I am 1 of 2700.
That’s the phrase I repeated to myself between Sunday and Friday evening. After watching my dreams of catching Kaskade’s “It’s You, It’s Me Redux” NYC show fade in mere seconds, my hopes of obtaining a DC ticket were extremely low. But thanks to the persistent luck of a good friend I was able to get a ticket to one of only nine performances on the mini-tour.
For those of you unaware, earlier this month Kaskade (the stage name of Ryan Raddon) announced a small tour to celebrate the 10 year anniversary his first album, “It’s You, It’s Me.” He promised to play only small capacity venues like the ones he used to; clubs that could only hold 200-300 people max. Tickets were only announced via Twitter 5 days before the show, crashing servers and causing each show to sell out within seconds.
After hearing fans gush uncontrollably about the first three stops in Dallas, Chicago, and New York, the suspense was killing me. U Street Music Hall was the perfect venue: a dark and dingy basement with the second best club sound system in the US, perfect for a night of continuous bass heavy beats.
At 12:30, the impatient crowd finally welcomed the man of the hour, who opened with the titular track “It’s You It’s Me”. As expected, we responded with an enthusiastic sing along. Though it was an intimate night of deep house tunes, the energy level equaled that of his larger stadium shows. He played stripped down versions of some his most popular songs over the years – Llove, Angel on My Shoulder, Call Out, and even Move for Me. But the real surprises came with the songs that weren’t fan favorites.
When he opened the show asking if any of us wanted to take a trip down memory lane, I wasn’t aware we were going decades back. And I don’t mean just back to the 90s. After playing a mix of his newest track “Atmosphere”, he transitioned to the Hall and Oates classic “I Can’t Go For That”. Yes, you heard correctly, Kaskade played DISCO. I assumed that would be the only visit to house music’s ancestor.
And then I got lucky.
No seriously, I heard “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk.
In just 2.5 hours, Kaskade accomplished what some DJs have forgotten how to do: take listeners on a journey. It’s not just about building up anticipation with a big drop, or playing hit after hit for the crowd to sing along to. It’s about doing the unexpected.
And by unexpected I mean Enur’s “Calabria” and Justin Timberlake’s “Like I Love You.” My emotions couldn’t handle the constant risks of mixing forgotten popular songs to beats that made my heart rattle against my chest. And that didn’t stop my body from dancing either. When Kaskade ended his set with “Empty Streets” and the music finally stopped, it was hard to believe that it was already 3am. As the set progressed, time seem to slow to almost a complete stop.
My wish for other DJs is that they learn from the success of this tour. It’s not just about playing all over the world at festivals, but it’s also about intimate clubs not hindered by bright lights and bottle service too. While EDM in the past year alone as allowed artists to surge forward, it’s never a bad idea to revert back to your roots and remember where it all began.
Guest written by Krystal Spencer
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