Kx5 play historic night at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Kx5 LA State Historic 2022 TW mainbar

Kx5, the collaborative name for Kaskade and deadmau5 was forever imprinted into the hearts of Angelenos, as the two veteran electronic masterminds cooked up the largest standalone electronic show ever in North America at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday. With 50,000 fans in attendance, the evening was part of the Coliseum Forever celebration honoring the iconic Olympic venue’s 100th anniversary. Kx5 join a superstar list of musical icons who have headlined the Coliseum in the past, joining the likes of The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, U2, Metallica and Prince.

The moon was peeking out behind the clouds and the Olympic torch was lit. So was the crowd. It felt like an event, not just a concert. It was a chilly December night and if fans had to choose between a looming downpour or a power outage mid-set, it’s clear most would agree that it was a blessing the rain held up for the most part. On the technical difficulties front, however, after about an hour of Kaskade and deadmau5’s set, the audio and visual abruptly blacked-out. When all was said and done, the fans were cheering for more, lighting up their phones and patiently waiting for the rest and after about 25 minutes later the guys were back.

Fans captured over 120 minutes of the intensity, purity and infinite possibilities that dance music can be, curated beautifully by Kaskade and deadmau5 and their creative teams. The production value was rich, there was pyro throughout the night, fireworks and glowing drones spelled out messages to fans like WELCOME LA, a cutout shape of California with a heart smack dab on Los Angeles and titles of their songs ALIVE and ESCAPE. Kx5 performed on pods that moved throughout the evening on a track, sometimes apart, sometimes together, with glowing panels adding to the shimmer of the night.

Prior to the superstar collab, John Summit took the stage and so did Anna Lunoe and Triple XL. Chicago DJ John Summit hit the stage for an hour long set, launching with “Lipstick” by BLR featuring Robbie Rise, as pyro shot up and the lights were aflutter. His own “Show Me” featuring Hannah Boleyn was a thrilling vocal track and later his tune “What A Life” with GUZ featuring Stevie Appleton brought the house vibes while the backdrop of red arches lit up, the torch and the night’s sky. Summit clearly did his research playing the Latin banger “Party” by Tobehonest, which brought a different energy and the transition into the pure “i miss you”, Summit’s remix of the Jax Jones and Au/Ra brought a solid contrast. Summit took the crowd back to 1999 with the Pickle Remix of Alice Deejay’s “Better Off Alone” which was complete fire, blended with the Acappella version of Daft Punk’s “Technologic”. John Summit’s set blended dance-pop with some deeper cuts, turning up on his own remix of “Don’t Forget My Love” by Diplo featuring Miguel and the Darren After version of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army”. Summit concluded mostly with his own material, including “Human” featuring Echoes. The Latin-flavorited “La Danza (ID Remix)” was a blast, blending into Summit’s collaborative “Drinkee” (Sofi Tukker) remix with Vintage Culture, he played another one with GUZ, “Thin Line” and new unreleased song “I Wanna Be Where You Are” with Hayla was a glorious cap to his massive opener slot.

Kx5 lit up on the screen, slowly, building with tension…K…x…5…with apocalyptic lighting and soundtracked with Hans Zimmer piece “Arrakeen” from the Dune soundtrack. It was a bold choice, setting the stage for a night of epic proportions and perfect to start off with a composer, because after all, DJs, producers, they’re really composers too. Ryan Raddon AKA Kaskade and Joel Zimmerman AKA deadmau5 (sans the mau5 ears) were stationed at cubes on separate sides of the stage. The Spencer Brown Remix of Kx5’s 2022 hit “Escape” featuring Hayla had the guys getting to business with the cube pods traveling closer to one another, and to the crowd’s surprise fireworks shot out on one of the early choruses, causing a flurry of commotion. deadmau5’s “Three Pound Chicken Wing” pounded with its aggressive beats while red and blue lights flashed, as the two spaceship-like pods were now facing one another. On Kaskade’s “Room for Happiness”, mysterious red and black surrounded the venue as flames burst from multiple directions, including on torches throughout the Coliseum. 

Their collaborative track “Alive” featuring The Moth and The Flame was incredibly moving and exhilarating at the same time, with magical drones in the sky illuminating the words “ALIVE”, then “WELCOME LA” and later the state shape of California. It was simply magical and somehow stopped time. deadmau5’s “Bridged By A Lightwave” featuring Kiesza was stunning, their track “Beneath With Me” featuring Skylar Grey was soothing and contrasted Kaskade’s blending of Sander van Doorn’s “What You Want”, as the duo showcased stunning transitions with lights flashing as their rotated beautifully in their cubes. The MEDUZA Remix of Supermode’s “Tell Me Why” was equally thrilling and then Kx5’s brand new song (released the very night before) had a moment. The duo played the Elderbrook-featured “When I Talk”, with Kx5 saying “sing the words if you know them” as fire blasted from everywhere.

Kaskade joked, “This is a new one”, before heating up deadmau5’s Tommy Trash remix of “The Veldt” featuring Chris James. The thrashing, progressive house track sounds as thrilling as ever and deadmau5 himself was seen clapping along to the tune, which very much sounds like a video game come to life. The guys took it back to 1967 for a Jefferson Starship/Grace Slick moment, sampled on the “Somebody To Love” KREAM Mashup by Kaskade & Marcus Bently vs. Ben Kim vs. PAX vs. RÜFÜS DU SOL & Cassian. Huge, explosive lights and fire crashed and it was a memorable moment. Then it seemed as though Kx5 “broke the internet” as the Coliseum went dark. The malfunction was major, delaying the show but the fans were patient and upon starting up again, deadmau5 exclaimed, “the generator isn’t fucking happening, let’s go!”

The abrupt and aggressive start was apropos as everyone needed a jolt, and suddenly the colors and fire were back for Kx5’s “Avalanche” featuring James French. deadmau5’s whopping hit “Ghosts N Stuff” featuring Rob Swire found animated mau5-y animals going crazy on the flashing screens and the place was jumping again.

Following “Move For Me”, “Take Me High” and deadmau5’s “Strobe”, Kaskade’s “Disarm You” featuring Ilsey was beautiful and the crowd sang along to the “oh-oh-oh” tribal moments as spotlights shot out all around the Coliseum. Yellow spotlights twisted and turned around the stage, floating around the venue to the deadmau5 track “Brazil” vs. “Falling In Love” – Haley, which was quite invigorating. [It should be added that the production comes from Zimmerman’s Alexis Jordan tune “Happiness”, which was a hit globally and kind of slept on in the U.S.]

deadmau5’s “Faxing Berlin” was gorgeous to witness with spotlights in blue and white flashing as the Kx5 cubes spun around, meshed with “Mercy” by Kaskade and Galantis. deadmau5 and Kaskade’s 2008 dream “I Remember” found the guys embracing mid-song, as fans received the ethereal vocal over effervescent trance. “Wow, thank you Los Angeles, that was amazing”, said Kaskade. They talked about their last time together at the Coliseum in 2010 and left the crowd with Kx5 song “Escape”, bringing out vocalist Hayla. The vocalist was wearing a shimmering outfit and Hayla’s voice completely soared alongside a brilliant final visual with gold fireworks bursting into the night’s sky, with another brief moment of the drones spelling out ESCAPE. “Thank you so much Los Angeles, we fucking love you”, said deadmau5.

Words by Michael Menachem
Photos by Todd Westphal