June 22, 2018 / 12:52 PM

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Kaskade Brings Awe-Inspiring Automatic Tour to New York City [Live Review]



American dance icon Kaskade, real name Ryan Raddon, may have grown up in Chicago and lives in San Francisco, but New York City has been one of the cities that has helped shaped the "Eyes" DJ's career the most. Having just released his ninth artist album, Automatic, Raddon has been touring hard across North America with his new live production premiered at Coachella to nearly 80,000 people and made at stop at Pier 94 in Manhattan to a sold out crowd of nearly 10,000 New Yorkers.

However before the headliner could take the stage with all of the production and theatrics that would come with it, the room would have to be warmed by several DJs as the pier statred to fill up. Los Angeles-based DJ, producer Ravell had the task of welcoming the early birds from 8 p.m. to 10:15 and unlike some other unruly openers, he smartly played some downtempo house music and didn't dive into the discography of those ahead of him.

One half of the Taylor Swift-supported duo Louis The Child had the next hour to switch things up with a lot of Flume-esque bass music and shimmering synths to a slowly building crowd still focused on getting drinks and checking coats.

By 11:15, it was getting closer to game time and this was the point when New York City producer, DJ CID, who collaborated with Kaskade on the Automatic track "Us," as well as Cedric Gervais on several tunes including "Summertime Sadness," came to the stage. He played some of his more popular songs including his remix alongside Don Diablo for Alex Adair "Make Me Feel Better," the memable "She Wants The D," the recently released "Love Is Blind" and the unreleased "No!" CID's upbeat brand of house music wasn't too overpowering that it overshadowed his successor, but rather set the stage for what was to come from Kaskade.

At 12:15 it was time for CID to make way for a team of stage techs to make the final preparations for Kaskade and his tower production. After a 15 minute changeover, the full production was unveiled. Standing at a table with his CDJs, Kaskade was flanked by large towers fanning out at sharper angles on either side of him with LED screens behind them. Slick 3D visuals ran across the screens and over the towers which give the impression on a full 3D experience with the images that ranged from intergalactic travel to 3D modeling.

Though the tour was for his album Automatic, he opened with one of his absolute classics, "I Remember" with deadmau5, leading into several of his recent big hits, "Disarm You," "Last Chance" from Atmosphere and "Us," the collab with CID.

After a few more similar tracks, Kaskade stopped the music to reminisce with the fans about "some of the crazy memories" he has made in this city. Looking out over the thousands standing in front of him, he thinks back to playing for maybe 50 or 100 people in the now defunct Sullivan Room basement over 10 years ago. He would play house music at that venue and then he used that segue to ease into some of the more mellow tracks from his album including "Day Trippin'" and "Tear Down These Walls."

After a short 15-minute redux-like session, things got back to the main room, with some more cuts from his discography and another classic "Raining," which he asked everyone to put up their cell phone flashlights to represent little rain drops. He stepped outside of the Kaskade world of music for some drum-heavy selections, before stopping once again to talk about the journey has been on throughout his career, recalling one time he came to New York for a gig and was told to go back home because there were only 10 people in the venue and the promoter didn't want him to play to so few people. Now he is selling out 10,000 cap venues after taking over Barclay's Center in 2012.

His set wrapped up a little after 2 a.m. with plenty more to come at the after party that lasted until the nearly 7 a.m. The whole affair was a reminder that even though Disclosure, leaders among the pop-deep house movement, was performing down the road at Madison Square Garden, big main stage acts like Kaskade are able to create experiences that elicit an emotional connection with their fans.

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