UCSB alumnus Steve Aoki, founder of Dim Mak Records, played a show at Earl Warren Showgrounds last Sunday night. There were several opening acts before Aoki took the stage, one of which were EasyLove Records founders Austin “Fösh” Hulak and Eugene “Yooj” Albert. If you have partied in Isla Vista this year, you probably have seen or heard of an EasyLove event, which started two years ago and has only grown bigger. Today, EasyLove performs in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
EasyLove bought out Bill’s Bus for the event, ushering tons of Isla Vista kids to the show and drastically increasing the turnout. They also provided the majority of lights for the show, which is fortunate because the event probably would have gone up in flames without them. The overall production of the event was poor with an amp blowing out almost immediately. What was more astonishing though was the crowd, which consisted of several high schoolers on ecstasy and bright colored candy gear. Where the fuck are your parents? Don’t you have curfews? Luckily I had backstage passes to escape from the monstrosity of the 13-year-old light shows.
DJ’s Fösh and Yooj played mostly electro house to an enthusiastic crowd for about 30 minutes. The other opening acts were decent, with the exception of the few that played Dim Mak hits before PeaceTreaty or Steve Aoki came on, which was confusing and disappointing. Leave it to the professionals, please. PeaceTreaty, a musical trio under the Dim Mak label, played before Aoki and killed it. In my opinion, Aoki should have opened for these guys. PeaceTreaty played for about an hour and a half and then Steve Aoki took the stage. This was my biggest disappointment of the night.
I don’t want to bash a former Gaucho, but Steve Aoki leaves me no choice, because he sucks. I’m not an expert when it comes to music, but at least I never claimed to be. If I were an expert, however, I would probably know better than to drop “Warp” — the most overplayed electro song of the past two years — twice in one set like Aoki. The only memorable part of his set that was thoroughly enjoyable was when he played “King of Africa”, a tune that samples the Lion King theme song. Aoki also played an exclusive preview of a song from his upcoming album (featuring Lil’ Jon), which was quite possibly the worst part of the show. Even if I were back at my 7th grade formal dance when Lil Jon was still sort of cool, I would probably still eye the DJ with a confused and enthusiastic “Why?!” The underage crowd seemed to enjoy it, either due to the drugs they appeared to be on or their simple-minded taste in music. Either way, Aoki seemed pleased with the turnout and reaction of the crowd.