Downpouring rains and heavy lightning may have deterred some fans from heading up to Red Rocks last night. Those fans missed out. Those who braved the elements were treated to one of the smoothest shows of the year when the clouds withered away at the close of Alvin Risk's set and opened up a beautiful night sky to dance under as Kaskade opened up with "Eyes," a track whose opening lines perfectly set the tone for the evening: "You and I/Could paint the sky together/As the world goes by/We'll go on forever."
Kaskade's Freaks of Nature Tour has already been receiving widespread acclaim, thanks to being the first tour of its kind to sell out the Staples Center in Los Angeles last week -- no small feat considering the house that Kobe built holds around 20K for a concert. Kaskade (known in his home state of Illinois as Ryan Raddon) performed in front of a much smaller crowd at Red Rocks last night, but he kept everyone moving all night, a testament to his knowledge of how to play to a crowd.
The rain-soaked venue sat through nearly three hours of music to hear his tracks, and their patience was rewarded. Kaskade's set was flawless, as he teased, synched and then dropped his songs at just the right moment. There were plenty of highlights to choose from, including when he rolled into "Raining" and a wave of arms flared up in the air and waterfall of glow sticks descend upon the stage.
Many of Kaskade's tracks are direct references to dancing in some way or another -- "Don't Stop Dancing," "Call Out," which favors the treble and "Fire In Your Shoes," which relies more on the added kick drum, providing a clapping beat for folks to dance to -- they're all made for dancing. Tracks like "I Remember" and "Move for Me" found their way into the set, while the bangers, the ones that really kept the shivering crowd moving, like "Dynasty," were delivered with blasts of white strobes that lit up the night and also seemed to shed some warmth.
Page down for Critic's Notebook and Setlist
Slide show: Kaskade at Red Rocks
Kaskade Red Rocks - 8/1/12 Morrison, CO
Eyes Be Still Room For Happiness Stars Align All You Fire In Your Shoes Empty Streets Angel on my Shoulder Who We Are 4 AM Lick It Don't Stop Dancing LLove Lesson in Love Call Out It's You It's Me More For Me Turn It Down Invisible Dynasty Raining How Long I'll Never Dream I Remember
Sending My Love In My Mind Eyes Wide Open
Personal Bias: Kaskade is lovely music with lovely vocals and lovely beats that just make everything a little more...lovely.
Random Detail: Due to the odd rules of Red Rocks, either for safety or litter, unless the store-bought products you had in your pocket were factory sealed, they weren't making it into the show: cigarettes, sodas, water bottles, half-open packs of glow sticks, candy, etc. If it wasn't sealed, it wasn't coming in.
By The Way: Kaskade gave props to the venue and noted that when he booked this show six months ago, it was one the highlights of the tour -- since he played here at Global Dance Festival in 2010.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.