The Tabernacle has been one of my favorite venues to see shows since I moved to Atlanta so I was excited when I heard spinmeister Kaskade would be bringing his “Freaks of Nature Tour” there. The show was on July 12th and it had been a while since I had gone to an EDM show so the timing was just right.
I was not familiar with the music of any of the opening acts but I was curious to see their skills and presentation. The first opening DJ act was not exactly my cup of tea. The sounds he was spinning didn’t grab my attention much, but I found myself bobbing my head to the constant 130-ish BPM rhythms. The audience close to the front of the stage seemed very into it though. But he was up there spinning for what seemed like a very long time, in my opinion.
The next act to follow was Le Castle Vania, a DJ based locally. He spun some original material and one or two remixes. His visual presentation was a little dark, and he didn’t play enough for the music to “grow on me.” I just couldn’t connect with it. He talked into the microphone a few times but unfortunately it was muffled and I could not make out what he was saying. After a half hour of his set I was ready for Kaskade, but he continued to spin for another 30 minutes or so.
When the lights dimmed and the image of the butterfly’s shadow was displayed on the stage textiles, the crowd went crazy, and I breathed a sigh of relief. A female vocal came over the speakers, the cue for Kaskade to walk into his booth and greet the crowd. Once the arpeggiated sounds kicked in, it was time to dance!
The production for Kaskade’s set was a top-notch, engaging audio/visual experience. He emerged onto his platform surrounded by several LED video wall screens including one large one directly beneath his booth (all supplied by Video Equipment Rentals). He performed different mixes and mash-ups of his catalog hits, which included “Eyes'”, “4 AM”, and “Don’t Stop Dancing.” My personal favorite was “Stars Align” which was accompanied visually with drawings of the constellations and some Hubble Space Telescope images of the cosmos. We were taken on a journey through the entire universe.
Some of the other songs he performed featured a visual of the female vocalists singing those songs- a nice touch, since they were unable to be physically present. I was impressed with the laser effects and overall visual programming, provided by the Chicago-based Strictly FX.
Kaskade didn’t speak much during his set- he let the music do that for him. He had a smile on his face the entire time he was spinning and seemed very ‘at peace’ with himself. The mood of his set was very uplifting, a stark contrast from the artist that preceded him. The audience was still hungry for more at the end and he returned for an encore performance of “I Remember.” The tour is being filmed for a DVD, release date is forthcoming.
– Submitted by Akrofi Koram, Hardware Specialist