Ghost DJs Open for Paul Van Dyk at Lizard Lounge
While Wikipedia may not be a reliable resource, everyone uses it. You can search for anything. EDM included. I thought I would start off the event review of Paul Van Dyk with a definition of trance music. So here it is:
“Trance is a genre of electronic dance music that developed in the 1990s in Germany. It is characterized by a tempo of between 125 to mid 160 beats per minute, repeating melodic phrases, and a musical form that distinctly builds up and down throughout a track. Although trance is a genre of its own, it liberally incorporates influences from other electronic music styles such as techno, house, pop, chill-out, classical music, and film music.”
While Matthias Paul (Paul Van Dyk) may no longer consider himself a trance producer; he is known worldwide as an iconic godfather of the genre. As the Lizard Lounge filled to its capacity, Paul Van Dyk shattered everyone’s ears and hearts with enough PLUR and bass to cause the crowd to chant “Paul Van Dyk” over and over again. Clearly he did his job right and felt the love as he extended his set with a 30 minute encore to finish. Everyone young and old (I met some people that were in their 40s attending) fell in love with PvD and his Politics of Dancing, but before we can discuss him more, let’s back up a little to the beginning of the night.
Ghosts Don’t Exist, or Do They?
As I entered into the building people seemed to be a little sparse. I will take into account that it was Valentine’s Day, it was 9:30 (early by club standards) and there was a massive concert going on at Southside Ballroom (Excision, Protohype, Minnesota)…but it still seemed a little quiet. The only thing more odd than the lack of people was the lack of a DJ at the mainstage booth. Yes you heard that right, ghost DJing was in full effect tonight. While visuals of Johnny Funk splashed across the screen and sounds emanated from the speakers, alas no one was at the decks. I didn’t think too much about it as I was more looking forward to Aaron Wayne and Paul Van Dyk.
The clock hit 10:30 and more ghost DJing continued. Aaron Wayne was scheduled to perform, but again no one took the stage. The Lizard Lounge did an excellent job of covering it up by throwing up dark visuals covering the area where heads usually are behind the decks, but still, no DJ. Very strange. I don’t know why or how that happened, but it did. The tension was building as the crowd grew restless awaiting the headliner. Midnight struck and (thankfully) the legend himself walked on stage to much appreciation.
The Godfather of Trance Enters
Amidst cheering and chanting, Paul Van Dyk landed on the decks and the journey was on. From the opening sequence, the crowd fed off the energy that had been brewing since they entered the club. Van Dyk’s set flowed in and out of genres as he combined melodic trance pieces with fist-pumping house and meshed them with beautiful vocals. Multiple times during his set, I couldn’t help but lose myself in the music. Obviously he has been doing this a long time and trust me, I didn’t take anything for granted during the event.
What Went Wrong?
While no event can go without their own little hitches, the hitches in this event were not small. While Paul Van Dyk is a big enough name to gather a massive crowd, that doesn’t mean we can forget the openers. I’m not saying I’m expecting the best DJ openers, but anything can be better than pressing play on a prerecorded set. Has anyone heard about the uproar over Ghost DJing? I saw it firsthand and let me tell you, I wasn’t impressed. Second of all, if Paul Van Dyk was advertising a 6 hour set at his show in Brooklyn and your openers were a no show, why not give Paul a chance to show Dallas a true set by giving him the opportunity to play for 4 hours?
What Should Be Emulated?
Although there were some big hiccups in the event, it still was a blast to attend. One of my favorite takeaways was the age range that was in attendance. On top of the hundreds of 18-24 year olds that crowded the Lizard Lounge there was a big group of people that were older. People in their 30s and 40s filled out the crowd as they let everyone know that they need to listen to Paul Van Dyk. They clearly knew the scene when it was less about money and more about the music; the original PLUR warriors. So many events and artists lack the long-time follower nowadays that they miss out on the most important EDM listener.
Although Paul Van Dyk didn’t play for 6 hours, we were privy to a 30 minute encore at the end of his 2 hour set. The crowd kept chanting “Paul Van Dyk” loud enough that he just couldn’t leave. It was a nice extra after the debacle of the lack of openers that kept everyone jumping and dancing for even longer.
So…Should You See Paul Van Dyk?
While this question should be a no brainer, the question still remains, should people see him? Obviously the answer is yes as you would be watching a true legend of Electronic Dance Music. His seamless transitions along with his live playing of the keyboard still make him one of the premier producers in the game right now. Who wouldn’t want to watch this guy?
If you have the shot to see Paul Van Dyk, do it, you won’t be disappointed. Check him out as he finishes up his month long tour in the U.S. in Los Angeles, or check him out when he invades Miami for Miami Music Week and Ultra. Check out his SoundCloud for new music along with purchasing his tunes through many online stores. He truly is a godfather of trance music.
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