Steve Aoki was in Burlington Ontario last night. For those of you who have no idea where Burlington is, I don’t blame you. For those of you who do, I am sure you are asking yourselves, “since when do big Electro DJs take over Burlington?” Last night Steve Aoki brought the 416 to the 905 to shut down Zu Bar, a club just off the QEW.
The night opened up with Toronto’s Vivi Diamond warming the crowd up on the 1s and 2s. Dropping in and out of hard electro she got everyone’s temperature ready for the headliner. When I hopped on the Go train to get out to the burbs for the show I was excited to see the man behind Dim Mak kill the crowd with hard basslines and wild theatrics, what i didn’t expect was for him to have St. Mandrew, AutoErotique’s Keith Lite, and MSTRKRFT’s JFK in tow! Unfortunately not everyone in the audience knew what they were baring witness too. I on the other hand paid to see Aoki and was blessed with the opportunity to see him beside one of Toronto’s best acts, JFK, in one of Toronto’s smaller suburbs.
The combination of having Steve Aoki and JFK beside one another in the booth was purely electric. These two artists together made for one of the filthiest sets I’ve ever heard. Opening with The Bloody Beetroots Cornelius was epic! Some of you may recall that this track inspired me to put up a little post on the evolution of DJs into modern Rock Stars. This concert affirmed my every belief. With Aoki standing on top of the DJ booth screaming into the mic, JFK pounding a bottle of crown, the lights blazing and the music raging, seeing Aoki dive into the crowd put this culture into perspective for me.
Great DJs aren’t just playing music, they play the crowd. I remember hearing about how Larry Lavan used toÂ control a crowd at Paradise Garage. He would make the crowd move the way he wanted them to. If he wanted them to go down, they did. When he wanted them to come up, they followed his lead. Aoki and JFK did just that. They changed the pace at various times, but there were a few distinct moments for me. In the beginning there was house, by dropping dirty electro they had to crowd flowing. Later in the night they created a mosh pit, after they dropped Rage’s Killing in the Name Of I was moshing with bros in blazers and dudes in dress shoes. Everyone in the crowd was being moved by these masters of musical manipulation. If they let the track cut out for a second or two, it only increased the intensity with which the crowd responded to the drop. House is all about peaks and valleys, these guys took you bungee jumping. Unexpected drops were welcome, and buildups took you to the top of the mountain.
Steve Aoki is the best DJ I have ever seen PERFORM. I couldn’t really argue that he is the best at beatmatching, mixing, and effecting; but I will argue that he is the best showman I have ever seen on a set of decks.
[audio:Bloody Beetroots – Cornelius (Radio Oi).mp3,Kid Sister – Control (JFK Remix).mp3,Buy Now – Body Crash (JFK Edit).mp3,Metro Statio – Control (Steve Aoki Remix) 2.mp3]