In a pinnacle finale, Illenium brought the house down, rocking San Francisco Saturday night.
A mesmerizing display of twisting and twirling lasers and lights gleamed in the eyes of the young crowd that packed a sold-out Chase Center.
William Black, wearing a white T-shirt emblazoned with “NOTHING” in black, pumped up the crowd:
“Make some fucking noise, San Francisco!”
The show capped Illenium’s Ascend tour — which began in Pittsburgh in September — with a final performance in his San Francisco hometown.
The crowd cheered as speakers, standing some four feet tall pounded rhythm and bass in equal measures. As sound hit the floor, majestic ripples and three-dimensional shapes appeared on-screen over the DJ’s head. One concert-goer stood at the front of the floor, mouth covered with a mask with brightly colored glow-in-the-dark shapes.
Music artists Dabin and Ekali continued to grow the excitement. They dropped harder and longer sections of bass, capped with synth and rhythm. Two tour attendees at the front of the crowd headbanged, throwing their long locks of hair back and forth ferociously. Still white lights shone upon the audience as Dabin increased the tempo of his tracks, before bass dropped in equal measure with the lights that danced upon the crowd.
While Dabin performed, a yellow sun began to rise on the screen, shrouded in an ambient red background glow. Ekali mixed his tempos and beats with violin, as the screen above him shined with 3D blue and green underground-looking tunnels.
During Ekali’s act, one concert-goer put on an impromptu light show of their own, twirling tiny lights on their fingertips as they were backed by fast, warping music.
After Ekali’s set, the lights dimmed and the audience cheered. Illenium strummed a guitar, lit by dim colored lights that illuminated fog, which he played while surrounded by beats and rhythms.
The screen went red as Illenium stepped forward, and sparks shot up to heighten his entrance. Fire cascaded out of canisters, heating the entire arena.
A few songs in, Illenium mixed beats while a singer provided live vocals to match the recorded vocals in “Take You Down,” all while accompanied by live drums and guitar. Beams of light shot into the crowd and colored fog pouring out of smoke machines red and blue.
Millennial-aged fans, many of whom who were shirtless, headbanged in groups or danced freeform with their hands in the air.
Green, blue and magenta lasers bounced on revelers as melodic song verses led to bass drops the entire night. The show came to a climactic peak during Illenium’s collaboration The Chainsmokers “Takeaway,” as the lights dropped completely and lasers of every color swept and spread all over the audience, throughout the floor and up every level of the stadium. Audience members held their arms in the air and some even sat on other people’s shoulders while singing along.
As singer Lennon Stella’s voice began to beat with repeating “ay’s” from “takeaway,” a powerful yellow sun flashed against a red background on the screen before white lights exploded through the darkness and gorgeous red-and-yellow clouds swept across the screen.
As Illenium wrapped up his set and walked off the stage, fans hopped and sang for an encore. The DJ returned to finish his act with his hit “Good Things Fall Apart.”
The crowd may have been its loudest all night when belting out the “yeah yeah yeah” in the final chorus. The ending roar of the fans was met with dancing lasers, lights exploding in the air and mounds of ticker tape falling from the ceiling, a dramatic ascension and completion of Illenium’s tour finale.
In an earlier version of this story, “Chase Center” was accidentally called “Chase Stadium.” SFBay regrets this and apologizes for this error.