Let’s forget the Canadian connection – a huge one at that – in Kaskade’s “Move for Me” for a moment and focus on some fitting lyrics: “Where do we come from, do I know your name?” “Doesn’t really matter, in this life we’re all the same.”
When the curtain fell last Saturday night at the PNE Forum to reveal one of the most revered producers in the last year, thousands of “freaks” – think Lady Gaga’s “little monsters” – set out to prove those lyrics right.
The all-ages event in Vancouver was just another stop for Kaskade on his “Freaks of Nature” tour, which has garnered superb reviews from EDM insiders for it’s ability to fuse together great graphic design and artwork with the trademark sound and energy that Kaskade has become so well known for.
There was little doubt that the energy was at full throttle as the adrenaline filled crowd waited on baited breath for the American superstar DJ.
Meanwhile, the humidity inside the Forum began to cast it’s iron grip on fans, as from all around the arena, t-shirts vacated their owners for back pockets, water found bare skin for any sort of relief, and groups of teenagers tried to release themselves from the atomic heat that the packed crowd was releasing. Anything to escape the heat.
When showtime came around, Kaskade added his own brand of heat to the party. Opening with “Eyes”, – quite possibly one his most famous tracks – the soothing vocals of Mindy Gledhill marinated into the heightened senses of the crowd, who were at this point jolted with excitement from the nostalgia that always seems to accompany this popular tune.
The nostalgia would only increase over the course of the evening, persisting in waves – building slowly at first and then crashing down on the five senses as Kaskade played a bevy of tunes off his hit album, “Fire and Ice”. Two tracks off the album that seemed to provide the most utility for the crowd were “Lessons in Love” and “Turn it Down”. The theatrics that accompanied the latter track had the beautiful faces of Rebecca and Fiona – two of the featured vocalists – split into eight parts on the big screen, as they sang the melodic chorus of the track, much to the delight and applause of fans in awe around the forum.
The theme of amazing graphics continued throughout the course of the night as flowers, butterflies and a pair of red lips kept finding their way on to the screen, signifying the theme of the night: love. Giant balloons were released in the air, much to the delight of anxious fans who made brazen attempts to knock away or hold on to them for a few seconds. The production value really seemed to hit home when confetti streamed down on the crowd at one point, electrifying the crowd to epic proportions.
Other memorable tracks included “Room for Happiness” featuring Skylar Grey, “Lick it” with Skrillex, and of course, the track that seems to be garnering all sorts of attention these days: “Allein” from the timeless Eric Prydz. Kaskade rounded out a great night by playing “I remember” featuring Deadmau5. The vibes which reverberated across the forum during the course of this track were enough to give me serious chills, as I looked around and saw smiles glued to nearly every face. It truly was a special moment, one that fans of this great genre should consider themselves lucky enough to experience at least once.
Overall, Kaskade played an up-tempo set and the reviews of the “Freaks of Nature” tour held their own, considering the beautiful visuals and special effects heavily dominated the screen at several points in the evening. Combined with the fierce beats that Kaskade dropped, this was a recipe for pure house music glory, and fans came hungry and ready to eat. I would heavily recommend his set to anyone still awaiting his exploits at a future stop on the tour because of the high production value and heavy fan interaction. A possible downside may have been the short set time (under 2 hours) but that came with the territory of an all-ages show.
In this life, we really are all truly the same. One love for EDM.
Photo Credit: Mark Owens