You know that old law of science in which you can't occupy two different places at the same time?
I couldn't cover both the Steve Aoki concert at the Coliseum and the El Paso Symphony Orchestra concert at the Plaza Theatre on Saturday night.
Since I've been reviewing the EPSO's conductor-search concerts, I asked freelancer and Fuyaradio podcaster Crysti Couture if she'd review Aoki's "Deadmeat" tour stop.
Here's what she had to say.
By Crysti Couture
The nightclub scene in El Paso has its dedicated revelers who often seek out the poshest venues with the most intense, pulsating music echoing from its doors.
But with El Paso fast becoming one of the country's electronic dance music hot spots, these same clubgoers and music fanatics have increasing opportunities to catch their favorite DJs and producers live.
But they usually can't do it at the El Paso County Coliseum. That changed Saturday. The Coliseum was eighth of more than 40 stops on Steve Aoki's "Deadmeat" tour, presented by Rockstar Energy and his Dim Mak Records. The tour, which features labelmate Datsik and others, started Jan. 19 in Phoenix and will end March 17 in Los Angeles, Aoki's home base.
I got there an hour before the 8:30 p.m. start time and several lines already had formed. The fans varied in ages and walks of life; teenagers in miniskirts in one place, middle-aged folks in concert t-shirts in another. Clearly, the passion for this energetic music had no boundaries.
Inside the lobby, EDM already was in effect, provided by El Paso's own Mazo Boys. Having settled in at the front gate between the stage and the crowd, I could see that the stream of fans never seemed to stop trickling in. By the time the show started, the floor was packed without much room to move, the crowd numbering 2,500 by the time it got into the swing.
Being that Rockstar Energy is the tour co-sponsor, it provided free drinks. It seemed like everyone had two or three paper cups in hand. This eventually made for a slippery floor, which didn't seem to have an effect on the dancing crowd.
Opener Alvin Risk's set started with a lone and large LCD screen at the very front of the stage, which lit up the packed Coliseum floor with a mix of different images and patterns alongside steadily quickening dubstep music.
Peeking behind the screen, you could see a pair of feet jumping along to the fast moving bass heavy music. About 15 minutes later, those feet walked out, revealing Risk wearing his signature black-and-white diamond sweater. He mixed music from his solitary laptop in front of the massive screen.
The crowd roared with enthusiastic chants and jumped to remixes, like "Stay Awake" and Kaskade's "I Remember." Risk experienced a short lapse of power failure, responding keeping the lot screaming in unison "S--- Happens!"
The stage crew quickly resolved his electrical woes and he finished off his set with a remix of the beloved video game Zelda's theme song and his remix with DJ/Producer Jesse Tittsworth's "Pendejas."
Datsik was up next. He also experienced power issues — twice — when he prepared for his set, but had no more once he got started. Datsik's musical style is dubstep heavy, laden with with hip hop influences. He played some of his remixes to favorites, such as his remix to Knife Party's "Internet Friends" and a mashup of Benny Bennasi's "You Are A Cinema" with Ice Cube's "You Can Do It."
The crowd went wild with anticipation for the headliner, chanting "AOKI! AOKI! AOKI!' He emerged from behind the massive stage lighting setup and declared that his performance would only include all of his original productions, including new tracks from his first artist album, "Wonderland," released this month on his Dim Mak label.
Aoki's performance and delivery was phenomenal and unconventional to say the least. In addition to the exuberant and well-choreographed light and video show, his give-and-take with the fans was energetic and absolutely boisterous. He often stood in his booth, threw cakes in the faces of giddy people and showered the horde with erupting bottles of champagne, orange juice, cranberry juice and seltzer water.
Amid the gleeful cries for more, Aoki skipped across the stage, dived into the crowd a few times and even brought out an inflatable mattress so that a handful of people could coast along in a stage dive themselves.
The DJ and label head often professed his love for El Paso and even orchestrated a group photo with the crowd, having his photographer take a shot of him with Risk in front of the crowd.
Once he left the stage and the lights went out, the fans clearly wanted an encore. After about five minutes, Aoki re-appeared and announced he'd play "Cudi the Kid," a collaboration with Kid Cudi and Travis Barker from the new album. He ended the set by tossing out tour t-shirts and announced an appearance at the merch booth in five minutes to sign the shirts.
Great marketing tactic!
The show, like the music, was truly electric and unforgettably kinetic. I know I'll be feeling the after effects for the next few days and I look forward to hearing more from these innovative and taste-making producers.