Over the past few years, EDM music has enjoyed one of the largest booms of popularity in music history. Underground DJs, once known to only the truest of house music fans, have shot to stardom, raking in millions of dollars annually. EDM festivals and shows have sold millions upon millions of tickets, selling out huge venues. Recently we've found ourselves wondering what has made EDM music so captivating to the masses. On Saturday, October 5, we were lucky enough to attend Kaskade’s Atmosphere show at the Barclays Center and the reasons became abundantly clear.
Upon arriving at Barclays Center at around 8PM there was already a huge gathering of fans, packing the main and side entrances of the arena. Security was everywhere doing a great job of controlling the crowd. Young fans dressed head to toe in what has become typical raver gear were super excited and couldn’t wait to get inside and dance. Inside the arena the opening DJ already had the crowd moving atop the Brooklyn Nets home floor. By 9:30pm the place was packed. If it wasn’t a sellout it was darn close. Fans from the floor, to the last row up in the nosebleeds were dancing. As we looked around the arena we also noticed one more thing, the diversity of the crowd. Almost every race, nationality and age group could be accounted for. A few cool dads even brought their youngsters, easily no older than 12. We even spotted an older couple, which we estimated to be somewhere in their 60’s, fist-pumping and grooving to the beats. Everyone in the building was having a great time.
Then Kaskade appeared on-stage. Amidst a plume of smoke he clutched a microphone and began singing the opening lyrics to his huge hit single “Atmosphere”. The arena went absolutely nuts with the whole crowd singing every lyric in unison as they waved their glow sticks and hands in the air. The energy was electric! After getting the crowd going with his awesome intro, Kaskade then took to the turntables and began playing big tune after big tune. The production at the event was absolutely amazing. Stunning visuals synced perfectly to each track were displayed on huge LCD screens on top of the stage and hanging from the arena ceiling. Kaskade added a nice touch to his set by briefly switching to a stage directly across from the main one, allowing fans closer to the secondary stage to get a closer view of him in action. Lights and Skylar Grey made appearances to perform their features on “No One Knows Who We Are” and “Room for Happiness”, respectively. The set lasted about 2 hours and Kaskade had the crowd rocking right up till the very end of the show. There was never a dull moment throughout the set and fans never lost their energy. There was even a brief moment when a guy in a wheel chair began crowd surfing before he either got too heavy or someone thought better of the idea. It was an unbelievable night and unforgettable experience.
As we walked out of Barclays Center we started wondering if we should go to Pacha for the after-party, clearly not wanting the night to end. Then it hit. The show was the perfect answer to the question on how and why EDM has become so popular. The energetic music, uplifting vocals, mesmerizing visuals, diversity, unity and enthusiasm of the crowd all come together to make a live experience unlike any genre in music. To sum it all up in one word, it’s the Atmosphere.