By: David Saunders
All photos credit: Acoustic Space
I'll be honest with you Afrojack. I finally believe the hype. It took me a while, but now I understand where it all comes from. It took a lower-key Nick van de Wall set at Cielo on Thursday to grasp how talented of a DJ the man really is, and with that show fresh in mind I headed to Roseland Ballroom on Sunday with high hopes and a 5 Hour Energy.
While the Jacked showcase was originally intended to take place at Coney Island, due to rainy forecasts it was moved to Roseland Ballroom (which is arguably one of the best indoor venues in NYC). The clouds threatened overhead as we stood in line, but by the time we were thru the doors we still had not felt any drops of rain.
As we entered the venue, Leroy Styles had just taken his turn at the decks. Looking back at the line we had just been standing in (wrapping all the way around the corner of the block), I knew at that moment this would be one hell of a show. Leroy Styles dropped a huge set full of the anthemic tracks you'd expect to hear including his new collab with Sidney Samson, "YLB".
Following Leroy Styles was the trifecta and regular Afrojack openers: Shermanology. The three Sherman siblings mixed their signature vocals with upbeat tunes to get the crowd singing along. Playing familiar tracks like "Live For The City" and "Blessed", it was hard not to sing along with the high-energy that Shermanology brought to the stage. As they thanked the crowd and walked off, the energy level was high and appropriate for the man we had all come to see.
After seeing Afrojack play under his given name, Nick van de Wall, three days prior, my excitement for the man was at an all-time high. His usual intro began to play while the LED screens (which had been unused for the opening acts), lit up with the familiar countdown. As the clock counted down and Afrojack took the stage, he promised an unforgettable night, and he delivered. After opening with "Bangduck", he proceeded to delve into his catalog playing classic anthems as well as some more obscure tracks.
Nearly 80 minutes into his set he invited opening act, Apster, to the stage to play their recent collaboration, "ID". As Afrojack began to wind down, not a single person had left (and it was already 3am on a Monday morning). He closed out with "Take Over Control" and his remix of "Hide and Seek", which prompted the crowd to chant "AF-RO-JACK" as he walked off. Security and crew were quick to start directing people out, but the party hadn't ended. The crowd had moved to the streets to sing and chant in unison as cabs drove by into Times Square.
Having been to Roseland Ballroom nearly 15 times in the past year, I can't recall a single show that resulted in such an energetic crowd. But then again, that's just another Sunday night for Afrojack.