Concert Reviews

Steve Aoki at Cervantes, 11/04/10

With J Flash • Lond Dungeon • DJ Shares • DJ Mada
11.04.10 | Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom

Another hit-or-miss Thursday night and another total hit. Steve Aoki, aka Kid Millionaire, shut down Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom last night closing just after the enforced cut-off time for booze service. Braving a bum-rushed stage with an ear-to-ear smile and not letting security kick anyone off, Aoki streamed through a set of favorites along with a few yet-to-be-heard but soon-to-be-popular mixes.

When doors opened, DJ Mada set a relatively slow pace, but it was just enough to get the vibe going until DJ Shares stepped things up, dipping in and out of some random '90s songs. London Dungeon took from there and offered up a super busy mix of what can probably best be described as anti-disco music. While its clear the London Dungeon guys know how to bring it, the mix last night was super busy and some of the songs hit just a little too hard. J Flash followed and packed quite a punch. He had a commanding presence and kept the floor rockin' for his entire set.

Steve Aoki received some serious build-up all night from the MC and all the DJs spinning before him, but nothing could've prepared me for his set. He opened with "Lux Aeterna," a Clint Mansell track from Requiem For a Dream that's dark, morbid, gruesome and, above all, monumentally heavy. The dark, deep pulsing string orchestral section gave way to a light drum beat before rolling into one large, bass filled banger.

From there, he segued into "WARP," his collaboration with the Bloody Beetroots, and proceeded to blow out eardrums with piercing, death metal-worthy, gut wrenching screams. "WARP" trickled into an old Refused cut, called "New Noise," which was a little disappointing, in light of the fact that Bloody Beetroots played "WARP" and added a New Noise sample just last week when they came through. Such underwhelming moments, however, we're few. Aoki's set thrilled fans who rushed the stage and completely surround the L.A.-based DJ with phone cameras set on video, popping flashes and hands reaching in for pounds and shakes. Aoki took it in stride and just smiled, not missing a beat or a slap of a fans' hand.

CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK Personal Bias: Aoki was pretty dope at Global Dance this past summer, and the Beetroots put on a great show last week. I was super hyped about both. Random Detail: Free coat check is pretty nice at a show like this where it gets to be a sauna when you're not within ten feet of the door. By The Way: The Other Side opened with a band called Eager Minds.