Armin van Buuren - Pier 94

Author Fiona
Fri 9 Jan 15
/ 5

Photo credits: Doug Van Sant

It’s been a long time since I put on my dancing shoes and gone trancing, so when the opportunity to see Armin van Buuren and friends came up I thought it would be a nice way to return to some of the music that I fell in love with just a few years ago.  As part of the holiday celebrations, Pier 94 had its Big Week NYC concert series featuring a slew of artists ranging from Dubstep, Electro and House. To see trance performed at this kind of venue gives the attendee the feeling of being at a festival and it did not disappoint.

This event already had a stacked lineup from the beginning. With Mark Sixma, Jochen Miller and Andrew Rayel to back up Armin as a main act, there was no question the kind of night we New Yorkers were in for.

After a bit of a wait to get inside, I got to the floor just in time for Jochen Miller’s set, whom I’d forgotten brings such a lively energy to the crowd that it’s unbelievable.  Playing a slew of new tunes and followed by some of his classics, he got the crowd ready for what was the old so familiar feeling that I experienced listening to him at ASOT500 for the first time.  Standing in the middle of the floor among such cheery and positive vibes, it was a wonder just how the remaining DJs would be able to top Miller. Then, came an old familiar feeling and face.

Once Jochen stepped off, the sound and lights got low, rising to what was the most dramatic opening for a DJ I’ve seen in years.  Behind it all rising to the deck, Armin van Buuren. What is worth mentioning about such a night is I’d forgotten not only the kind of artist Armin van Buuren is, but how much of a perfomer he is as well. His ability to connect with his audience, more so than a number of DJs playing to a crowd this size is almost something that one dreams of. As he dawned onto the decks, in his famous pose, he asked the crowd, “New York City….Are you ready for, A State of Trance?!”. The crowd absolutely lost it. A reaction unlike one I have seen for a trance DJ in ages. Armin knew he was home, and to celebrate these last days of 2014 he made no exceptions for this incredibly pumped Manhattan crowd.

Armin played a very fair mix of tracks in the set that he had. Ranging from his Intense album, some newer productions and classics he kept such a great balance which united both new fans of his music and older tranceheads to make the night very impactful and memorable.  Some of the greatest moments perhaps were when he played an updated version of “Adagio for Strings” which absolutely drove the crowd wild and catered to the roots of where he came. “Nothing Else Matters” which was a classic track from Armin’s days pre ASOT 500 and of course “This Is What It Feels Like” which is a newer style of Armin but is universal to his fan base since the track’s debut at Ultra Music Festival in Miami of 2012. Other great moments included “Ping Pong”, “The Expedition”, “Stresstest” and the infamous “Beautiful Things” by Andain which in my opinion always brings the audience right down home for an evening of proper trance.

Closing out the night was Andre Rayel, one of Armin’s absolute favorite DJs who closed down the evening with some incredibly melodic tunes perfect for closing out what was a stellar event.

There is a discussion about where trance has gone in New York for the last two years and more importantly where it is going from here. With an event like this, it is safe to say that trance music and its supporting community both old and new are alive and well. Anyone who has not yet experienced the magic that is an Armin van Buuren show should do so soon as A State of Trance is not just the name of a radio show or even an event but, a way of life.

Until the next time!

- Jaro

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