Freaks of Nature Tour
With Alvin Risk
Klipsch Ampitheater at Bayfront Park, Miami
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Better Than: High-school heartbreak and all that icky teenager stuff.
The youth of America is all jazzed about fist-pumping, bass-pounding dance music. And last night, the kids of Miami went koo-koo for Kaskade's lush brand of uhntz-uhntz.
We say "kids" because there weren't really a whole lot of adults in the crowd. Most of the big boys probably waited for the afterparty at LIV. But the all-ages show at Bayfront was alive with the young, neon masses, all totally stoked to dance through summer break.
In accordance with curfews and bedtimes, the show was damn early for a DJ. That didn't stop everyone from coming out hard and getting their rage on, though. The little party monsters got there right at 6:30 p.m. as doors opened. But things really started to get serious around 9 p.m. when Alvin Risk took the stage.
He opened strong with Dada Life's "Kick Out the Epic Motherfucker," smacking the crowd in the face with attitude right away. He kept the energy up with hard tracks like Skrillex's "All I Ask Of You," Porter Robinson's "Say My Name," and his own original banger "Psychotic."
The argyle-sweater-wearing bad boy goes hard in the motherfucking paint. But his set at Bayfront last night proved he knows how to cater to any audience. He went hard while also showing off his sensitivity, grabbing the mike and singing sweetly on new tracks that show the softer side of Risk.
He debuted quite a bit of new material for the crowd, including a collaboration with Skrillex titled "Try It Out." And he didn't hesitate to let the crowd know how much he appreciated their smiling faces.
"Let's make some noise for Kaskade," he said dropping a remix of the headliner's track "Eyes." "We wouldn't be here if it weren't for him. And this is awesome."
By 10 p.m., though, it was time to clear out the stage and make room for the man of the hour. After a 15-minute mingle and bathroom break (yeah, that's right, they broke up the mixes with silence), the lights flashed bright and it was on.
A giant butterfly came on the screen as the music slowly grew louder and louder. He opened with "Eyes" and everyone sang along loudly, thrusting their cameras and phones into the air to record the moment.
"Alright, Miami," Kaskade yelled, and they yelled back. "It's good to be back, you guys. You should see what I'm seeing, this is beautiful!"
For the next hour and a half, the place would glow like a damn UFO invasion. The Freaks of Nature tour is packing some serious visual awesomeness, with giant screens that move, morph, and collide. Mix that mayhem with epic smoke, confetti, and lasers, and you've got a sweet-ass party atmosphere, bro.
Kaskade dropped his original "Be Still" as blue and red flowers burst on the screen behind him. Girls on shoulders bounced around to his gorgeous mix of anthemic house and dirty electro drops, which took the crowd on a blissed-out epic journey.
Everyone stood around wide-eyed, lovingly touching each other to "Stars Align," and it all felt very big under the lights of the city. The screens behind Kaskade kept shifting and rearranging, and he mixed up the vibe, dropping into some harder shit with Knife Party's "Antidote."
All night, he masterfully combined sweetness with edgier stuff. And that's really Kaskade's greatest talent. It's easy for girls to like him, with his dreamy butterfly/unicorn/bird imagery. But he also knows how to make it dirty enough for their boyfriends. Not that bros don't have a sweet-spot for sugary house too.
He worked through hits like "Angel on my Shoulder," "Don't Stop Dancing," and "4 AM." He even debuted some new material, a driving house banger with an almost droning drop and a hook that sings "No one knows who we are."
The party raged through the early night, with the crescendo maxing out around 11:45 p.m. as confetti canons exploded from within the crowd.
"This is our dynasty," Kaskade yelled from behind the decks. By 11:50, the screens behind him merged to show one giant image of his trademark butterfly, and he gave Miami his love before walking off. But of course, everyone stood chanting for "one more song."
As rain began to drizzle down on our heads, the crowd got its wish as Kaskade climbed back behind the decks for his classic 2008 Deadmau5 collab, "I Remember."
It was all rather magical and awesome, especially if you're 17 and heartbreak is the saddest thing you can imagine.
Personal Bias: Not totally sold on this whole EDM concert experience. It's weird to have breaks between DJs. Isn't this supposed to be about vibe?
The Crowd: Mostly young enough to still get summers off.
Best Sunglasses: DIY painted lenses reading "Found, Molly."
Alvin Risk's Setlist Highlights:
-"Kick Out the Epic Motherfucker"
-"All I Ask of You"
-"We Are Young" (Remix)
-"Dance Without You" (Remix)
-"Say My Name"
-"Try It Out"
Kaskade's Setlist Highlights:
-"Fire in Your New Shoes"
-"Angel on My Shoulder"
-"Don't Stop Dancing"
-"Lessons in Love"
-"Move For Me"
-"Turn It Down"
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-"I'm In Love"