Better Than... cramming among the sweaty masses of a typical EDM festival tent in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the man behind the podium.
If you brought your own glow sticks into the Kaskade concert at Staples Center last night, you were out of luck. Walking into the venue was like visiting a high security prison. First, there was the pat down (my friend who accompanied me to the show was "pretty sure" they touched his balls). Then there was the trashcan where all glowing devices were tossed. Once past the metal detectors, though, we were in a sea of neon, tutus, rainbow, and
Monster Rockstar Energy drink butterfly cardboard cutout masks.
As fans piled into their seats, anticipation built. Around 9:15 the lights dimmed, fog machines puffed and a screen boasting a "Freaks of Nature" butterfly silhouette appeared. The instrumental intro to "Eyes" revved up and the curtain fell as Mindy Gledhill's vocals introduced the evening. The bass dropped, the crowd went crazy, and Kaskade emerged wildly waving his fist in the air and chanting, "Come on L.A.!"The DJ took his sold-out audience through an evening of energetic tracks such as "Lessons in Love" (on which he collaborated with Neon Trees), tossed out neon beach balls during "It's You It's Me" off his 2006 release Here & Now, and turned down the sound to allow the crowd to sing along to "Angel On My Shoulder." He played "No One Knows Who We Are," which he explained was a brand new track.
Kaskade's mention of his Freaks of Nature tour being his "boldest move yet" was reinforced by the show's epic lighting and cutting-edge visuals. Giant screens hung behind him and on either side of the stage, and one was built into the podium. Graphics also flashed around the many JumboTron screens and scrolled around the entire upper level of the venue at various points throughout the evening. Flowers bloomed across the stage, a forest appeared, we were taken through a bustling cityscape during "Raining" and animal constellations popped up in the sky as "Stars Troll" played. There were high tech lasers that flashed across the length of the venue, bubbles that trickled down upon the audience and a full-on confetti shower.