Steve Aoki

LIVE: Aokify America Tour - 10/18/13 @ Merriweather Post Pavilion

LIVE: Aokify America Tour  - 10/18/13 @ Merriweather Post Pavilion

Photos by Joy Asico ( /

“Turn up” - 2013’s operative term in this trap rap-laden year in electronic dance music - could not have been a more apropos concept as Steve Aoki, Borgore, Waka Flocka Flame, Pharrell Williams and more played to a chilly, yet enthusiastic and three-quarters filled crowd at Columbia, Maryland’s Merriweather Post Pavilion this past Friday evening. The unseasonably cold weather, however, proved only to be one of the best judgements regarding the effectiveness of EDM in being able to reach, engage and excite Generation Y. As well, in bearing witness to two of the most zeitgeist defining artists of this next generation - Waka and Pharrell - create impeccable synergy with the crowd present, the concert succeeded in defining the shocking, yet developing-into-tolerable guidelines of an era where rappers are the new rock stars and EDM provides the recklessness of rap for a next-level age.

TO DO LIST: Aokify America Tour TONIGHT @ Merriweather Post Pavilion

Turn up! Get lucky! Drop the bass!

Whether beloved or reviled, these three terms have dominated EDM’s mainstream rise in the past five years. Thus, it makes perfect sense that at the apex of the movement’s moment in the son, that Dim Mak Records boss Steve Aoki would pull together notorious bass king Borgore, trap music deity Waka Flocka Flame, America’s favorite hipster Pharrell Williams and a few other friends to tour the country and “Aokify America.”

What exactly does “Aokifying America” mean? Well, until he got the bright idea to combine the best parts of 80s shock comic Gallagher sending projectile bits of food (in Aoki’s case enormous sheet cakes) into a suspecting audience, it was all about Aoki having one of the most progressive - yet somehow right on time - takes on big-room and stadium ready hard house music. If the producer has become a superstar in the last half-decade, he likely has a release or two on Aoki’s Los Angeles-based Dim Mak label, or, he’s remixed a few of his tracks.