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Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones have all performed at the world famous Madison Garden… and now Armin van Buuren has too. Armins’ “A State of Trance—The Expedition” tour landed at MSG this past Saturday night after about a month of touring around the world in exotic locals like Sao Paulo, Mumbai, Beirut and many more. The night may have been short lived, as the warm-up hour started at 7 pm and the music was cut at 1 am, but all of the performers delivered top shelf sets that were complimented by some great production, which made up for the lack of time and had all 13,500 trance fans in attendance loving every second of it.
I think its safe to say that Armin’s goal of “turning the world in to one dancefloor” has turned into a reality. Music lovers from around the world were also able to share in the experience via van Buuren’s A State Of Trance (ASOT) radio show, which broadcasted the entire MSG event live. Like every other week on his show, millions of listeners tuned-in from around the world to hear the festivities as it happened. The ASOT radio session was also streamed live via YouTube and hundreds-of-thousands of viewers from around the globe were able to join the party.
Armin was joined by quite the lineup of heavy hitters—Alex M.O.R.P.H., W&W, New World Punx (NWP), the new collaboration between Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz. As always, the night started up with Armin’s warm up hour and once the doors were opened up MSG began to fill in rather quickly. The real kick off for the night came when Alex M.O.R.P.H. took the decks at 8 pm and filled MSG with his euphoric blend of trance. Alex dropped a slew of new music off his new album New York City, as was promised at the artist interviews earlier in the day, and the fans loved in. Another big moment was when he dropped his special track dedicated to NYC for the special evening—we loved it.
The fun continued with the heavyweight duo, W&W, taking the stage. W&W is riding a tidal wave of support as they’ve proven themselves to be ranked amongst the top producers in the game. The boys rode their monster track “The Code” into NYC with style after it was the “most played track” during Miami Music Week/Ultra Music Festival. W&W dropped “Lift Off” to start their set and off we went. They packed their one hour-long set full of uplifting and heavy trance tracks that did not stop the crowd from going absolutely nuts. Some of my favorites tracks from their set was their own original “Moscow,” their newest collaboration with Armin, “D# Fat,” and Ben Gold’s “Fall With Me” (W&W Rework).
The craziness got crazier as the high-energy duo, New World Punx, took to the decks. Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz new concept made its second world premier at MSG after last week’s first official performance at Mansion in Miami. The two promised that they were going to “go as hard as they could” during their hour and a half long set and that they did. They dropped banger after banger and “slayed” the crowd, as Markus would put it. Some of the best drops of the night consisted of Markus and Ferry’s own studio collab anthems like “Loops and Tings” and “Stella,” as well as New World Punx tracks, “The Digital Punks of Gotham” and their “Romper” and their bootleg of Binary Finary's “1998.” Overall, New World Punx made sure the fans got their money worth and absolutely killed it as a nice opener for Armin.
At 11:30 pm the moment everyone was waiting for had come. The trance legend took to the stage and MSG went nuts. There really is something special about seeing Armin perform, his music is uplifting and melodic and on the contrary heavy, dirty trance.
His passion for his career is obvious as his smile stretches ear to ear when he is behind the decks and it truly is a beautiful thing to watch Armin do his thing. He opened things up beautifully by dropping “Adagio” (Intro Mix) by Arnej and took all of us on a magical journey for an hour and a half. This set was 30 minutes shorter than the usual ASOT set time slot for Armin but he made up for it with the tunes played, the visual production and pyrotechnics—a lot of pyrotechnics. Armin’s set had depth to it, as he mixed roughly 25 songs up with only an hour and a half and was blended together smoothly. It was filled with tight and striking transitions that kept the fans not knowing what was coming next all night long. Some of the big drops from his set, in my opinion, consisted of Zedd’s “Spectrum” (AVB Remix), Armin van Buuren & Markus Schulz “The Expedition (ASOT600 Theme),” van Buuren “Communication” (Tomas Heredia Remix), Armin van Buuren vs. John O’Callaghan feat. Sharon Den Adel “In And Out Of Love vs. Raw Deal” (Armin van Buuren Mashup), Andrew Rayel “Aeon Of Revenge” and Armin van Buuren & W&W vs. CRW “I Feel D# Fat” (Armin van Buuren Mashup). AVB ended the night with an encore performance of his newest single, “This Is What It Feels Like” featuring Trevor Guthrie (W&W Remix). Guthrie surprised the crowd and accompanied AVB on stage and performed their song live with nearly all of the 14,000 fans in attendance singing along. It still gives me chills thinking about it.
In conclusion, this event was the best show I’ve ever been to. I was especially looking forward to this event compared to others, as I am a regular follower of ASOT. This party was the best, not because of the talent or the fact that it was at MSG, no, it was the best because of the vibes and feel that the ASOT shows bring. Hundreds of thousands of fans tuned in from around the world to turn “the world into one dancefloor” and that’s what Armin, ASOT and trance music did. Armin showed fans from around the world who were linked with him on google+ and that’s when it became apparent to me that the ASOT tour is something way more powerful and special than a music event. I, like probably most others that were in attendance, will cherish these memories for a very very long time. As a fan, thank you to all that made this event possible!