Bourque: I don’t know anything about EDM, but I loved seeing it live

Every live performance I have ever seen has been a band of some sort — I know very little about EDM, and I’ve never been to an EDM concert. So, with Audien on Friday night at the Westcott Theater, I didn’t exactly know what kind of experience I was in for.

Any expectations I had before and everything I learned about EDM from the preceding acts were immediately shattered when Audien took the stage. And I don’t mean that negatively by any means.

The opening performances, Kip Chapman and Arson Acts, met my expectations for the genre, expectations derived from movies and Snapchat stories of EDM concerts. There were remixes of Drake, Dr. Dre, Eminem and other similar artists, all of which kept the audience — and myself — dancing for the whole combined two and a half hours. The audience matched the DJ’s high energy level. By the time Audien was to perform, audience members were chanting.

Audien’s whole performance, lasting about an hour and a half, kept me on my toes, and there was no possible way for me to predict what was coming next. The bands Audien sampled in his tracks came from every genre and every era, from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Migos to Van Halen to Bastille.

Sampling from other genres is typical of EDM, but sampling from the EDM genre itself is rare, because it’s a difficult thing to successfully execute. This, however, didn’t stop Audien from sampling, and somehow even improving upon, acts like The Chainsmokers and Skrillex.

This wasn’t the only thing that made Audien stand out from the preceding acts, and pretty much every other performer of the genre, though. The way he executed his remixes and sampling was so on point that the audience was not only dancing, but also singing along to every song that played. This was all the more impressive when you consider the fact that this crowd had been dancing for nearly three hours by the time Audien even came on stage, yet they continued, and with significantly more fervor than the previous acts had inspired.

DJs aren’t the kinds of performers I typically feel compelled to watch, but it was nearly impossible to take your eyes off of Audien. His passion for the craft was made abundantly clear by his constant dancing, fist-pumping and yelling. That level of sheer enthusiasm, paired with intense focus and extraordinary talent, is not something you come across very often, and that made the performance not only worth hearing, but watching, too.

Like I said, I have never experienced an EDM concert before. And I don’t think I want to ever experience one again. Not because I didn’t enjoy this one, but because Audien was so uniquely incredible, that I don’t think any other DJ could live up to the experience he provided.


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