Another amazing experience at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento! As I walked into the arena, I saw many fans dressed for an EDM concert. There were girls in fishnet cosplay and guys wearing white t-shirts with lights. There were many fans lined up at the merchandise tables before the show began. Everyone was so excited to see Illenium. The vibe in the arena was like attending EDC in Las Vegas: fans grew more outgoing, outrageous and outlandish throughout the show. Guys covered in glitter, ladies wrapped in lights and even one fan dressed as Deadpool!
Let’s talk about the music. William Black opened the show with a dark bass set that forced you to bounce your hands in the air or move your body. More rave-oriented than Dabin and Illenium, Black played his tracks with hype and energy. It was very awesome to watch, because he was so passionate to get the crowd involved. There were a few times when he said, “Sacramento, let me hear you!”
Dabin took to the stage next, switching the vibe from hard bass to softer melodies. With soaring vocals and uplifting synths, he elevated the experience to something more meaningful. One thing that stood out was his visuals on the giant screen behind him. Many videos had nature depicting different colors, as the camera zoomed out of the shot. It was very creative and looked like something you would see in a high-quality video game. A good comparison to his music is the video game soundtrack for Sayonara Wild Hearts. Throughout the show, Dabin played electric guitar and drums on his DJ set. He is a very talented musician.
Illenium is not your ordinary EDM artist.
So far, so good, with both acts playing their creative EDM sound.
The headliner, Illenium, came out with his guitar in hand and a red background on the screen. You could already feel the difference between him and the other artists. Illenium is not your ordinary EDM artist. While his DJ equipment got heavy and consistent use throughout the show, he injected power and performance with live instrumentation. He was supported onstage by David Scott on drums, Said the Sky also on drums and Annika Wells on vocals.
After a few songs, Illenium brought back Dabin to perform with him. The fans went crazy as Dabin and walked on caring his electric guitar and standing towards the back. With Illenium and his artists performing together, it almost looked like a full band. It felt and sounded like a rock mixed with EDM set — a bit of a pleasant surprise. Electric dance music was still the number one sound.
Illenium did exactly what he wanted to do in Sacramento — make the fans live a night they would never forget!
Throughout the show, there were plenty of lasers, flames and streamer cannons onstage that undoubtedly grabbed your attention. Illenium’s music remains the heartbeat of the experience, leaving fans dancing as they gazed at the stage. There were so much emotions from the fans. Some had barely controlled jubilation and others had heartfelt tears.
Towards the end of the show, Illenium played “Good Things Fall Apart” and the crowd joyfully combined into one voice and sang along. These are the best moments of concerts: when fans and artist sing together, and everyone is having a good time. So many fans walked out of the arena with smiles of joy. Illenium did exactly what he wanted to do in Sacramento — make the fans live a night they would never forget!
Photography by Arik Ruiz