Steve Aoki SAMF After Party at Concord Music Hall 6/10/16 Recap
Steve Aoki played one of the several after parties for Spring Awakening Music Festival this weekend at Concord Music Hall in Chicago. Friday, June 10, the night to kick off the weekend, was the perfect setting for this high-energy producer. However, it was probably unfair for Saturday’s artists, because he wore out all those in attendance with his hard-hitting bass drops that seemed to never cease.
Opening for Steve Aoki was the newest addition to the Dim Mak label, Max Styler. This young kid, who got his big break a couple years ago opening for sold out shows, fits right in with the Dim Mak crew. A perfect transition from the Spring Awakening festival to the second name on the bill, Rain Man. Since departing from Krewella, Rain Man (the mastermind behind the group’s huge success), has been doing just fine on his own. His popularity has been gaining as a solo artist for a couple years now, and each song that he dropped proved why he can do it alone. Rain Man’s new track “Bringing Back the Summer” was the perfect addition to the night as summer finally came into full swing (in the Midwest) at the beginning of the month.
Crouching behind the decks so the crowd couldn’t see. Aoki waited patiently while the crowd chanted his name,”Aoki… Aoki… Aoki,” clearly pumped up from the first day of the festival, everyone still fresh and ready to party. After he popped up for his intro, the crowd couldn’t help themselves but scream in excitement, confetti blasting above their heads. Aoki quickly entered into some epic remixes, from “The Final Countdown” to The Weeknd. He mastered the art of combining a very versatile remix set with his originals, and it all sounded like his usual brand of crazy. Seeing an artist like Steve Aoki play an after party can be quite different from seeing him in a festival setting. As with most DJs and producers, they want to make the crowd happy, and this is exactly what Steve Aoki does. Once in the Concord, he could be more true to himself rather than the other artists with which he shared a stage at Spring Awakening.
The visuals at the event were just as ridiculous as his set, with one repeating clip showing a suggestive video of gay porn with Donald Trump’s face photo-shopped in, doing himself (of course). This photo shop theme came again later in the night as Aoki played a remix of “My Heart Will Go On,” his face photo-shopped as both Jack and Rose from the Titanic in the iconic scene at the front of the ship. The whole crowd was swooning and singing along. Aoki’s humor is unmatched, and the visuals have sort of taken over the caking as a way for him to show that he loves what he does and shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
Some give Aoki a lot of flack for spending more time in front of the stage than behind the decks, but we must admit that it’s clear he has a more unique feel than many hard-hitting producers out there. No one said that all electronic artists should be doing every little tweak in front of their audience. They came for the music and Aoki let them have it. He does his work in the studio and it pays off. He has truly become a figurehead for his music. After dropping a new track, he spent a couple minutes in front of the booth giving away prizes to his audience, maybe he just has a need to throw things into the crowd. DVBBS made an appearance at the event as well, helping Aoki give prizes to the crowd and take a photo with the audience at the end of the night. The whole fiasco was a roaring good time.