Steve Aoki at Pussycat Lounge Last Night

Steve Aoki
Pussycat Lounge, Scottsdale
December 29, 2010

It's safe to say that this is a first for Last Night -- a show at Scottsdale's Pussycat Lounge. For those who haven't been to the upscale Scottsdale venue or others of its ilk, let me explain: it's madness. It's madness in a good way, but madness nonetheless.

A lot, if not all, of this madness was thanks in part to the palpable anticipation of DJ extraordinaire Steve Aoki.

The crowd was already pretty geeked on DJs Tranzit and Michael James, yet they managed to take things up another notch once Aoki arrived. Madness, indeed.

Oddly enough, I found myself outside taking a break from everything right when Aoki pulled up to the PCL, as the kids call it. He briskly walked inside, much to the delight of everyone standing outside -- his arrival being promptly announced over the PA. In the span of about three minutes, Aoki had arrived at the venue, got his equipment set up, and was spinning away. Pretty impressive stuff from a remarkably impressive guy.

The already teeming-at-the-fist-pump crowd understandably went bananas once Aoki situated himself in the DJ booth -- complete with a bumrush towards the front to get a better glimpse at the sleeveless-shirted, Zubaz/acid-washed panted Aoki. He's such an unsuspecting figure in the DJ booth, yet once he stands up on top of the table and starts screaming into the mic, your focus can't help but go in his direction. 

Borrowing a little juice from Refused's "New Noise," Aoki kept the crowd in a frenzied state throughout the night -- a state that many in attendance most likely came expecting to experience. Honestly, the acoustics (read: loud as shit house music) in the PCL are such that if you came to do some light research for a paper due in a few weeks while taking a few phone calls here and there, you are grossly mistaken. It really was like shooting fish in a barrel for Aoki, but his relentless energy overflowed onto everyone on the dance floor. Sometimes a crowd can be excited to see a band, and the performance can be somewhat disparate from any initial expectations. Aoki both deserves and delivers the hype. The guy is madness.

Critic's Notebook:

Last Night: Steve Aoki at Pussycat Lounge

Personal Bias: I love Aoki's Pillowface And His Airplane Chronicles. I am a total geek for electronic/dance music. I spent my entire Sunday at Coachella in 2008 in the dance tent. If it wasn't for Aoki, I would have no idea who Yelle is -- and thank god I do.

The Crowd: Pretty representative of a Scottsdale club (as if I ever go to them): club kids, fist-pumpers, VIP-loungers and even a token celebrity -- B.J. Novak.

Overheard In The Crowd: N/A. I couldn't even hear myself talk in there.

Random Notebook Dump: Never been to Pussycat Lounge? There is a rather intriguing room situated above the DJ booth. This room features a bedroom scene where a model will come home, if you will, and slowly undress and such in front of her wardrobe for everyone in the crowd to see. I've never seen anything quite like that -- then again, I don't exactly go to places like Pussycat Lounge. Madness, indeed.

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Michael Lopez