Steve Aoki at Stereo Live, 5/16/2013
Photos by Marco Torres
May 16, 2013
According to the World Black Belt Bureau, the term "Dim Mak", also called the "Touch of Death," is defined as "the ancient martial art of striking vital points of an opponent's body... engineered to cause a knockout, death, or delayed reaction in the opponent." It is rumored that Dim Mak was the real cause of death for a certain actor/martial artist by the name of Bruce Lee. Back in 1996, a skinny Japanese-American kid named Steve Aoki started his own record label, and named it Dim Mak as a tribute to Lee.
He's been killing the EDM game ever since.
Thursday night, the crowd at Stereo Live was electric, or as the great American poet Roscoe Dash would say, everyone was "all the way turnt up." Tickets for the show were sold out weeks in advance, and the procrastinators were vigorously attempting to purchase last-minute tickets on Facebook.
Once inside the club, I was quickly reminded why I really enjoy covering EDM shows... but pretty lights and girls in bikinis aside, it's EDM fans' attitude that makes these shows awesome. If someone bumps into you, he or she apologizes. If people wanna get by you, they say "excuse me." I took a photo of someone, and they said "thanks for the photo, may I give you a hug?!". A kid asked me if my Red Bull and vodka was water, and was bummed when I said "no." But he looked thirsty, so I bought him a bottle of water.
Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect indeed.
Aoki is not a DJ in the traditional sense. He doesn't scratch, juggle beats, or cut his music live. But what he lacks as a turntablist he more than makes up for with star-studded remixes, dance anthems, energy and antics. With his long, flowing black hair and facial hair, he looks like a Japanese-American version of Jesus, and he bounces around the stage with a carefree spirit and birthday cakes in his hand.
Yes, birthday cakes. I spent most of my time in the photo pit dodging flying pieces of vanilla cake and icing and being showered by two bottles of champagne. Everyone has his own "thing"... and for Aoki, that happens to be cake. His fans beg for him to "cake" them, so he does. Imagine how awesome it would be to do this on a regular basis. Aoki is living the dream, man.