Band: GlowRage, featuring Caked Up
Date: Friday, Feb. 17, with doors at 9 p.m.
Venue: Soul Kitchen, 219 Dauphin St., www.soulkitchenmobile.com
Tickets: $18, available at Soul Kitchen, its website, Mellow Mushroom (both locations) or by calling 866-777-8932
The Azalea City’s Mardi Gras season is a time of revelry and debauchery on the streets of downtown Mobile. With this festive time of year in full swing, GlowRage will once again invade Lower Dauphin Street with its electric cavalcade of beautiful madness.
Established in 2012, this Pensacola-based EDM experience has used its “Ultimate Paint Party Experience” to gather its mass of dedicated patrons. GlowRage’s formula is eloquently simple. Each party features a set of mixed and mashed goodness from reputable DJs/producers. As the bass drops, GlowRage throws on the black lights and showers neon paint on the dancing crowd, which typically dresses in white clothing. Over the years, GlowRage has created a unique environment for an EDM experience that has grown beyond its Panhandle origins.
For its next social call at the Soul Kitchen, GlowRage is bringing one of the Las Vegas EDM scene’s most recognized names. Over the past four years, Vegas native Oscar Wylde has used his Caked Up project to become a standout in his hometown, no easy task since Las Vegas is home to one of the largest and most elaborate EDM scenes in the world. A legion of electronic maestros fill Sin City’s Technicolor nights with the warm thump of bass echoing across sweaty, dancing crowds.
However, Wylde would stop short of using such terms as “oversaturation” or “competition,” given how camaraderie, artistic love and sheer demand prevent any of those thoughts. The ever-changing nature of EDM allows for the scene to always be filled with new experiences. Wylde says Vegas’ reputation as an entertainment mecca makes it fertile ground. Even so, he admits he’s surprised to see so many Vegas DJs/producers performing on a nightly basis, both in town and on the road.
“Me being in a bedroom three years ago, I never would’ve expected it to grow as much as it has,” Wylde said. “I’m the type of guy that gets 60 or 70 emails a day from kids just trying to show me their music and stuff. Every single day added up, you’re looking at tens of thousands of producers. To be in the middle of that and persevere through that and still be noticed is overwhelming and humbling.”
As with many EDM superstars, Wylde used online resources to release his trapped-out remixes of popular songs such as “Royals” (Lorde) and “Wrecking Ball” (Miley Cyrus). Wylde’s clever ear worked tracks such as these and many others into adrenalized electric anthems that embody the aural energy on which the young DJ feeds.
His success could not have come at a better time. As Wylde’s remixes enjoyed constant streams, the national EDM scene had already grown beyond the club and into the festival world. At festivals such as Hangout and Bonnaroo, lineups experienced an unexpected changing of the guard, with EDM beginning to dominate. While many festival-goers were taken by surprise, Wylde has viewed the onslaught of EDM on the festival scene as just part of evolution that lends to the escapist nature of these musical events.
“I just think it’s [EDM at festivals] a getaway,” Wylde said. “I think that it’s always been there. Festivals have been around for awhile now. Basically, we’re just looking at a millennial version of Woodstock. When you look at Coachella and [festivals] of that nature, we’re adapting to what has already been done and going along with the time.”
As far as festivals go, Wylde enjoys the social aspect. He says music festivals are a time for him to not only connect with many of his friends but to also check out other DJs and producers on the scene.
Wylde also notes that the festival set comes with creative restrictions. EDM is a freewheeling, spontaneous form of musical creation that explores endless possibilities, while an hour-long festival set may end right an EDM artist is reaching the performance’s apex.
“The energy [at festivals] is always really different,” Wylde said. “To me, a good night at a club is more fun than a festival.”
Wylde says the the club environment is full of symbiotic aspects that fuel both the people on stage and in the audience. The crowd’s reaction to Wylde’s sounds encourages him to take them deeper into his trap. For him, a full 1,000-2,000 capacity venue is Wylde’s paradise, full of sweaty dancers moving to his every beat. The club environment allows Wylde to indulge on a variety of levels. For him, the club is an open field of creation and discovery where he can travel as far as he pleases.
“In clubs, you’re able to do your own thing,” Wylde said. “When you’re playing a club and by yourself, you can show off and go crazy. When you’re at a festival, you don’t want to step on anybody’s toes or overdo it like at your own show. That’s just how I am. That’s my prerogative.”
In the past, EDM has always been haunted by the theoretical “next level,” which has involved everything from EDM styles to live performances riddled with multimedia eye candy. According to Wylde, EDM’s inclusion at festivals has allowed the genre to reach the last level. EDM now exists in a fringe world bordering the mainstream. Wylde thinks EDM now will focus on exploring styles that have already been established.
“I think that EDM has been taken to the next level,” Wylde said. “We need to talk about what the next stage will be. I think dubstep will have a big comeback.”
Azalea City EDM fans should take advantage of Caked Up’s set at GlowRage’s Mardi Gras soirees. Opportunities to witness one of the Vegas EDM scene’s most notable artist are rare, especially when considering Wylde’s goals for 2017. The world has already tasted Caked Up; Wylde has left audiences begging for more in China, Australia, Turkey and France. He plans to use 2017 to satisfy his worldwide audience’s hunger for Caked Up’s fresh EDM sounds.