Kaskade At Festival Hall
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By Ramon Alvarez-Smikle
The sold-out crowd at the massive Festival Hall at Navy Pier cheered loudly as they welcomed home Chicago native Kaskade on Oct. 12. The GRAMMY-nominated dance music superstar emerged onstage at 8:45 p.m. backed by a giant blue light and gripping a microphone while singing "Atmosphere," the title track from his latest album. When the first drop during "Atmosphere" hit everyone in the audience went crazy.
The excitement in the crowd increased as Kaskade moved to the front of the stage and urged everyone to scream louder. Looking out across the crowd, he threw both of his hands in the air and, grinning ear to ear, began jumping up and down in unison with his fans as the momentum continued to build.
As the night went on, the light show onstage became even more spectacular as Kaskade spun through crowd-pleasing songs from Atmosphere, mixed in with favorites from his 2011 GRAMMY-nominated album Fire & Ice. In one of the many highlights of the evening, the DJ brought GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Skylar Grey onstage for a riveting performance of "Room For Happiness," on which Grey is featured.
Kaskade then moved across the stage to a second, smaller DJ booth where he continued to jam through performances of massive tracks such as "4 AM," "Stars Align" and "Don't Stop Dancing." Then came a surprise: About half way through his set, the large screens behind the DJ booth turned green and began to tilt downward, emulating a spaceship. The entire stage was illuminated and looked like it was ready for liftoff, making for a spectacular concert visual.
As the show began to come to an end, Kaskade took to the microphone to thank everyone for coming.
"This will always be my home, I was born in Chicago," the DJ exclaimed to a delighted crowd.
Before exiting the stage, he dove into the melodic and emotional track "Eyes," followed by a Swanky Tunes remix of the song. He returned to perform one more track — a high-energy mashup of his "Turn It Down" and the Hardwell & GTA-produced "Animals."
It's safe to say that no one in the crowd was able to escape his atmosphere as Kaskade provided Chicago with one of the best performances I have ever witnessed.
"Feeling The Night"
"Move For Me"
"Fire In Your New Shoes"
"No One Knows Who We Are" (featuring Lights)
"Angel On My Shoulder"
"It's You, It's Me"
"Sometimes Powerdrive" (Eric Prydz remix)
"Room For Happiness" (featuring Skylar Grey)
"Don't Stop Dancing"
"Will You Still Love Me"
"How It Is"
"Eyes" (Swanky Tunes remix)
"Turn It Down"/"Animals" (Kaskade mashup)
To catch Kaskade in a city near you, click here for tour dates.
(Ramon Alvarez-Smikle works as the GRAMMY U Representative for The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter. He has interviewed artists such as M83, Toro Y Moi and Porter Robinson, among others. He has been published on many online blogs and websites over the past year, including GRAMMY.com. Follow him on Twitter @ramonst3r.)