Laidback Luke. The name is like Jack Sparrow; upon hearing it you get shivers. You’re struck by a feeling of awe and admiration, captivated by the images that pop into your head at the sound of those three syllables. Names don’t build merit and prestige on their own; the image of who they represent reflects those person’s deeds and qualities. Let’s face the facts, Shakespeare (and more specifically Juliet, had it right). “What is a name? That which they call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” In Juliet’s eyes, Romeo represented desire; he was associated with love. In the eyes of the electronic dance community, Laidback Luke represents talent. He is associated with having basically perfected the art of mixing.

Hands blurry because they move so fast, Laidback Luke has gained the respect of the entire dance community for his ability to seamlessly mix songs, genres, and everything in between. Festivals want to showcase him, labels want to sign him, and clubs want to book him. He’s collaborated with some of the biggest producers and artists out there: Swedish House Mafia, Steve Aoki, and Chuckie. He’s performed on the main stage at Ultra Music Festival and this year he was ranked the 31st best DJ in the world. He has proved countless times that he has what it takes to rock any sound system, and luckily enough, partiers in Boston were able to catch him performing at The Estate on the 24th. There seemed to be a general agreement that this would be a night to remember, and it truly was.


Young Colombian talent Moska warmed up the crowd, preparing them for the massive show to come. It’s always difficult to open for a big name, yet Moska successfully controlled the dance floor with a continuous spiel of gritty, buzzing bass lines and fat electro drops. By the time Luke came on stage, the crowd was chanting and cheering, pressed up as far as they could be against the stage. The setup for the performance was different than most nights: foam cannons and various lasers had been set up, an indication of the mayhem that was soon to follow.

The 31st best DJ in the world kicked things off with a remix of “SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake, and the crowd absolutely roared when they heard the classic bass line hook. The lasers went haywire, foam shot into the crowd, and The Estate thundered with the combination of stomping feet and blaring speakers. It was one of those moments in life that sends chill up your spins, and you can’t help but grin; seeing all these beautiful people coming together to enjoy music is something special. Differences set aside, everyone is there in that specific moment of bliss. It’s one of the greatest feelings in the world, and in the fact that the conductor of such a happy symphony was Laidback Luke made everything all the better.

There’s always two sides to DJing: song selection, and technical skill. You might have the best mixing skills in the world, but if you pick awful songs, you’re sure to lose the crowd. On the reverse side, if you know the perfect song but can’t transition into it, the dance floor will also empty. Bridging the two is quite difficult, especially when the songs you choose in the movement span various genres: hip-hop, house, dubstep, and trap. But the people of The Estate did not need worry that night. They knew they were in good hands. Literally.


In one of the most dynamic sets to grace The Estate, Laidback Luke let loose banger after banger, transitioning between genres with minimal effort. He rocked the crowd with Diplo and GTA’s monster collaboration “Boy Oh Boy” and then mixed into a throwback sing-along everyone loves, “Milkshake” by Kelis. Every song transition blended smoothly, and every time he would pull the fader Laidback Luke would surprise the crowd with an unexpected hit. His remix of “Heartbreaker” by MSTRKRFT and John Legend had everyone singing along, as well as his sampling of Axwell’s remix of “In My Mind” by Feenixpawl and “We Are Young” by Fun. The song selection was on point the whole night, and it was refreshing to hear a combination of both underground hits and current euphoric anthems.

A high-point in the night was when Laidback Luke played Swedish House Mafia’s farewell song, “Don’t You Worry Child,” which evoked screams of joy and claps. Confetti shot into the air and everyone jumped in unison, celebrating the night with popped champagne and foam. Just a few minutes later, the Mix Master cued up the subs and let loose “Mercy” by Kanye West and Big Sean, sending a cascade of low bass waves into the already riled-up crowd. Immediately afterward, everyone was treated with Luke’s own production Turbulence, a collaboration with King of Crunk Lil’ Jon. At the exact moment that the beat dropped, a neon robot man appeared in the upper balcony cage and sprayed the crowd with foam. It was a mix between classy Project X and Star Wars, a crazy party that spanned three hours. Absolutely no one wanted it to end, and by the time Laidback Luke played his last song and said goodnight, people were already discussing the next time they’d be lucky enough to fall under his musical spell again.

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