Published on April 4th, 2012 | by Alessandra Calderin0
Steve Aoki & Joachim Garraud Rock UMF 2012
Steve Aoki makes no attempts to dazzle with intricate live mixing, instead, his showmanship has made him one of the most energetic and truly bizarre performers in the EDM community. From champagne showers, to white raver rafting, he kept the energy level top notch throughout his sizzling afternoon set at the Ultra Music Festival Main Stage. But the highlight, was not guest appearances by Chuckie and Lil Jon, nor the way the crowd jumped in perfect unison as Warp 1.9 dropped with a “1, 2, woop, woop.” No, the true peak happened when Aoki brought out two large supermarket cakes and threw them into the audience. More specifically directly into two girls’ faces – and he straight up NAILED them. And speaking of nailing, like the Asian Jesus Christ he resembles, the noble Aoki tossed out water bottles to his probably dehydrated fans to the bouncy bumps of “Steve Jobs”.
Later in the day, the sun began to set and Joachim Garraud, a master of live improv, took over the BAO Dome to a small but extremely enthusiastic group. While Garraud could have been a much larger draw at another stage, the dome seemed to fit his style perfectly, and was by far the most comfortable and intimate venue in the festival. Early on, Garraud displayed his penchant for giving away free merchandise, carefully choosing moments to rile up the crowd and throw “Space Invader Love Miami” shirts, his signature alien masks and tons of “I’m Invaded” stickers . One of which now decorates the top right corner of my laptop.
The bass in that tiny dome booms to the point of overwhelming when you’re too close to the speakers, but that didn’t stop a the mass of eager attendees from squeezing in close to feel the giant thuds reverberate throughout their chests as confetti flew and covered the ground of the Dome. Between songs and before peaks, Garraud would shout “Miami, make some foking noice,” in that adorable accent for ecstatic fans whose excitement mirrored and then multiplied Garraud’s own. And of course, he brought out the keyboard and intro-ed crowd pleasers like Ingrosso and Alesso’s “Calling” as well as MGMT’s “Kids”. And then, like a samurai warrior in the night, Steve Aoki was back in action, spinning through the middle of the set with the French Invader, reprising the beloved “Turbulence” and “Warp 1.9.” He stayed with Garraud for the dusk transition and like the welcome surprise he was, left the Invader to finish out his set with more bass, keyboard improv and Invader masks for all.
Article by: Alessandra Calderin