Aokify America Tour at Bayou Music Center, 10/16/2013
Photos by Marco Torres
Aokify America Tour Feat. Steve Aoki, Waka Flocka & Borgore Bayou Music Center October 16, 2013
"Is the turn-up real tonight Houston, or what?!" That was the question posed by Israeli DJ/Producer Borgore in the middle of his extensive EDM set Wednesday night in Downtown Houston. For those who attended the show wearing neon tutus, glow-in-the-dark glasses, animal masks, and bikinis, the answer was a resounding "YES!".
EDM may not be very intellectual, or lyrically potent, or symphonic, but what it lacks in class and structure it more than makes up for with sheer emotion, heart-pounding beats and kaleidoscope visuals. Yes, colors and images make up a large part of the genre's appeal, creating a fantasy world were a slim Japanese-American kid can grow up to be the hottest DJ in the world, throwing cakes at fans and riding inflatable rafts over their heads in the process.
I began the evening waiting in Waka Flocka's tour bus for an interview that had been scheduled earlier in the day. The rapper arrived with handfuls of bags from his shopping spree in The Galleria, and was all smiles as he introduced himself to the media waiting for him.
"All hell naw, I ain't doing no interviews with y'all!" he joked.
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After we finished the Q & A, we followed him into his dressing room for a few photos, and then he readied himself for the show. To call his music explosive would be too subtle. When Waka turns it on, he wrecks everything in his path. The dreadlocks on his head waved and bounced as he jumped into the crowd, with the energy of an atomic bomb and the ferocity of a hurricane.
He offered the track "Ice Cream" from his latest mixtape Roaches to Rolexes, a diss track to former associate Gucci Mane. Of course, the hits we know and love him for provided fuel for his fans. "Grove Street Party" and "Hard In Da Paint" were anthems, combinations of riot and block party, making the crowd jump and do the "turn-up" dance with abandon.
Borgore took the stage next, flanked by two very talented strippers dancing around poles that were erected (hehehe) to the side of his DJ booth. With an extensive repertoire at his disposal, he dropped one of the best EDM sets I have experienced all year. The video screens behind him showed everything from concert footage to porn, creating a raunchy yet lively atmosphere that pumped up the crowd.
"Bitches Love Cake" is the theme of his track "Decisions," which should be placed in the dictionary next to the entry for "Perfect Dubstep Track." The song absolutely trembled the floor, sending the audience into a trance of dancing and furious head-bobbing. "Yes I want it all! I'm not sharing! I'm gonna eat the whole cake!" Greedy bastard!
Review continues on the next page.
Once Aoki arrived, the audience was ripe for a face-melt. With robots and cakes and crowd surfing inflatable rafts, Aoki displayed why he is top dog on the EDM totem pole. Other DJs may be traditionally more in tune with the dance-music scene, but Aoki takes that recipe, adds a shit-ton of energy, fun, toys, and tricks, and spits out a non-stop carnival of chaos and psychosis.
Plus, it helps that his collaborations with almost everyone from AfroJack to Lil Jon has left him with hit after hard-hitting hit to please his devout fan base.
"I wanna see all the fine-ass Texas girls on their man's shoulders right now!" he said before taking an Instagram photo of the crowd. Whatever Aoki requested, he got. He has the power, resembling a Japanese Jesus, to turn cake into gold.
The Aokify America Tour is by far the best show I have experienced this year. The turn-up is real, my friends.
Personal Bias: I love covering EDM shows. The people I meet are so much more approachable and friendly. That's the P.L.U.R. life for ya.
The Crowd: Mix of young and not so young, all in a great mood and ready to party. A few people who couldn't hold their liquor or drugs, and one lesbian couple getting it on at the back of the venue.
Overheard In the Crowd: "I wish I had a cool rapper name like Waka Flocka Flame!"
Random Notebook Dump: The opening DJ, DJ Autoerotique, played "Bohemian Rhapsody" with an EDM twist. Now I've heard everything!
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