Concert Reviews

The Best Show of My Life Was at Lights All Night, Right When I'd Lost Hope

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And the bangers just keep coming. The apocalyptic march of "Original Don" is met with screams that leap out from the crowd and melt into the stuttering whistle of air horns. "Watch Out For This," "Express Yourself" and "Oh My (Not Afraid to Die)" are equally celebrated. The ground actually, really and truly, shakes. But here's the mountain top: "Get Free," and what happens next is a vortex that will crack you open, empty you and, over the course of five impossibly long minutes, fill you with memories that will last a lifetime. No one is spared, even the security crew is smiling, laughing, dancing and shouting. There's no shame, no pride, no ego in these five minutes, just a coursing synergy that unites thousands. Everything is a blur: a blowup doll surfs the crowd ... a blizzard of confetti blots out all sight ... bodies carve sweaty patterns in the air ... blankets of laser green break softly into warm, glowing waves. A lyrical bar repeats, "I just want to dream, I just want to dream, I just want to dream." We listen, and it happens -- we succumb -- because this is the closest to a dream that real life gets. The fatigue from earlier is now a lifetime ago. I've never been so alive. In this instant, I feel genuine sympathy for all the poor bastards that chose to see Kaskade instead. Because this is the single most joyous live performance I've ever experienced.

In a moment of clarity I notice, for the first time, the guy next to me. He's muscle-bound, wearing neon red sunglasses, a helicopter beanie cap, suspenders, and the brightest tennis shoes Converse ever made. He's a cartoon, and not in a goofy, mocking way, but in a surreal, magnificent way -- like one of Major Lazer's animations come to life.

Diplo, Walshy Fire and Jillionare end their set to rapturous applause, and respond with a short encore. When it's over, everyone starts heading for the door. I'm almost out of the stage room when I realize that yet another encore has begun (it would last just one song). As I make my way back toward the group, I survey the scene one last time, and it's the strangest thing: I see a whole audience of cartoons.

See also: -The Top Ten All Time Best Replacement Lead Singers in Rock and Roll -Songs That Have Hidden Messages When Played in Reverse -The Ten Best Music Videos Banned by MTV

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Jonathan Patrick

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