Freak Night in the Pacific Northwest

by | Nov 21, 2017 | EVENTS, REVIEWS

FreakNight 2017 was my first real solo rave which was a big deal to me

Being my second year, I had the pleasure to attend the Pacific Northwest biggest Halloween event FreakNight Festival 2017 at the WaMu Theater. Having my costume prepared months in advance, I woke up that morning more than ready for the best Halloween festivities.

At last year’s FreakNight, I was introduced to a harm reduction group known as The Fan Clan known for their casualty reduction (heat exhaustion, dehydration, sensory overload, etc…) by bringing massive packages of hand fans to give out at each event they attend. This year though, I had the honor to attend with them as a ‘fanbassador’.

With no wait in line, we got in early at 7pm giving us plenty of time to walk around and observe. Costumes seemed to have their game upped compared to last years and there were some outrageous ones. I was dressed up as HIM from the Powerpuff Girls, so many people wanted to get pictures with me as well as I did with them. Seeing the combination of costumes get together for a photo-op was one of my favorite part of the event.

The Bass Asylum area was placed in a smaller part of the theater which was cramped in comparison to the main stage – Spinning Big Top – but to be expected since the Wamu Theater doesn’t have a ton of room for three stages. Regardless, USC Events was able to optimize to the best of their ability.

Starting my musical journey at the main stage with friends, Benny Benassi truly exceeded my expectations. In my opinion, the laser show was one of the best for the entire night and there wasn’t a single moment where I thought they weren’t amazing. His visuals also worked really well with the bass line and especially when he played everyone’s favorite Satisfaction, bright geometric shapes visual offering a variety of compelling colors. Benny Benassi started the night out extremely well and I was actually kind of disappointed on his early slot.

Next up was Dash Berlin who performed well but not as impressive as Benny Benassi. Although his set was fun to watch, the entire time I could only think to myself how much better it would’ve been had Berlin played before Benassi. I do however have to say how great it was to hear Till The Sky Falls Down which had the best light show during that song.

I was really excited to get the opportunity to see Kaskade after I had missed him a handful of times while he was touring the Pacific Northwest. The opening of his set began with visuals of flowers opening and losing petals in the wind as soft vocals harmonized into the rhythm of Disarm You. It was very impressive as they had these hand-drawn style of people, mountains, buildings and even a ribcage being expanded by a beating heart. When Kaskade started showing his ability with some bass music, I was impressed but the visuals and lasers seemed a little off beat. Kaskade was impressively amazing and just knew how to keep the entire crowd on their feet.

This being my second time seeing Adventure Club, I knew I was in for a treat. Immediately as soon as they came on, they didn’t hold back and slammed the crowd with nothing but filthy bass. The visuals ranged from fiery explosions and bolts of lightning to dystopian cities covered in nothing but flashing graffiti. They even had a segment in which they showed a land in Minecraft and as soon as the bass hit, it went into a crazy thunderstorm of flashing lights and pouring rain as the crowd went full on head banger. They played the perfect mix of hard-hitting bass and the occasional feel good song while the visuals glowed with green caves and prehistoric symbols. Once again, whether it be the pyrotechnics, light show, music or pure fire, Adventure Club didn’t give anything but their 100%.

Last on was Justice who I was anticipating most for the entire event. Although their visuals didn’t have a ton to offer, their iconic logo was on full display and I still found myself captivated by their set. Ranging from a funky bass synth sound, all you could hear is some of the most different combinations of songs as voices harmonized in the background. They played nothing but great remix after great remix such as that grimy analog bass sounds of D.A.N.C.E. Justice’s set was a throwback to 80’s and 90’s classics.

The most notable thing of the night had to be when Justice played their final encore. It was a tribute to Nirvana and Soundgarden, and being that Seattle essentially birthed grunge, you could only imagine how stoked the crowd was. I would never have thought, but closing out with songs like Black Hole Sun was an amazing way to end the night. Everyone slowly shimmered with each other as the vocals was harmonized by the entire crowd while the set came to a close.

After conquering the night almost completely by myself, I couldn’t help but feel satisfied with what I was able to accomplish. The entire night, I made countless amount of friends simply through fanning them. The music was all really well done and I very rarely found myself disappointed (and even when I did it was over minor things).

I will definitely be attending next year and you might catch me solo all over again.

-Jeffrey Davis