Wicked Halloween was held this past Thursday at UMass Lowell’s Tsongas Arena, and it was not just a concert; it was a plethora of artistic abilities and an all-encompassing experience for any EDM enthusiast. From the moment a ticket was scanned, fans knew they were in for the night of a lifetime. Walking down the steps into the arena, fans were greeted with the view of acrobats suspended from the ceiling and a variety of dancers on stage. Three of the most talented acts headlined the stellar show: Audien, Benny Benassi, and Above and Beyond.
As Audien ran up on stage to perform, the crowd cheered and prepared for a mind-blowing set of music. Throughout his songs, he would throw his hands in the air and emphatically jump with his audience. Accompanying his performance were female dancers wearing horns and white contacts, embodying the Halloween spirit.
About halfway through his set, two acrobatic dancers walked onto the stage and performed various stunts. Audien made sure to play his increasingly popular remix of Bastille’s “Pompeii” and sampled Armin van Buuren’s “This Is What It Feels Like” in his next song. As he engaged and played off the energy of the crowd, the screen behind him flashed with images and phrases, including his name, the title of the event, a scene from Donkey Kong, and other moments from popular video games. The lights flashed throughout the show and when the bass dropped, they would flash intensely through the crowd. He continued to interact with the crowd by waving, jumping, and cheering. By the end of his set, he had the entire arena dancing and waving along to his popular song, “Leaving You.” As he walked off the stage, the crowd chanted his name and prepared for the rest of their amazing evening.
Next up to the stage was the world-famous Benny Benassi. He was incredibly involved with the crowd, clapping to the beat with the audience. A mummy danced while surrounded by strobe lights, along with acrobats in neon suits. There was smoke blown in the air and the visuals on the screen alternated between pulsating colors and his name. Throughout the performance, smoke would randomly come up from the stage.
The horned dancers replaced the neon dancers and the whole room turned dark for a moment. Benassi clapped along with the crowd and began his popular song, “Cinema.” He would occasionally stop the music and have the crowd sing along. The screams of the crowd along with Benassi’s encouraging arm waving made everyone feel like they were part of something bigger than themselves and the energy increased even more. A giant bubble went up into the sky with a dancer in it and swung around on stage. Streamers went off in the crowd as Benassi finished his final song and the crowd chanted his name.
Finally, the main act of the evening, Above and Beyond, hit the stage and the crowd’s energy was intense and excited, somehow peaking from the earlier entertainers. Tony McGuiness and Jono Grant ran up to see the crowd as the screen behind them alternated between a hand, pulsating triangles, and a triangle with the group’s name written on it. They started their show with their song “Take Me to a Place” while clapping along with the audience. The strobe lights flashed throughout the crowd, increasing the energy that each costumed attendee felt as they watched something beautiful occur in front of them.
They played a combination of old and new favorites, including “Sticky Fingers” and “Alchemy.” Above and Beyond also brought a mummy onto the stage and put him in an inflatable ball to crowd surf. The screen notified the crowd that the mummy was actually Steve Aoki. However, this was never proven, as he did not take off his mask. As the duo played songs from each of their albums, the name of the album would flash behind them on the screen, notifying the crowd of the upcoming music. For Anjunabeats, they flashed the name on the screen while showing a shot of the whole crowd in black and white. Throughout the performance, they had the whole crowd jumping and making a triangle with their hands.
During one of the last songs, purple curtains came down on both sides of the stage. A dancer attached herself to each curtain and as it lifted in the air, she began to do various acrobatic stunts. A girl in the front row had a sign for the group asking if she could “push the button.” During “Blue Sky Holiday,” they brought her on stage and allowed her to fulfill her dream of pushing the button. The crowd continued to scream and dance, as the girl jumped around the stage and hugged everyone in sight. The next dancer assortment was two human seahorses that were hooked into harnesses and spun around in the air. While all this was going on, there were also harlequin dancers playing with giant bouncy balls on stage. They ended the show while the harlequins and seahorses danced around them. As their final song was close to finishing, the giant balloons were thrown into the crowd and a giant spray cannon to shoot air and confetti into the crowd.
This was a night concert goers won’t soon forget, as fans had the time of their lives and an incredible beginning to their Halloweekend.