The L.A. DJ/producer is on the road this summer spreading the EDM gospel with the roving U.S. fest which features dance music stars like Skrillex, Disco Biscuits, Rusko, Pete Tong, Modeselektor and more.
"When Identity Festival approached me," Kaskade recently told Spinner, "I felt the time was now and people were ready. With Lady Gaga as big as she is, it seems like part of the sound has crossed over to the mainstream. I knew someone was going to do something like this eventually, and that it was time for someone to get it together."
We asked Kaskade to send us a report from the road to give us a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the mega-party that is IDentity.
Identity has finally arrived. After months of planning and helping pick out artists that were involved, I am super stoked to be getting on the road and starting the tour. It's the first time anything like this has been attempted with dance music, and it really feels like now is the right time for us here in America. I fly out to Indiana on Aug 9, I am taking my wife and kids on the Identity tour. Not your typical rock and roll entourage! But traveling by bus gives me the luxury of bringing the family for a Good Old American road trip!
Upon arrival in Indiana I have a rehearsal scheduled. In fact, this is the first rehearsal I have ever had in my life -- should give some indication of the scale of the show. I've been working on my stage for four months with designers, looking at renderings and pics, but when I first see it in-person, I'm speechless. The thing is so much larger than I ever imagined, I can't wait to try it out! I spend three hours working the visuals and syncing them with the music, just getting the show ready to rock, such a blast tinkering in the massive booth. When I'm done, I get chance to catch up with Steve Aoki, he shares my excitement at the scale of Identity, bigger than both of us had ever thought, his Aoki stage is nuts.
First night, Indiana, didn't disappoint. Venue was pretty incredible, in a corn field literally miles from anywhere. I am not sure where all the people came from. But they were ready to party. Kids were crowd surfing at 2PM!! Amazing. The great thing about being part of this tour is that we get the chance to take our music to places that is normally underserved by EDM, like Indianapolis. The reaction from the crowd was really gratifying and I think it got everyone pumped about the rest of the tour. A good start.
We left Indiana that night and headed for Detroit. Traveling by bus is a learning experience. Everyone told me it's amazing because it frees up so much time that you don't spend getting from A to B, which is how most of my day gets spent when traveling by plane. It's pretty wild to just wake up somewhere new, definitely more fun than taxis to and from airports. My bus is pretty badass -- and I think it's actually bigger than the apartment I lived in for 10 years in San Francisco, so I feel right at home. But sleeping on the thing is another matter, it sounds like a jet engine under your pillow. Every turn and bump sends me sprawling, I hope I perfect my technique soon!
This first weekend Identity hits Indianapolis, Detroit, Pittsburg and New Jersey. It's been amazing to play these huge venues where icons of rock and roll have been performing for years. Pictures of Grateful Dead, U2, Crosby, Stills and Nash line the walls. It feels a little like us dance music folks have gate-crashed the temple. I wonder how the employees and venue operators feel about the Identity takeover. I am pretty sure they've never seen anything like it! Over the weekend I manage to catch Le Castle Vania and Datsik, two acts I've been tracking for a while, they both kill it and it's great to see the fans interact with the music. I'll probably see more acts during Identity than I will all year, because touring takes up most of my time so I am never around to catch their shows.
The final stop of the weekend takes us to Jersey. It was wild... pouring rain -- and I mean pouring -- at an outside venue is never normally a good sign. But it didn't dampen spirits. By the time I came on at 9.30PM or so, there were thousands of kids bunched up in front of the stage, trying to get under the covered half of the dome (and to hear me, I hope!). It was intense, the rain just seemed to raise the atmosphere levels, and I couldn't wait to play. I've been waiting for ID to test out my new single 'Eyes.' Personally, it's one of my favorite moments as an artist, dropping a song that I've been working on for a while and seeing a crowd's reaction. 'Eyes' is especially important to me, as it's the lead single from my new album. Thankfully the crowd ate it up, it gives me a huge buzz that carries through the rest of the set. Even with the rain, New Jersey rocked.
This weekend its DC, Boston, back to Jersey and NY -- can't wait, hope to see you there!