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If You Haven't Seen Armin Van Buuren Live Yet... Time to Get on It

Thursday, January 08, 2015
Sam Storch

In our era of quick reads and catchy headlines I feel it is our duty as writers, bloggers and journalists to provide a quick way for you (the reader) to find our thesis. So in the interest of time here is mine.


armin van buuren nye pier 94 otb

In April 2014, I saw Armin for the first time. The show was part of his Intense tour to promote his famous album. It was good, but not great and not what I expected. For years all I heard was that this man is a Trance God and one of the best DJ's on earth and although I knew that this set was to promote and play the songs from his Intense album I thought that he would play a lot of Trance tracks to coincide with the radio hits. It was like going to see Lil Wayne expecting Da Carter 3 and his actual hits and all of the sudden he's playing Prom Queen. (Hip Hop Reference) On December 29th, at Pier 94 I finally understood why people view him as a Trance God. His mixes/transitions weren't complex and he didn't wow you with over the top production; he just simply played the best music that the crowd wanted to hear. As someone who has been following this scene for 8+ years now, I can tell you that there are only a handful of shows that I have been to where the DJ has played an entire set without losing one person in the crowd. The last time I saw a “Trance” DJ do it was Tiesto back in 2008 @ Webster Hall in NYC, which in “EDM” terms is ages ago. Even the venue seemed to be in agreement with me. For those who don't know, Pier 94 is a metal warehouse on the water and in December it gets as fucking cold as the arctic. But, when Armin went on no one noticed the cold. Everyone was moving and dancing from beginning to end. People of literally all ages (I saw people from arguably 16-60 there) all coming together to watch the best of the best do what he does.

There is nothing like watching Armin play A State Of Trance set.

Although, quite obviously Armin was the highlight of the night, I cannot talk about this night without mentioning how truly spectacular Armin's opener (Jochen Miller) and closer (Andrew Rayel) were. Jochen Miller has been around for years and in my opinion has not received the recognition he deserves. If you have ever heard a Jochen Miller song you know he brings a special flare to each track that is unique to him. Well his sets mimic that uniqueness. With every passing song all I thought to myself was... “ I have no clue what is coming next and I want to hear more”. At one point he could be playing some of the most uplifting music you have ever heard and in the next moment he was playing the grittiest prog house out today (listen to Anchor m35 Remix). Plainly stated, it was truly something special. andrew rayel nye pier 94 otb Andrew Rayel is one of the hottest up and coming Trance DJ's in the world and from what I heard of his set it was not hard to see why. Due to time constraints (this show was on monday night and I had work the next day) I was only able to stay for 40 minutes of the set, but I realized the coolest things during his set.
      1. Not many people left after Armin – from the second he started playing it seemed that he had everyone hooked. Although, people obviously did leave after Armin, the majority stayed.

      2. He played a great combination of popular songs with songs people were not familiar with – DJ's have a difficult time doing this and he executed this beautifully.

      3. He seemed to be enjoying the moment, which just spilled over the crowd – The Rolling Stones famously once said that their worst onstage moment is when they had to follow James Brown at a show. I can imagine that it must be intimidating to follow someone who people view as an idol, but Andrew did it... and did it well.

All in all, Go see Armin play an ASOT set because it's truly amazing. Photo Credit: Doug Van Sant

 Next: That one time I met Armin Van Buuren in a bar in Portland