VIBE 2022: Steve Aoki Brings the Club to SLU

At VIBE 2022, Steve Aoki along with openers Marc E. Bassy & Matias performed for free for SLU students.

Each year, the Student Activities Board (SAB) puts on a free concert in the spring for all SLU students to attend. These artists are voted on by students in the fall of every year, with this year’s nominees ranging from rock bands such as Paramore to pop acts like Kesha and even rappers like Fetty Wap. After gathering the votes and working behind the scenes to book an artist, SAB announced that American music producer and DJ Steve Aoki would be headlining this year’s concert. Alongside Marc E. Bassy and Matias, the artists performed at the Simon Rec Center on April 21 to a substantial crowd of SLU students.

           The first opener of the evening was Matias, a Colombian-American artist from Philadelphia infusing elements of Spanish and English-language music together. Throughout his set, Matias performed with confidence and ease, working the crowd well and getting students who didn’t know his music to dance and have fun. He pulled from his many influences throughout the set, performing primarily in Spanish and taking command of the stage throughout. By the end of the set, it was clear that Matias was excited to perform and genuinely had his heart in the music, something that got the crowd of students excited for the rest of the evening.

          Up next was Marc E. Bassy, an American singer-songwriter from the Bay Area. Students were especially excited for Bassy to show up on stage, chanting his name until he arrived to perform. Immediately, Bassy brought a great performance for VIBE and the crowd was going nuts for him. Throughout the show, Bassy and the crowd were extremely high-energy, with many moments where the crowd was singing along to every word. This part of the evening also led to a stronger light show, as the sun was beginning to set and the visuals accompanying Bassy’s set grew more vivid. As Bassy’s performance drew to a close, the crowd of students grew in preparation for the headlining act.

To put it simply, there was not a dull moment throughout VIBE’s headlining set.

          To close out the evening, American DJ Steve Aoki came on stage and made the crowd go crazy. Aoki’s set immediately brought a club-like atmosphere to the Simon Rec Center. Immediately showing his DJ prowess, Aoki got the crowd of SLU students dancing as the thumping heavy-bass set started. Throughout the show, Aoki pulled from his large discography to play several of his hits, such as the Chris Lake and Tujamo collaboration “Boneless” and his remix of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness,” as well as several deep cuts and newer releases, including a collaboration with Shaqueille O’Neal titled “Welcome to the Playhouse” and a slew of unreleased tracks.

      To put it simply, there was not a dull moment throughout VIBE’s headlining set. Even students who were not big fans of his were dancing and singing along to his set, as he pulled out mashups of pop hits like Calvin Harris’s “Sweet Nothing” and remixes of recent Latin hits such as J Balvin’s “Mi Gente” and Farruko’s “Pepas.” And throughout the DJ set, Steve Aoki made sure to involve SLU students with the set as much as he could. The show had several sing-along moments that the crowd ate up—including a sing-along section for an unreleased Aoki song, filmed to possibly be featured in the upcoming music video. He also brought three students to the DJ booth to help count down to the drop of his collaboration with Laidback Luke, “It’s Time,” which features vocals from MMA and UFC announcer Bruce Buffer.

        As per his tradition, Aoki brought a large sheet cake to throw into the crowd near the end of his DJ set, which has been dubbed as “getting caked” by fans of his. As his DJ set drew to a close, Aoki hopped down from the booth and asked the crowd where he should throw the cake, eventually deciding to throw it into the crowd on stage left. As students cheered and those who were caked celebrated, the performance drew to a close and Aoki thanked the crowd for coming out before heading off the stage. The vibe at VIBE was high-energy and an overall success for SAB’s annual concert, marking another great installment of the yearly free concert for students.