It’s 11:50pm at Exchange LA
, and Tristan D is wrapping up his delicious progressive set. Andrew Bayer
is about to come on in ten minutes, and as groups of people make their way onto the dance floor I could feel palpable excitement rising up into the VIP section from where I was lucky enough to be perched for the night. The sea of people wearing Anjunabeats-themed gear brought a smile to my face; "This is going to be a really good night," I thought to myself.
Ten minutes later, and Bayer is finally making his way to the stage. For those of you who missed his ABGT 100
set, you know that this man means business. He began his set exactly how he did at Madison Square Garden - with the beautiful, airy breakdown of his new namesake single "Do Androids Dream." However, right as we were being transported to a land of peace, Bayer switched songs on us to a grittier, progressive tune that I hadn't heard before; new track? Most likely. Anyway, the audience went completely wild, and already fewer than five minutes into the set everyone in the audience (including myself) was completely captivated.
The following two hours of the set were absolutely phenomenal, and Andrew Bayer certainly didn't skimp on the classics. During the first half of the set, he played a plethora of Above & Beyond
songs or at least the vocal samples over his own productions, including "Hello
," "Sirens of the Sea," "Alchemy," and "Black Room Boy." While the crowd blissfully sung along to the breakdown of the "Black Room Boy" club mix, I realized that maybe there was a purpose: maybe Bayer wanted those of us who missed ABGT 100 to feel like we were there all along! If the feelings I felt that night were anything like what those at Madison Square Garden
were feeling, then that must have been one hell of an amazing night. The best part for me? When he played his song “Keep Your Secrets.” It’s one of my all time favorite Andrew Bayer tracks, and it took a lot of self control not to cry in front of the group I was with, which by now included the likes of Oliver Smith
and Tristan D.
It’s now past one o’clock and Andrew Bayer
is moving into his more modern tracks; among these a particular ID track stood out to me. It had vocal samples that reminded me of the children singing in Above & Beyond’s “Prelude,” except an even bolder breakdown and drop. I can’t wait for that track’s release! As Bayer dropped track after track and turned up the intensity, you could feel the energy of the audience change as everyone gathered for a collective last hurrah. Suddenly, the track “Perth
” blared over the speaker; the calming nature of the song immediately transformed the rowdy audience into a peaceful, calm one. After captivating the audience came the big surprise - “Spheres.” As Bayer transitioned into the track, one of the most special parts of the night happened; Ilan Bluestone
came on stage! But that wasn't the end of it; soon after Maor Levi
and Oliver Smith
piled on stage as well. At the sight of such a large chunk of the Anjuna family making an appearance, the room burst into cheer as the group of talented producers hugged each other and proceeded to rally the crowd. The moment was true magic. During the last track of his set there was nothing but unbridled excitement in the air; everyone was jumping, singing, and smiling. One guy in the front even took his shirt off and swung it around like he was at the rodeo! Seeing a crowd going this crazy over a set speaks to Bayer’s ability as not just a producer, but a bonafide DJ as well.
In short, my night at Exchange LA for Andrew Bayer’s set was absolutely phenomenal. After being established in the scene a long time, a sizeable amount of DJs/producers tend to lose that spark that led to their fame or devolve into music that shows an increasing lack of care and craftsmanship. However, this is far from the case with Andrew Bayer; in fact, he only gets better with age. Time and time again over the years I have been continually shocked at his ability to put together an awe-inspiring mix and read the crowd vibe with perfect accuracy, and I am always left wanting more after each experience seeing him live. You can feel the passion is his work!
I highly encourage anyone who lives near a “Do Androids Dream” tour stop to buy tickets immediately. While I was lucky enough to catch a bigger stop in LA, I know for a fact that no matter where you are Bayer will ensure that the audience gets all the good music and feelings it deserves. In the end, what is better than feeding off the energy of a happy DJ and dancing the night away with your friends to what is assuredly going to be a quality performance? Now all that’s left is the release of the beautiful music that is going to be the album.