Kaskade @ Marquee, Sydney (02/06/2012)

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Ryan Raddon, better known as Kaskade, is no stranger to Marquee. In the midst of a year-long residency at the Las Vegas mega club, Sydney was lucky to get a glimpse of the sort of the sort of spectacular those lucky Vegas residents will be getting all year round. As we walked in we were struck by an immediate sensory overload by the state-of-the-art visuals, sound and spectacle Marquee has to offer, all this with the sounds of DJ Johnny Gleeson dropping Eric Prydz’s 2night: it was all a little exciting.

Resident Gleeson couldn’t have been a better opener for Kaskade; his familiarity of working this crowd with his high-energy set was immediate. Getting sprung with the Olinda remix of Gregor Salto and Kaoma’s Lambada 3000, with the help of the go-go dancers was a definite treat, as well as a killer mash-up of Basement Jaxx’s Good Luck with Prodigy’s Breathe. But it was dropping Fedde Le Grand’s remix of Coldplay’s Paradise, which escalated the crowd’s excitement to the next level, especially as by now everyone had spotted Kaskade walking on for set up. The set change between Gleenson and Kaskade only took several minutes, but these minutes felt like an eternity to the crowd of revellers anxiously awaiting the electronic journey Kaskade was about to take us on.

Kicking off just before 12:30am, we were swept away on Kaskade’s epic electronic fantasy opening with Lessons In Love from his Fire & Ice album, into his homage to Roger Sanchez remix of Late Night Alumni’s Another Chance. All this coupled with a rush of laser lights, go-go dancers and the infamous foam vivid neon glow sticks became a thrilling aural experience. Giving new life to tracks that may otherwise have run their course, his opening hour was an impeccably mixed menagerie of Kaskade’s iconic classics and fresh newbies like the extended remix of Be Still with the Tommy Trash instrumental remix of Steve Aoki and Wynter Gordon’s Ladi Dadi, into his cult classic Angel On My Shoulder with Tim Mason’s Anima.

Raddon pretty much covered all his bases, and by hour two had played a little something of what everybody wanted to hear, including the Gregori Klosman remix of his track with Skylar Grey Room For Happiness and the Dirty South remix of his own Invisible. His playful DJ style kept the crowd on their feet by with the LCV remix of his track with Rebecca and Fiona Turn It Down into Swedish House Mafia and Knife Party’s Antidote Vs. Fire In Your New Shoes mash-up. He conquered a technique that can only be mastered by a few: building up a song that the entire crowd is anticipating to drop, but switching the drop to another song at the last minute and throwing everyone off. We definitely got Punk’d more than once…and Raddon was all smiles, bopping away with his audience as each track melted into one another.

The epic mash-ups continued with Llove into the Tiesto and Hardwell’s remix of The Naked And FamousYoung Blood and Pryda’s Allein into Kaskade’s How Long, as he continued to play long into the morning. A definite highlight came during Eyes, when the Marquee go-go dancers came on behind him and each held a letter spelling out K-A-S-K-A-D-E, dancing away through the rest of the track. The room distinctly resembled Rainbow Road in Mario Kart at this point, which as cheesy as it may sound now, was actually quite magical on the night and the crowd cheered on in approval.

After finishing up his new album in its entirety, the last hour of his 3-and-a-half hour set saw the amount of attendees begin to dwindle. However, the dance floor remained relatively packed and those who had tables in the areas surrounding the area continued to party into the night. But Kaskade’s set adjusted appropriately, becoming more progressive, percussive, obscure, and dark. At this point it was clear that this particular group of partygoers and die-hard Kaskade fans weren’t going anywhere, reeling in his crowd with Euro-crazy tracks like Porter Robinson’s Language, Arty vs. Matisse and Sadko Trio and bestowing upon us with the Ken Loi bootleg of Oasis vs Pryda: Wonderwall 2Night. And those dedicated enough to withstand Kaskade’s massive endurance were rewarded with Raining, Dynasty, Don’t Stop Dancing Girl and his Deadmau5-collaboration classic I Remember.

All in all, it shaped out to be an incredible night as Kaskade’s phenomenal set managed to once again melt his fans with another ghoulish night of his tricks and fiery beats. Coupled with the ultimate audio-visual clubbing experience at a venue like Marquee, it was the perfect way to cap off the weekend.