Kaskade Review

Ten years, ten whole years. If you are reading this, chances are that ten years ago you were still enrolled in some form of school and just beginning your life. While you were experiencing all there was to gain from your formative years, a new beginning was also taking place. Ryan Raddon, more commonly known to the masses as Kaskade, had unknowingly begun what would turn into an illustrious career as a music producer. His debut album ‘It’s You, It’s Me’ was released in the year 2003 and the album went on to do fairly well, making waves overseas and causing a stir stateside as well.

As you well know, this was not the end of the road for Raddon. He has gone on to be one of the most recognizable producers in dance music worldwide. Whether it be winning DJ and producer awards or playing in front of sold out crowds all over the globe, it’s hard to come across someone who hasn’t heard the name Kaskade these days. However, this current tour, aptly titled ‘It’s You It’s Me Redux’ was not about any of this. Taking place in only small clubs where he used to play, this tour was a way to connect with the past and the roots of where he once started. “This was a concept I came up with, wanting to go back to where I was, where the scene was, ten years ago. There will neither be stadiums nor big crowds. It’s going to be intimate. It’s going to be deep.“

After frantically checking my watch for what seemed like forever, the man of the hour finally appeared behind the booth. Once Kaskade’s presence on stage was noticed, it was if time had stopped. The anticipation was finally gone and only a giddy sense of enthrallment could be felt throughout the crowd; a new life had been breathed into the room. Nobody knew exactly what he was going to play, but we knew it was going to be transcendent nonetheless.

After addressing the crowd quickly with his sentiments, Kaskade immediately dove into the music, opening with the title track from his album ‘It’s You, It’s Me’. Instead of the all out frenzy I expected to occur upon hearing the vocals of the track, the crowd kept within the vibe that Kaskade was looking for with this tour. A calmness I had never experienced in this setting had taken over the room and I felt as if I had known everyone in attendance for quite some time. Sticking with his some of his older work, ‘IYIM’ was followed up nicely with ‘Waste Love’ and ‘I’ll Never Dream’, leaving no doubts that his set was going to be deep.

The tone had now been set and the “drowning” effect that Ryan had mentioned when previewing the tour was starting to set in. There was no fist pumping or grinding, no shuffling or yelling, just the crowd vibing along with the deep house atmosphere. Expecting to hear only older stuff from his catalogue, the ‘Llove (Ice Mix)’ caught me a bit off guard but still managed to fit in marvelously within his older tracks.

Having read beforehand that his set would consist of predominantly his own tunes with some other goodies sprinkled within, I was curious as to what other tracks he would possibly play. Assuming it would be older tracks from the early 2000’s he played out in his sets back then, I was bit shocked when the lyrics to ‘Jack’ slowly crept up. It’s not often you see get to experience Kaskade playing out the newest Dirtybird bombshell so I made sure to soak it all in.

At this point I was content with my dance floor experience and was set to head upstairs to get a view of the entire club and embrace the setting I was in. As I turned around to head out of the crowd, I quickly found myself being pulled back in by the Members Only mix of ‘I Can Go For That’. Never in a million years did I picture myself dancing to Hall & Oates in a nightclub setting yet there I was, 2-stepping my heart out and singing along to the lyrics with those around me. If I hadn’t momentarily worn myself out the same instance most likely would have occurred when Mark Knight’sAlright’ was dropped directly after.

After finally heading upstairs and grabbing a good spot on the railing I found myself starting to settle in and absorb what was happening around me. A girl a few spots to my left was decked out in a home made Kaskade gear and was reaching out as if she were about to hug the man himself. After chatting with her for a bit she divulged that she had also been to the Redux stops in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles as well. She explained to me the crazy trip she had decided to take and all the amazing people she had met on her trek down the coast to experience this once in a lifetime tour. As the lyrics from ‘One Heart’ serenaded the crowd she rapped up her story and left again for the dance floor. I was trying to imagine how lucky (and probably exhausted) this girl was when it started to dawn on me; this wasn’t an ordinary nightclub experience downtown, this was a full on celebration. A celebration of the past, a celebration of what we have experienced, and a celebration of how far we have come. It finally hit me that not only the passion behind the music being played, but the moment that we were in was unattainable almost anywhere else and completely worth a trip up and down the US to have another chance to experience it. The hype behind the tour had now come to fruition and the words Kaskade spoke about his last ten years could now be felt through the music more than ever.

It had been well over 2 hours yet Raddon showed no signs of slowing down. ‘Angel On My Shoulder’, ‘Move For Me’, and ‘Eyes (Deep Mix)’ hit home for everyone in the club and resulted in attendees belting out the lyrics. Never in San Diego have I seen the energy level of a club this high this late into the night. Although the timing wasn’t quite in line, ‘4 AM’ brought back the intimacy to the set and even managed to bring some ladies to tears.

Finally after around 3 hours of Kaskade classics the night eventually started to wind down. Late Night Alumni’s ‘Empty Streets’ was set to be closing track but the crowd wasn’t ready to leave. Chants of ‘One More Song’ rang through the venue and Raddon was much obliged to stay on for one more. After thanking everyone for not only the night but for the last ten years, Kaskade closed with the very fitting ‘I Remember’ and took to signing all sorts of memorabilia that fans had brought out that night.

I must admit that when I first had gotten wind of Kaskade’s plans for a Redux tour I assumed it to be another gimmicky string of shows with an easy chance to cash in for all of those involved. After being able to attend the final stop on the ‘IYIM Redux Tour’ I can honestly say it was anything but a gimmick. Even though it was his last stop, it was clear the passion for his music and his fans was still as present as ever. Those who were there had the pleasure of not only enjoying an iconic night of music, but also a tribute to how this music scene has evolved over the last ten years.