On Feb. 28 at 10 p.m. PT/1 a.m. ET, Yahoo Live will live stream Steve Aoki's concert from the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Tune in HERE to watch!
Superstar DJ Steve Aoki is well aware fans expect a party when they come to see him live. "People know me as the crazy, wild show," he tells Yahoo. "It's about turning up, going crazy and dancing hard and cakes in the face, rafts over your head, running around. That's what they know."
However, on his current tour, which is a continuation of his Neon Future trek as he prepares for the May release of Neon Future 2, Aoki wants to convey the importance of his message about the expanding possibilities and rapid movement of technology. "The basis of Neon Future has always been Ray Kurzwell's Singularity, the idea that we move not at a linear rate, but an exponential rate as far as technological advancement and progression," Aoki says. "That's what I wanted this production to look and feel like."
To bring his vision to life, Aoki teamed up for the first time with award-winning design company V Squared Labs, which has built structures at Coachella and HARD and worked with Skrillex, Krewella, Insomniac, and Drake.
Backstage last weekend as he prepared for a guest-heavy show to wrap up Shaun White's Air + Style festival, Aoki walked us through the new production.
"I wanted to do something that's more immersive inside the production. So it's an evolved, more futuristic approach," he says. "[V Squared] gave me a bunch of different ideas. The one we came up with is this one where you have four big squares; each square kind of represents the letters and also has its own set of visuals. So you have those, then you have the middle, which is like a rectangle that's behind me, then a rectangle that's vertical, one that's horizontal, and what surrounds all of it is, which is really cool, these cubes that all light up and they're backed with mirrors so it looks like an infinite, colorful set of cubes. So it has this depth and dimension that's there, that wasn't at my show before."
Given that concertgoers come to his shows to celebrate and turn up, Aoki realizes as much as he wants to share his views on technology and how it is shaping our future in all areas, the Aoki live experience still has to be one where fans can let themselves go.
"I don't want to go into this intellectual realm where it goes right over people's heads. So I've got to keep that fun element there," he says. "So I'm mixing in the cake still, but I'm not doing it as much. I'm doing it like I wrote a song specifically for caking, called 'Cake Face.' It's specifically designed for my shows, so I finally did that, I finally gave caking its own space, the raft its own space, then you're just blitzed by visuals and the intelligent experience of Neon Future. So you leave with a bit of both worlds. "
And fans can rest assured that as long as they come to an Aoki show, they still have a chance of getting caked. "No matter how many people I cake, every new person I cake is pretty awesome. I can't help it, it's just awesome," he laughs.