Kaskade gets ‘beautiful town a little bit dirty’ as X Games Aspen music returns
Multi-Grammy nominee, DJ, record producer, and household name in electronic music Kaskade set the tone for the 22nd consecutive X Games in Aspen with two local musical performances, igniting the weekend of festivities with a sold-out show at the intimate Belly Up on Friday night.
It was an experience he acknowledged was not what some might expect.
“The vibe of Aspen at Belly Up during the X Games is different than the Aspen you see on TV,” he said. “There are definitely the people who want to be seen, but it’s so much cooler than that. It becomes a house party, but we don’t have to worry about the neighbors being angry. I love getting this beautiful town a little bit dirty.”
Kaskade has been a fixture on the electronic dance music scene since the release of his first top 10 single, “Steppin Out,” in 2001. He has released 10 studio albums, three compilation albums, 54 singles, seven mix albums, and has been credited for many firsts in his career.
He was the first electronic music artist to secure a Las Vegas residency, which changed the entertainment landscape of the city; the first to sell out both Barclays Center in Brooklyn and Staples Center in Los Angeles; and the first to headline the Coachella Music Festival.
A pioneer of genres like house music, progressive house, electro house, and deep house in the early 2000s, his style is hypnotic, addictive, and encourages his audience to be positive and just dance, which has garnered him a dedicated and passionate fan base.
From “I Remember” to “Move for Me” and “Beneath with Me,” Kaskade’s collaborations with fellow electronic musician deadmau5 since 2006 have created some of dance music’s most memorable and impactful tracks. Their long-term creative relationship has recently led them to form a supergroup under the moniker Kx5, releasing their first single “Escape” (with HAYLA) in March 2022.
He announced their next single with fellow dance music duo SOFI TUKKER before his Friday night performance at the X Games.
As someone who grew up on X Games and is a recreational snowboarder, headlining opening night was a no-brainer for him.
“I remember when the X Games began in the ’90s, and, as a dedicated skate rat, I was stoked that there was an organized competition for extreme sports,” he said. “I never dreamed I’d be able to participate, so any time I’m invited to play at the X Games, it’s an easy ‘Yes.’ I love how inclusive it’s become and true to the origins of these sports.”
And the fans were stoked to have him. The nearly hour-long set drew a celebratory crowd that swayed and danced unfazed by the heavily falling snow. A memorable start to what is promising to be a dynamic X Games.
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