Freaky Triple Deaky
As kids, Halloween was all about dressing up in costume, sharing a good time with strangers and of course the obligatory over indulgence of candy. In this day and age, us adults don’t have to let go of that childlike excitement that came with the anticipation of the end of October. You can thank React Presents for that. Over the past 5 years they’ve thrown Freaky Deaky costume parties in Chicago and Detroit. Those hard working and harder partying cities enjoyed the likes of Knife Party, Chromeo, Zeds Dead, Dada Life, Griz as well as a whole host of others in the past. Now as the days grow shorter and the nights colder this, the 6th year of Freaky Deaky, is not one sweet treat but three.
The madness begins in Detroit. A city with a frightening reputation but has long been a mecca for dance music lovers of all types and might just be the perfect place for a Halloween party. On Saturday the 25th React brings out the headiest lineup in their trio of shows to the Masonic Temple. Chicago based and Minneapolis native Manic Focus will be bringing his electro soul to the temple. Gaining traction as of late his music is leagues ahead of what his internet ‘likes’ would suggest. With more exposure at events such as this and collaborations, like his most recent with another headliner of this show, he’ll be a name to remember. Colorado and Pretty Lights Music’s Paper Diamond is no stranger to the big stage. He’s no slouch off the stage either. As well known as his current moniker is he’s had a rather full musical career before becoming the origami gem as Alex B and a part of Pnuma Trio. If you know Paper Diamond’s music then you know what to expect, if not prepare for a little bit of all that is funky. From bass music to hip hop he’ll take on a journey and leave wondering how he fit it all in one set.
Colorado seems to have it all these days but it’s good thing their music duo Big Gigantic can cross the state’s boarders freely. Live drums and that sexy sax over everything has made them a Midwestern favorite for years. As a result their stage show is a little something different, a unique blend of instrumentation, enough lights to make a festival crowd glow and funky beats that get the whole floor moving. Detroit will be buzzing with this first stop on the Freaky Deaky concert tour and who knows what else could be in store. Considering Dominic of Big G has an affinity for guest appearances and was just featured on Manic Focus’s newest track there could be a special on stage collab waiting.
The next stop comes precisely on All Hallow’s Eve and is the first of two nights in a row at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom. With the windy city’s undying love for and seemingly endless supply of hip-hop coupled with it’s historic dance music scene there shouldn’t be any question as to why night one includes the Bay Area’s G-Easy. With west coast vibes appropriately representing his home state of Cali and his new album Things Happen recently dropped he sure to please Chi-city’s Hip-Hop Heads. From SoCal the likes of Kennedy Jones keeps the form of the night going. Or possibly flips it on it’s head, it’s hard tell from a man who answers the question “what genre would you classify your music as?” with “what’s a genre?”. What is for sure is the Buygore artist can bring it. With trap that is down right nasty to big room with enough energy to over power Katy Perry, Mr. Jones may just bring a big bag of genre busting tricks.
Rising to popularity during the explosion of Dubstep the UK’s Flux Pavilion has made the move in to the exploration of all sides of electronic music. Flux has firmly planted himself as one of the world’s biggest names in dance music. That is despite some push back on his perceived leaving behind the genre where he started. Candidly on his facebook page he addressed the issue, claiming as an artist you’re job is to make art and you need creative freedom to do so. Recently working with Dillon Francis as well as releasing a remix of the Rebel Theme from Star Wars just proves how free of an artist he is. With the career path he is on who can question his judgment? With the music he’s putting out and the performances he’s giving fans who can hate? Closing out night is the proper spot for this man, and he’ll have many fans there asking those same questions as he does.
Last and most certainly not least on the following night also at the Aragon, React closes out it’s Freaky run with the most eclectic and quite possibly the best lineup of the three. Scandinavian super duo Pegboard Nerds have been on a tear through the US over the past months on The Uncaged Tour. Their quirky brand of electro combines elements of hardstyle and drumstep for an energy that is all their own. Also in support is LA native Kill The Noise, who has absolutely blown up over the last couple of years. The talent on his productions definitely shines through, but it is in front of an audience and behind the decks where his mastery becomes apparent. This was just as true before he was as well known and he stays true to his name whether it be a small club or a giant festival. Anytime there’s a chance to catch him on stage it should be grabbed, locked in a safe and when the time comes you should be on a Liam Nieson saving his kidnapped daughter kind of not being stopped level.
Speaking of not to be missed, there’s a guy that Pete Tong heralded as one of the top 5 must see sets of EDC Las Vegas. Let that sink in for a moment. The godfather of the electronic music radio show, the man who’s support has given international renown status to your favorite artists before you even heard of them said that this act would be one of the best sets at arguably the best and undoubtedly the largest festival in the US encompassing 8 Stages and something like 200 acts. That artist is the French Future House maestro Tchami, what more could be said.
Rounding out an impossibly good string of shows are the lovely and talented Australian twins Nervo. Approaching a decade of singing and song writing their accolades are too numerous to list completely. They’ve worked with the likes of David Guetta, Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears and Kesha. Their work has garnered hits in multiple countries. In May of this year they released their double disc Inspired for Ministry of Sound giving fans the chance to hear what the sisters are into now, what they see as the future sound of dance music as well as an impressive 2nd disc of what inspired them on their path to stardom. They hold more than twice the talent of most and are sure be have fans of every gender fawning in admiration after their closing set.
If you haven’t gotten it by now Freaky Deaky, all three of these shows, are something special. With about 4 hours of a drive and a week between the Detroit and Chicago dates catching all three is more than feasible. React certainly went all out for each but as the electronic music world knows all too well, you save the best for last.