Steve Aoki is best known for his high-adrenaline electro that, for many years, served as a prelude to a cake in the face for his crowds.
But in L.A., he should also be better known for his longtime interest in local politics, and a newly announced concert might make that connection more overt for his young fans.
Aoki has teamed with with Mayor Eric Garcetti and newly reelected councilman Jose Huizar for "LAoki," a free show set for the middle of downtown L.A. on May 16 at 6 p.m. The concert wil block off Broadway between 4th and 6th streets in the Historic Core.
"My whole career was built in Los Angeles, so it only made sense to do the biggest show of my life on the streets of downtown, just blocks from my label Dim Mak's homebase," Aoki said in a statement. "Making it a free show is my thank you to the city that's given me so much, but I also felt it was important to encourage others to give back as well."
Aoki played Garcetti's marquee Made in America festival in downtown's Grand Park last year, but this set has different objectives. Tickets are free, with a civic-minded catch: to get them you have to sign up for information about the mayor's Volunteer Corps initiative, which connects people of varied backgrounds and careers with local services in need of a hand.
The concert is tied to the release of Aoki's "Neon Future II" album, whose first single "Darker Than Blood" gets a hard-industrial groove and big vocals from Linkin Park. Aoki may be firmly ensconced in EDM's mainstream, but alongside Moby, few DJs at his level of fame have taken such an active role in local development and charitable projects.
"Steve Aoki is an artist who believes strongly in philanthropy and giving back to the community," Huizar said. "By providing a free concert on historic Broadway in DTLA that requires concert goers to seek out information on volunteering, he is providing a vehicle to positively impact lives in our great city through the gift of music."