After three months of touring, ILLENIUM‘s Ascend show is finally coming to a close. The artist performed at major venues across the United States, including New York City’s Madison Square Garden, Washington D.C.’s Echostage, and Colorado’s infamous Red Rocks Amphitheater. In some cities, ILLENIUM played multiple dates; a few lucky places even got a special throwback set where he played his older style. For example, Red Rocks hosted a sold-out 3-day event with one show being a special throwback set (although one of his Ascend shows was forced to cancel due to snowy weather).
Over the last few years, the rising star (or should I say phoenix) has exploded in popularity. The artist’s debut album Ashes came out in 2016, with Awake following shortly after in 2017. Therefore, Ascend marks ILLENIUM’s third studio album. The 17-track album highlights ILLENIUM’s signature melodic sound and features collaborations with The Chainsmokers, Said The Sky, Blanke, and many more.
When comparing the artist’s past musical style with his more recent work, it’s incredible to see the growth of the producer’s sound over the years. Still capturing the same musical essence from his roots, his distinct style has ultimately evolved to entrance any kind of audience. In other words, his music has broken through into the mainstream crowd to the point where he’s selling out massive venues. Out of the 44 scheduled shows, ILLENIUM sold out 31 of them.
Speaking of sellouts, ILLENIUM sold out the Los Angeles Staples Center earlier this month. Fortunately, we had the honor of seeing the melodic bass god perform here. After watching ILLENIUM’s Red Rocks performance on the live stream, I was highly anticipating his show. This would be my first time seeing a full set of his, so I was eager to see what everyone was talking so highly about.
Read on to hear about my experience at this legendary show!
There are not many venues in California as grand as the Los Angeles Staples Center. The massive arena holds up to 20,000 people and primarily consists of assigned bleacher seating and a floor area. Premiere and VIP seating are also available. So in other words, the fact that ILLENIUM sold out the LA Staples Center is no easy feat, and is something he and his fans should be proud of.
Overall, this was an incredible venue for ILLENIUM’s performance. The massive size of the venue only enhanced the experience for Illenials. Synced-up lasers and otherworldly visuals contributed to the artist’s melodic music; you could really tell the amount of time and effort ILLENIUM and his team went through to put on a huge show like this.
Additionally, we should note the importance of ILLENIUM’s show at one of California’s biggest venues. This stadium is reserved for big events and global performances; the Lakers and Clippers step foot in this arena as well as legendary artists. The fact that electronic producers are starting to regularly perform at iconic venues like these marks a monumental moment for dance music. This decade truly signifies the growth of dance music into mainstream crowds, and hopefully, 2020 will create more groundbreaking artists like ILLENIUM.
Of course in Los Angeles, we’re going to see some familiar faces pop up. For official support, William Black started off the night with an hour-long set. While the crowd was making their way down the steps of the Staples Center, Black created an ecstatic atmosphere to get fans ready for the rest of the night. He played blissful music while incorporating some heavier tracks into his set.
Shortly after William Black’s performance, Dabin performed his hour-long set. The aspiring artist played many of his own tracks and brought his feelsy intricate tunes to the speakers. He set the mood with sounds of melodic dubstep and euphoric synths. Overall, no one could ask for a more fitting support prior to ILLENIUM’s performance.
Additionally, Said The Sky helped with backup, and even Jason Ross made a special appearance. Vocalist Annika Wells also came out to sing some of her songs with ILLENIUM, including their hit ‘Crawl Outta Love‘.
ILLENIUM’s performance was everything I expected it to be, and more. I knew to expect his slower, melodic tunes, but the artist did not hold back on the heavy dubstep. With a perfect balance of soft and hard, ILLENIUM brings out the tears while you’re breaking your neck.
For it being my first full performance of his, my socks were blown off my feet. ILLENIUM showcased an amazing performance – you can tell the emotion that was put into each song, and the story that was told behind each visual. With ILLENIUM’s friends as support, you could feel the good vibes radiate off the stage. It’s probably an amazing feeling to fulfill your passions with the people you love.
Illenials could be heard echoing off the walls to every single one of the artist’s songs. He performed many of his tracks off of his Ascend album as well as some of his iconic songs with other producers. Among the songs played were his collaboration with Excision, ‘Gold‘, as well as his latest release with Ekali, ‘Hard To Say Goodbye‘. ‘Good Things Fall Apart’ and ‘Sad Songs’ were some of the crowd’s favorites. Probably my favorite moments were when he performed ‘Take You Down’ and ‘Pray’, as those are both songs that deeply resonate with me.
All in all, the artist’s Ascend album is incredibly raw and emotional, and you could see those same aspects in the artist’s performance. With the grand venue, the surround sound of the music, and the entrancing visuals, ILLENIUM put on an epic live performance that will be hard to forget.