The first time I experienced a Kaskade Redux set, I didn’t really know what to expect.
I had read a handful of things about the experience but generally speaking I just knew it would be house music. I was in Phoenix, AZ and it was shortly after Phoenix Lights Festival had ended. We were all tired from the day but we had exerted a decent amount effort (for the sold out show we had to scour social media for a promoter) to obtain these Redux tickets, so regardless of energy we were dedicated to getting inside. We arrived at the Monarch Theatre in downtown Phoenix shortly before midnight to stand in a line that filled half the block. Still garbed in rave attire and carrying our camelbaks we were slightly concerned if they would let us in. As we approached the bouncer checking IDs we heard him telling a group of people in front of us that our camelbaks had to be empty of water but otherwise we could go in as we were.
Once through the entrance our eyes had to adjust quickly there was very minimal lighting. The room was longer than it was wide with the words Fairchild (the opener) brightly illuminating the DJ stand at the front. To our right were the VIP tables, slightly elevated compared to the dance floor. A few of my group headed to the back where there was a bar and a wrap around bench that people could sit at. Myself and a couple of others made our way more centered to await Kaskade.
The time went quickly and before we knew it the lights went dark. It wasn’t a very big space and the people warmed it very quickly. As we sat there in darkness, hushed murmurs wondering if it was another opener or it would be the man himself. It was like the air was charged and suddenly a jolt of energy rapidly expanded throughout the room. There was a definitive difference when the music started, it was finally time! The set was full of deep beats and unique sounds. His mixing of classic songs and house showcased his incredible talent. The focus of the entire room was the music and the community. From the corner of my eye I spotted light up LED shoes, a very skilled shuffler wearing a spirit hood drew my attention. His name was Jordan. While mostly a “trance-head” and as someone who had to work during the Phoenix Lights Festival, this was a great consolation.
Of course I couldn’t miss Kaskade Redux at the Hollywood Palladium…
It was shortly after we had purchased tickets to the convention center when the rumblings on social media were begging him to do a Redux set. Which as a testament to his usage of social media he obliged. The tickets for this show actually went on sale while we were still at Phoenix Lights Festival, we all struggled to obtain them while on the hotel’s mediocre Wi-Fi. The second Redux experience would take place at The Hollywood Palladium. The venue itself was much bigger than what we had experienced in Phoenix. We arrived to find the line down the block but it seemed to be moving quickly. By the time we got it had already become fairly crowded so we quickly found out spot on the main floor to await my second Redux experience.
The space was much bigger than the Monarch Theatre in Phoenix, but the ambiance was the same. Once again minimal lighting and smoke-filled the venue. It was warm but not uncomfortable and when Kaskade finally took the booth it was my second amazing experience. It wasn’t the same set he played in Arizona but it again blended new and old music into this deep house rhythm that kept the crowd going. We would learn later via social media that a bunch of attendants didn’t experience what they were expecting. It was the first time that I realized that unless you scoured reddit for the answer to what a Redux set is you would probably just go because you like Kaskade’s traditional music. The confusion probably arose because the Redux set is really meant for small rooms, but the Palladium is really not a small venue. A Redux set is all about minimalism, the music is carefully curated by Kaskade and celebrates electronic music from his earliest days to personal tracks that are unreleased online. So it came as no surprise that Kaskade responded via social media that when he noticed people focusing on taking his picture he asked the venue to turn the lights down and use more smoke.
The final experience of a Kaskade Redux set was the first day of EDC. Another testament to how much he pays attention to social media, everyone had been requesting a sunrise set via twitter and before we knew it, it had been leaked and was actually happening. We had gone from Duke Dumont to Flux Pavilion when twitter reminded us that the next Redux awaited us at the Sky Bridge. You could see the very beginning pink and orange hue far across the tops of the speedway. The open space around the Sky Bridge was nothing like my previous experiences. Not everyone had gotten the proverbial memo and therefore it was fairly empty. From our vantage point we could see people walking by and then suddenly being drawn to the house beats. After a day of running around and trying to see as many artists as possible this was quite possibly the perfect end to our Day 1 of EDC.
This experience isn’t for everyone, that being said, if you’re open to new music and are looking for something that can bring you closer to the early days of electronic music this is definitely something you need to experience. This is the kind of show that if you’re not overly focused on trying to get extremely close to the DJ you can just stand, sit, or shuffle while enjoying a wide variety of rhythms and music.
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