Ferry Corsten, Tritonal, & Bassjackers @ Space Miami [Event Review]
Sometime slightly before 2 AM on a humid night during Miami Music Week, we finally made it past the surprisingly speedy security line to get into Space, walking in to hear Bassjackers close their set for the night of electro-filled bangers to make way for trance sensation and headliner of the evening, Ferry Corsten.
Ferry incorporated a range of different sub-genres, mixing in the rapidly growing “Trance 2.0” sound next to more traditional 135+ BPM tracks, along with several progressive and electro tracks. Despite recognizing a large portion of the tracks being dropped, I wasn’t able to ID most of them, being somewhat of a newbie to a traditional (or non-traditional) Corsten set. Ferry spun for a minimum of two hours, bringing the crowd of Trance-hungry fans in and out of a state of trance as he rattled off each unique piece of his seasoned set. Hearing the ever-piercing ‘Cannonball’ and ‘Wakanda’ is always a treat, perhaps even more so when coming from such a seasoned Trance veteran as Corsten, who proved his track repertoire so knowledgable that he could put on just about anything and get a magnificent response from the crowd. Probably about 2/3rds into his set, Ferry lit up the dance-floor with ‘Brute,’ his massive collaboration with the world’s #1, Armin Van Buuren. After recognizing the track as Armin’s Illegal Drum Edit, a special, festival-tuned rework filled with cascading drum beats that build up and fall in synch to the simple melody of the track, I went absolutely ballistic, moving my arms up and down nonstop for several minutes with a giant smile plastered upon my face. For those who don’t know, or haven’t seen Armin Van Buuren (if you apply to this former group, do everything you can to get to an Armin show, it’s truly an experience impossible to describe), Armin always climbs on top of the decks when he drops ‘Brute’ to do a goofy arm-swinging dance when the bass kicks, and I certainly paid homage to this as I danced away a mere five feet from the musical genius Ferry Corsten.
At 5am, Corsten graciously descended from the decks to allow Chad Cisneros and Dave Reed of Texas-based Trance duo Tritonal to take control. The two DJs wasted no time in getting the crowd of eager Tritonians on their feet and bouncing up and down to the quick, melodic beats they had in store. While many claim these two spin “manufactured” therefore repetitive sets, I think they just play the music they absolutely love at the moment, in the moment, knowing full well their loyal band of followers will eat up just about anything they put on. I’d say the two have definitely started the trend of dropping dubstep a handful of times in their sets to receive generally positive responses from the crowds they are playing for. Fei Fei definitely blew it in her purely bass-driven set for ASOT 550 last year at Beyond Wonderland, but Chad and Dave hold things down and incorporate just the right amount of their favorite electro-filled bass jams to keep their audiences on their toes and wanting more. Having now seen Tritonal three times (most recently for the celebration of their 100th podcast in Austin, TX last December), I’m intimately familiar with the creative hand gestures they each incorporate to the tracks they drop. Of the night, I think W&W’s remix of Dash Berlin’s ‘Waiting’ got them the most excited. I stood front and center below the DJ booth, concocting my own signatures in keeping with their playful style of dance moves, swinging my arms back and forth and clapping as the W&W rework bit of the track kicks up after the original chorus comes to an end. Another amazing moment was hearing them mashup some track I wasn’t familiar with with Avicii & Nicky Romero’s ‘I Could Be The One,’ a classic favorite of mine. Hearing that melody build up as I stared at the sea of Tritonians and then looking up at the beaming faces of Chad and Dave, I knew this was exactly where I needed to be at that moment. Finally, at around 630, I decided to peel out and rest up for another full day of events. I started walking out just as the two turned up their original track, ‘Break My Slave.’ I instantly darted back to the dancefloor for one final drop, one last little piece of energy, before having my friend forcibly remove me from the club at almost 7am to catch a taxi home.
All in all, it was an absolutely incredible night of trance. As Armin puts it, trance isn’t a specific genre. It’s a journey, incorporating different sounds and melodies, and one can’t simply label a track trance or no. If someone like Ferry Corsten, who has been in the business of producing and spinning some of the best dance music to date for over ten years, wants to bring a DJ like Bassjackers or more Trance 2.0-oriented producers like Tritonal with him on a headlining night during Miami Music Week, I say it’s his call, without question. The man has such amounts of wisdom and knowledge in this game, you pretty much either go to a show and let him take you away, or don’t buy a ticket and keep your complaints about “the old days” to yourself. This is definitely the direction the industry is taking, and while some of us (including myself) might not be thrilled with some of the crossing of genres and cultures, the least we can do is try to be (relatively) open about what we’re hearing, while still seeking out the specific niche we’ve come to enjoy. Don’t be a prisoner of your own style!
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