Youngins dressed in their raver finest of neon knock-off Wayfarers, ripped up panty hose and bandana scarves hit Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood yesterday for the all-day electronic music festival. This event would have never been popular when I was in high school in Rascall Flats-loving Marietta, but here were well-adjusted teenagers in Ke$ha-inspired Halloween outfits ready to dance their asses off. High-brow acts like Booka Shade and Hercules and Love Affair played alongside party-hardy Chuckie and Atlanta's own Le Castle Vania. I was most looking forward to Hercules and Love Affair, but they were scheduled at 2:15—who did they expect to be there that early? Jam band Disco Biscuits also performed to their loyal stoned fans (think Phish), but they were the oddities of the line-up.served as a missionary in Japan? Neither did I, but I thought that trivia might put some of those God-fearing Americans at ease. Aoki, half-brother to model Devon Aoki and heir to the Benihana restaurant fortune, founded Dim Mak Records in 1996, and boy have things changed for electronic music since then. The label has released music from MSTRKRFT and the Klaxons, but now it's Aoki who's the biggest star. Every song Aoki played, he shouted, "This is my new song!" His stage set-up was impressive, with giant letters "AOKI" that corresponded to the screen behind him. Collaborators like Lil Jon and Rivers Cuomo of Weezer appeared in the videos projected on the screen, acting as a pre-recorded cameo. Aoki was exhausted after jumping around on stage and even climbing a rafter at one point, way more action than a typical DJ. Still, it made me wonder how people who actually sing and dance do it.
DJ Doorly played the Advent stage, and I caught up with the affable Brit to talk about the difference between American and European audiences.
This wasn't Doorly's first time to Atlanta—he's played twice before, including the "Fuck Yesss" party—so he was pleased that the city was a stop during his ten dates on tour. He thinks Americans are happier, craving more "testosterone-fueled, give-it-to-me now, energy music," while European crowds are jaded. "In Ibiza, we play deep house and techno and that's what gets people going. Play this [high energy] music there, it would scare people. Likewise, if you play that stuff here, people would just get bored. In America, if they don't have their hands in the air, they're not enjoying it."
He credits acts like Rusko for popularizing electronic music in the States. "It's been a long time coming," he said while drinking a screwdriver. "This is probably the best place in the world to play right now. Everyone wants to play North America." Doorly is currently collaborating with Grandmaster Flash ("a legend") and Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters ("one of my best friends").
I took Doorly's advice to heart and had my hands in the air the whole day, but by 9:30, I was over electronic music. I'd never felt more like an old man—and I'm one of CL's youngest staffers. I love electronic music, and IDentity Fest was great in theory, but by the end of it, all I wanted was Benihana.
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