated until finally at 12:30 a.m. Aoki walked out to the stage. Fans screamed, jumped, and battled each other for camera phones shots. Aoki announced that he was dropping a new track for the first time ever playing it live. The crowd grew to a level of insanity. I found myself pressed against a railing -- thrilled regardless of the crowded situation, but imagining that it couldn't possibly get worse. (It did.)
Looking at it from a PLUR standpoint: Peace did transcend in a sense that everyone seemed to be tranquil, at least as much as they could be considering the excitement of the show. Love was displayed as a couple continuously made out using me as a post. (Not too thrilling) Unity was clearly displayed in the sense that the music had brought everyone last night together. The crowed swayed back and forth, pressed tightly together. (I felt like I was looking down upon a human ocean, waves crashing one after another.) Respect was given to those that withstood that whole night in the crowd. (I found myself stepping outside, no longer wanting to be a back post for a make-out session.)
I wasn't alone out there; people seemed sick of smashing into one another. I guess I just couldn't handle to heat Aoki was cooking up. I tried to head back in, but getting close enough to the stage was impossible. So I remained outside, listening in.
Aoki can truly play. He is a character that everyone loves, even if he's pouring champagne on you and throwing a cake into the crowd (both classic Aoki traditions). His sounds range from progressive, uplifting electro-house to pop, and a twist of dubstep. Aoki dropped hits like "Turbulence," "No Beef," and "Livin' My Love."
The talent and love for the music was in abundance -- almost too much to fit into the venue itself.
Last Night: Steve Aoki at Axis Radius.
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The Crowd: A mixture of what I like to call, "rave pixies" and the typical Scottsdale attire crowd. (Rave pixies sport a tutu, sparkled bra, headband, sunglasses, and so forth.)
Overheard in the Crowd: "I just want him to cake the fuck out of me."