The first weekend of October in Minnesota can bring snow or tornadoes. Instead, last Friday brought Bea Miller and Steve Aoki.
And they know how to have a good time.
After braving the elements and getting through TSA-style security, students sprinted through the stadium to get the best seats possible for the show. Unlike past years, only the first level of seats was open to students, making for an awkwardly-shaped GA “pit."
Bea Miller didn’t care. She came out with zeal and lyrical tenacity to perform in front of people that, at 19 years old, she could be going to school with.
“I don’t usually play in front of, well, peers,” Miller said. “This is dope, you all have so much energy. I appreciate that.”
Her unique energy made the set stellar. The atmosphere felt like a basement show where friends played for each other, rather than being inside TCF Bank Stadium (which, per usual, was awkwardly set up so only a fraction of the space was used).
With organic chit-chat between each song and no unnecessary “put your hands up" moments, the lesser-known of the two artists brought an air of familiarity to her set even though, as she said, most of the concertgoers didn’t know who she was.
Ending with her hit, “like that,” fans were psyched to sing along.
Then the real party started.
With deep hitting bass and throbbing electronic pulsing, Steve Aoki exploded onto the stage. He started his set with the go-to opener “Moshi Moshi” (fitting, as that is a typical Japanese greeting).
As mist coated the space between Aoki and his fans, the pink, blue and green visuals blazing on the screen turned the precipitation into confetti. Everyone bobbed their heads and pumped their fists.
“I wish those seats weren’t there. I want to come party with you,” Aoki said. “I can’t help myself.”
And he couldn't. After playing new music, he put on a track and ran into the stands. As Aoki was running up and down the rows, everyone cheered and piled over each other to get a high-five from one of the most-performed artists in the world.
Things really got rowdy when he played his song, “Mayhem." Aoki warned everyone that “this was the turn-up song of the set"; the ground shook with the beat drop.
"Pursuit of Happiness" lulled the crowd slightly into arm-over-shoulder camaraderie. Soon after, "MIC Drop Remix" bounced everyone back to life.
“Minneapolis is amazing. You guys always have so much energy,” Aoki said. “I love coming here.”
That’s high praise from someone who plays in Cabo San Lucas and the like.
Taking Instagram stories with the crowd, inviting students on stage and running around with fans, Aoki's spirit felt organic and down to earth.
Not country and not rap, Aoki brought music-heads together for one giant party before the big game. Our only question: where was the cake?