Worth the cash 5/5
Proving that more is better, Armin Van Buuren—one of the biggest names in electronic music—graced London with a roaring three-hour set this past week.
Currently ranked the number 2 DJ in the World by DJ Mag, he held the top spot for an unprecedented four consecutive years. The 36-year-old Dutchman is no stranger to success. His nearly two decades in the music industry have spawned 4 successful albums, sold-out tours, star-studded collaborations and A State of Trance—his massively popular radio show with over 500 episodes and more than 15 million listeners.
This “Burn Your Books” event on Thursday at the Canada Building of the Western Fair was masterminded by a slew of promotions companies such as NiteSchool, PremierLife and London Music Hall. Openers Tim Mason and Jochen Miller delivered strong sets to warm up the growing crowd.
Excitement reached fever pitch after midnight, and in a rare display of punctuality for someone of his status, Van Buuren appeared at 1 a.m.. Students were burning more than their books as they set the dance floor ablaze. Neon attire, Dutch flags, glow sticks and beach balls were out in full swing as people held nothing back from this anticipated performance.
Van Buuren played an ideal setlist characterized by quiet lulls and long melodic builds. The following intense hard-driving drops kept the blood, sweat and eardrums pumping. The bass proved to be a worthy adversary and shook every fibre of the crowd’s being in unison with each mighty thump.
Playing favourites such as “Belter” and “In and Out of Love,” Van Buuren also surprised fans with an interesting remix of the timeless classic “Personal Jesus.”
The visuals were noteworthy as well—this was a very foggy, vibrant show punctuated by dazzling strobes of changing frequency. Van Buuren was loving life and dancing throughout his set, engaging the crowd and always smiling.
To mess with and delight his fans, Van Buuren imperceptibly increased the tempo of the track beyond the limits of hyperactive human dancing, later performing this same stunt in reverse by slowing the tempo to a snail’s pace. Throughout these tricks, he had a mischievous smile reminiscent of a mad scientist and kept firm eye contact with the crowd.
Drowned in a sea of trance and house music, crowds begged for more by chanting “ARMIN! ARMIN!” on several occasions. It seems not even a masterful three-hour set can satisfy London’s voracious appetite for electronic dance music.
Judging from the pupils, the year certainly ended on a high note.