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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Steve Aoki's "Neon Future Experience" Is His Biggest Visual Extravaganza Yet

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 6:12 AM

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The other issue is Aoki's stage style. He doesn't stay behind the gear. "We had to create a performance area," says Hamilton. In fact, they created four spaces for Aoki to jump around, get on the rafts and throw some cake.

For Aoki, finding harmony between the seriousness of his current work and the party vibe of EDM gatherings was key. "I want the themes and the environments to be based on Neon Future," he says, referring to his second studio album, released last September. "But, at the same time, have it balanced with this idea of being fun and not so intellectual, too."

Virkhaus found inspiration in a sci-fi fan favorite. He described his idea of the "Neon Future" as akin to "Neo-Tokyo," the setting for the anime Akira. "The Akira movie was always fascinating in the scale of it and how much devastation there was and how they came back and had a hopeful message at the end," he says. "That always resonated with me."

While rehearsing for the tour, which consists of live PA performances as opposed to DJ sets, Aoki and the team went through the songs to make sure that the visuals match up with the mood of the music. Aoki cites "Cake Face" as an example, noting that it will be accompanied by footage of his cake-throwing escapades from the past three years.

Aoki is quick to point out that the elaborate stages aren't necessary for dance music. "When you think of a deep-house DJ, you don't expect that DJ to have a huge production," he says. But for someone like Aoki, whose style is perhaps a bit more pop-minded, the big show works.

"Everyone is different," he says. "With my kind of music, because I've been consistently able to play in front of large, large crowds, I feel like I need to communicate to them constantly -- not just with the music, but with other things."

Steve Aoki 8 p.m. Monday, March 2. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard. $31 to $33.50. 314-726-6161.


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