Friday Night: Kaskade at Bayou Music Center
Photos by Julian Bajsel
Kaskade, Alvin Risk, Fareoh Bayou Music Center July 20, 2012
See some of Kaskade's Houston "Freaks of Nature" fans in our slideshow.
Freak of nature is normally defined as something unusual or unexpected. All in all, it's a natural phenomenon. Kaskade's Freaks of Nature Tour gave the term a new definition.
Kaskade opened some people's eyes to his upcoming tour after viewing his Coachella set this spring. The tour kicked off on May 26 in Las Vegas will keep going till August 15, but there could always be new dates and locations added.
My friend and I showed up early, ready for the show. Being there before the doors opened and while it was still light outside was pretty interesting for me. The typical EDM show doesn't start at 8 p.m., but we weren't at Stereo Live, after all.
Being one of the first few there, I noticed that the turnout wasn't as much as I would have expected. I kept telling myself, "Alvin Risk is on before Kaskade, the place will be packed soon enough." Now there was a large group there but nothing to the extent of what I am used to at shows.
Fareoh was performing and people were just starting to show up. Now my friend and I took this time to get used to the surroundings (where the bar, water fountain and bathrooms were) and dance without sweating and rubbing up against others.
Soon enough Alvin Risk came on. I was already in my own state of mind or I guess just the freak of nature came out in me. I had just seen this man perform at Electric Forest and I knew what skills he possessed.
I was so excited. However, I kept looking around and the crowd just wasn't what I had expected. Again, it may have been that people just aren't used to showing up to these shows so early.
It's not like any of these circumstances kept the crowd that was there from getting freaky to some Alvin. He opened with his own version of "Kick Out The Epic Motherfucker" (originally by Dada Life) and was tearing things apart. Only thing is, I couldn't see him. I asked my friend, "Wait, where is he?"
I overheard a few others asking the same question. But lights soon blasted off as the beat dropped and you saw that Alvin was standing right behind a lighting wall.
I must say this was a little trippy. You'd see him then you wouldn't. But soon Alvin was in front of the lights bringing the sounds face to face with the crowd. He threw down his own remix of Fun.'s "We Are Young," turning the song into something raunchy and freaking it up a bit. I loved it. The crowd was able to sing along to the infamous chorus and then Alvin took over with his pumped-up style that had most whomping away.
Alvin surprised me by mixing up his own Zelda song. Usually this is something Zedd does, but Alvin pulled it off pretty well keeping his own style intact. Towards the end of his set an A heart and then the Texas flag flashed onto the light screen as Alvin played and thanked Houston for being so amazing.
Once Alvin was done with his set the excitement for Kaskade was a bit overwhelming. However, I turned and the crowd still was not to what I expected. I kept wondering if something was going on with security outside or if everyone was just caught up in the excitement themselves and were going to be fashionably late.
I was off to the right of the stage by the bar waiting to meet up some other friends in between the sets. Finally my friends were there and we were ready to go. It was 10:30 and Kaskade was supposed to begin his set then, but fashionably late had become a trend. I was grabbing a drink with a friend as the lights went off and screaming began.
It was 10:50 and the lights burst out upon the crowd. I couldn't believe my eyes when I turned away from the bar to look at Kaskade. The floor was packed.
"Where on earth did everyone come from," was the huge question in my mind. It didn't matter though. I was happy to see that turnout.
Finally my group grabbed hands and ran out into the crowd. Kaskade opened with "Eyes," which I felt was fitting seeing that I couldn't believe my eyes. The lights were phenomenal. While "Eyes" was playing, the screen behind Kaskade had an eye blinking at the crowd. A little freaky, but remember what tour this is here.
People were tossing glow sticks into the air. It was I guess our version of fireworks seeing that the venue was indoors. Smoke machines were spewing smoking onto the crowd. It seemed to caress everyone. The scene was just beautiful. I would have to call it an EDM masterpiece.
At one point the light board in the background showed buildings that were moving like crazy. They were twisting, bouncing and morphing. God only knows what the people who were hanging out with Lucy would see.
Regardless, the visuals of the show were magnificent. Everything was synced perfectly for each track Kaskade threw down. I must say at a certain point the laser effects within the show were stunning.
They matched and moved so well with the music. I yelled to my friend, "Damn, is Kaskade chillin' with Ghostland to learn their laser effects?"
Kaskade even announced he was throwing out a new track for the crowd. I guess he wanted to test it out for Houston. From the crowd's response and reaction throughout the song, he aced it.
Now there is one little downer to the night. I was displeased by the AC system. I thought I sweated my ass off at Stereo Live and other venues. Man was I wrong. Something was not right with the AC Friday night, but we freaks of nature managed to dance on.
Kaskade even noticed the intense heat. He yelled at 12:10, "Alright Houston, I know it's hot but I got a lot more." Just when the time was winding down the last 15 minutes of his set and the heat seemed overwhelming, confetti flew into the air from both the front and back of the venue. The crowd was automatically reenergized by the sight and emotions within the music.
It was clear that a little bit of freak was brought out by Kaskade's Freaks of Nature Tour. It happens to be sponsored by Rockstar energy drinks as well. I guess Kaskade didn't want the energy to stop, even if he had to leave the stage eventually.
Personal Bias: I was a little displeased that the turnout for Alvin Risk wasn't as big as a as I had expected, but Kaskade blew my mind away. The scene of the lights, crowd and music of course was just captivating. Hard to explain entirely, because it's something that Houstonians should have experienced firsthand.
Overheard In the crowd: Yeah, I couldn't over anything over the music. I did get comments on my dancing. Thanks. Haha.
Random Notebook Dump: Yes, he played my favorite! "Lessons In Love."
Another Notebook Dump: Best workout I've had in quite some time.
Tips from Tay: I feel like everyone should know this, but I did see a few of y'all dehydrated last night. Make sure you have water with you at all times.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.