KASKADE WITH FAREOH
When: Sunday, 9 p.m.
Where: Club 9ONE9 (919 Douglas St.)
Tickets: $40 at blueprintevents.ca and Lyle's Place
Ryan Raddon has played Los Angeles and the surrounding area 100 times since 2003, according to his own estimate.
Some of his previous appearances - such as the popular Electric Daisy Carnival, which was held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2009 - were considered big-time events.
But none of his past experiences had him prepared for what his Freaks of Nature tour encountered when it hit the Staples Center in Los Angeles on July 27.
Turns out more than 18,000 people had paid $65 months in advance to see Raddon, a DJ and producer who performs as Kaskade.
By the time the show was over, Kaskade was credited with headlining the venue's first-ever full-capacity concert by an electronic dance music (EDM) artist.
"Five years ago, when I'd play a 1,000-seat room in L.A., every person knew every word to every one of my songs," Raddon said Thursday from Portland, Oregon, where he was preparing for a concert at the 3,000-capacity Roseland Ballroom. "It felt like that in the Staples Center, but it was different."
Different, indeed. The Chicago-raised, California-based Raddon has seen his stock skyrocket over the past few years, to the point where he is now - according to a report in the New York Times - grossing in the neighbourhood of $200,000 on some nights.
The demure 41-year-old likely won't earn that when he performs in Victoria Sunday at Club 9ONE9, a club that fits roughly 600.
But the money isn't all that matters to Raddon, who takes great pride in exploring the outer reaches of the world with his music.
"I've been surprised many, many times by what I've found," he said of his travels.
Though Kaskade is counted as one of the biggest names in dance music, Raddon works hard for that designation. He has been on the road non-stop since the release of his 2011 album, Fire & Ice, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard dance charts. That led to a series of long days with little sleep, not to mention a tour schedule that saw him perform almost every day, in one capacity or another, during the month of July.
The two-month Freaks of Nature tour winds down Aug. 16 after more than 40 dates. Later this month, Kaskade will play in Italy, France and Spain, followed by stops later this year in Dubai, Puerto Rico and Australia.
Don't feel too sorry for Raddon; he is handsomely rewarded for his time, to put it mildly. According to a Forbes magazine report that surfaced last week (see list at right), Raddon earned a whopping $10 million during the past 12 months, good enough for No. 8 on Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid DJs.
As for the ongoing accolades, Raddon is surprised there hasn't been more of a backlash from purists, those listeners who were up front at Kaskade concerts long before the dancemusic genre became the hottest musical community.
"Honestly, I thought there would be more of that," he said with a laugh. "But it's a younger audience now, and people are excited to see it get big. The new generation is more open to various sounds."
Kaskade was one of the headliners this year's Ultra Music Festival in Miami, which drew an audience of 150,000 over its three-day run. He also delivered a robustly attended show in April at the Coachella Valley Music Festival in southern California, which - to his most ardent fans - is considered one of the turning points in his year, if not his career.
Raddon agrees with that statement, though he isn't ready to dismiss the hard work that he and his good friends in the dance music community, a list that includes TiÃ«sto, Skrillex and Deadmau5, have put in prior to the EDM explosion of 2012.
"[Dance music] has been here and people have been playing big shows for decades. But I also feel like, with people paying more attention, there's an added excitement now. It's cool.
And with that, there's people coming to my shows who haven't ever been to one. There's more people paying attention to EDM, which is turning new people on to it."
Raddon credits the online communities on Twitter and Facebook for helping EDM attract a large army of followers. For example, in July of 2011, Kaskade had about 92,000 followers on Twitter. As of Thursday, he's nearing 300,000.
The best part, Raddon says, is that the majority of these fans are intelligent and educated about music, with no shortage of suggestions to proffer.
"This is one of the things that was the tipping point," he said. "When we all got connected and saw what one another was listening to, things started to move faster. It used to be that everyone had to listen to what [the radio] was pushing. It has changed now.
Whatever is being pushed, you don't have to listen to." email@example.com
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