Aokify America NYC Pier of Fear Recap: Cake, Champagne & Chaos
2013’s two weeks of Halloween festivities have officially come to a close, and for New York City the spooky celebrations ended with a bang at Pier 94. With the help of the creators of Pacha NYC, RPM Events, one of Manhattan’s greatest concert venues morphed into an eerie electronic music powerhouse right along the Hudson River for Steve Aoki‘s Aokify America tour. Aside from the Dim Mak label head himself, the NYC stop featured Rune RK, Borgore, Waka Flocka Flame and special guest Pharrell Williams for two back-to-back nights of celebration and big room beats.
The Aokify crew performed Friday night at Hammerstein Ballroom, but Saturday’s show had double the space, which meant double the noise, cake, champagne and chaos. Kicking things off at 9 pm, Denmark’s own Rune RK opened the show. During the set Rune and Aoki dropped their brand new collab, “Bring You To Life (Transcend),” which set the tone for a night of insanity. The crowd drove towards the stage in masses, some decked out in head-to-toe body suits, others in neon paint and Halloween attire, and all with the grins of some very excited EDM fans.
Hailing from Atlanta, Waka Flocka took the stage in New York to play some crowd favorites like “No Hands” and “Hard in Da Paint.” The rapper had a blast on stage, running with Aoki’s trademark champagne showers and spraying crowds as he rapped through verses of songs old and new, even taking to Twitter after the show to share his excitement.
I HAD ONE HELL OF A TIME IN NEW YORK CITY #RaveLife
— Waka Flocka Flame (@WakaFlockabsm) November 4, 2013
After Waka Flocka, Borgore was next to perform. The Israeli DJ’s set wouldn’t have been complete without two scantily clad female dancers surrounding him on either side in true Borgore style. Luckily, everyone’s “Cake Me” signs for Aoki served dual purpose when Borgore dropped “Decisions.” The crowd went insane during his biggest hit, but the rest of his set was just as well received with some trap remixes thrown into the mix and his newest single with Waka Flocka, “Wild Out,” getting some stage time as well.
Can’t express how much I’m sad to leave NYC. I’m moving here at one point of the near future not even a question …
— Johann Sebastian (@Borgore) November 3, 2013
Power producer and no stranger to the dance music community, Pharrell was next to appear in a sleek black hat and fresh white t-shirt from his own clothing line, Billionaire Boy’s Club. He brought fans on a musical adventure through a range of songs and genres, from the older classic, “Drop it Like it’s Hot,” to this past summer’s Billboard favorite, “Blurred Lines.” Not only is Pharrell featured on Robin Thicke’s summer pop song but he actually helped write the track, as well as the beloved Daft Punk‘s “Get Lucky,” which he also played to a very pleased crowd of thousands.
But even with the hours of rap, hip-hop, dubstep, and trap intertwined with house and electro sounds, the best part of the night was yet to come. We caught our first glimpse of our headliner’s iconic black hair onstage midway through Pharrell’s set, teasing and exciting fans for his most hotly anticipated performance in the Tri State area since the cancellation of Electric Zoo‘s Day 3.
And anticipation certainly met reality. Dim Mak‘s long-haired musical maven took fans on a journey through nearly two hours of atmospheric soundscapes, jarring bass and reverberating percussion that pounded straight into the heads and hearts of all who were in the audience. Dozens of cakes were catapulted towards the happiest fans and champagne showers turned into bubbly monsoons as Aoki’s signature rafts floated through the rivers of neon-clad hands, with Borgore even taking a ride of his own. From “Boneless” to “Beatdown,” “Warp” to “Turbulence,” Steve Aoki played original mixes, featured tracks, brand new releases like “Steve French” and a whole lot of other remixes that wove a story, all while keeping the feel-good energy of Pier 94 alive. Best of all, the show lasted a full 30 minutes longer than expected: Since the Aokify crew was having so much fun, even the encore song wound up having another encore, marking this insanely energizing concert as another night for the books in New York City.