Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.
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By Crystal Larsen
Steve Aoki might have thrown one of the biggest South by Southwest parties of the week. The GRAMMY-nominated DJ took over Austin Music Hall on March 13 for a nonstop, one-hour rave that involved not only music, but flotation devices, champagne and cake.
As the clock ticked near his 12:30 a.m. start time, the crowd starting chanting his name: "Aoki! Aoki! Aoki!" The chanting — paired with bright-green letters on the stage screen that read "are you ready for Aoki?" — were enough to bring the DJ skipping onstage. Aoki was decked out in party-ready attire: black jeans that looked like they had been spray-painted yellow from the knees down and a T-shirt that had "Can't Stop" written on the front and "Won't Stop" scrawled on the back. And the crowd was ready to party, too.
Hundreds of fans filled the floor and balcony of the music hall, leaving just enough breathing room so as not to alarm the fire marshal. The crowd used this open space to their advantage, engaging in a few games of "Steven Aoki Says." Note: When Aoki says jump, you jump.
Aoki is among the top in his genre, evidenced by his GRAMMY nomination for Best Dance/Electronica Album for 2012's Wonderland, the hundreds of fans his shows draw and the artists with whom he's collaborated. Most recently, Aoki teamed with GRAMMY winners Linkin Park to co-write "A Light That Never Comes," which he performed after Linkin Park vocalist Mike Shinoda made an onscreen appearance to introduce the song. But Aoki's professional accolades don't completely explain the surge of adrenaline you get when watching him perform, that moment just before the bass drops and he does something crazy like spray champagne all over you or throw cake in your face. And it wasn't just one cake and one bottle of bubbly; I counted a total of nine large cakes chucked at the crowd and even more champagne, as he popped them two at a time.
By the time Aoki served up his seventh cake, a fan in front of me was in such a state of jubilation all he could do was hold up seven fingers and recite "seven" over and over again. And he didn't even get any cake. Experiencing Aoki live is like a sugar rush, except there's no crash.
Halfway into his set a large river raft and air mattress were thrown into the audience. Fans quickly scrambled on top to see who could last longest as they surfed a sea of pumping fists. Not wanting to be left out on all the fun, Aoki got onboard one of the inflatables and, after taking a second to gain his balance, started moving his body to his own beats with even more fervor than before. Finally making his way back to the stage, Aoki said, "Holy f***ing s*** man, this is f***ing awesome!"
Aoki got back onstage, spinning remixes of 2 Unlimited's "Get Ready For This" and Kid Cudi's "Pursuit Of Happiness (Nightmare)." Before the night was over, the crowd took a big group photo with Aoki for his Instagram account. After the sobering incident that took place at SXSW just one night earlier, it's comforting to know music, and Aoki, can always put a smile on our faces.