Steve Aoki Lights Up NYC With The Neon Future Experience


Steve Aoki
March 13, 2015
Hammerstein Ballroom-New York, NY

       It was a night of chaotic energy and insane beats when Steve Aoki hit Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC for the Neon Future Experience tour. Known for his stage theatrics and props, Aoki pulled them all out to enhance the electronic experience for concertgoers. Aoki went on stage at about 12:00 a.m., which was a welcome time for the city that never sleeps.
A countdown began at ten on the giant LED screen. Screaming fans waited for the screen to hit “one”, and as it did, Aoki strutted onto stage and took his place while waving and smiling at the crowd. On each side of him stood two giant mechanical robots operated by people on the other side. They lit up with Aoki’s name spread out vertically. While they stood still as stage scenery for the moment, those robots would become part of the show soon enough.
While spinning, Aoki looked to be taking it all in, scanning over the audience and smiling at people. He occasionally pointed at a crowd member to acknowledge him or her, and was aware of everything happening in front of him. He stopped frequently throughout the show to talk to everyone, mostly receiving shouts and cries of exhilaration in return for anything he said. After a few songs, the mechanical robots began marching forward, moving in sync with the beat. Lit up in red and blue, each robot sprayed a misty steam into the audience from tiny robot guns. Photographers ducked while fans opened their arms out to feel the mist on them. It was like a spectral light show you might see in Disney World.
DSC_1980  Shortly after the robots, Aoki ran out from behind his turntables, inciting more excitement in everyone in the room. He threw his plastic water bottle into the crowd and proceeded to pick up a champagne bottle that had been sitting to the right of the stage. Fans screeching, he popped the bottle and sprayed its contents straight into the audience. Once the bottle had stopped exploding, he guzzled the remaining champagne, and turned to face the crowd while shooting it back out at them from his mouth. No one seemed to mind his slight backwash, and it made for a great effect as the liquid sprayed in every direction. A second bottle was brought out with which Aoki did just the same. He took off his soaking shirt to dab his mouth with it before tossing it into the audience to one lucky fan.
The party was in full swing, but it didn’t stop there. Aoki asked for girls in the audience to volunteer to come up on stage. Giant rafts with neon spray painted writing were up next in his arsenal. The girls climbed into the rafts, helmets on, and were sent out surfing on top of the crowd. Just as the raft races were ending, Aoki climbed on top of the turntable setup with a large box of cake. One of his signature props, fans knew exactly what to expect. People began climbing onto shoulders or standing elevated in friends’ hands to get Aoki’s attention, boldly hoping to get “caked”. He hurled the giant cake into the audience, hitting a fan close to the front of the crowd while cheers rang out across the venue. While the cake only reached a few people, it was as if everyone had been caked together.
Aoki remixed several well-known songs like Oasis’s Wonderwall, and even The Circle of Life from The Lion King Soundtrack, which was a crowd favorite. Fans excitedly and nostalgically sang along to the words, which it seems no one really knows.
Fans were having the time of their lives whether up against the rail enjoying a more intimate experience close to the stage, or all the way in the back dancing amongst themselves. Good vibes and energy were all around and Aoki kept his crowd wide-awake long after his performance was over. Aoki’s music gets your blood pumping while his stage props, lights and effects bring the best of the party to the stage. Check out his Neon Future experience if you’re looking for a dance party like no other, or if you really like cake.
Review by: Ashley Rodriguez