written by Danny Smith
The Paul van Dyk concert was pretty live for a Thursday night; I guess it was a full moon. I showed up fairly early (10:15ish) not realizing the main act would not start until midnight or later. Being early actually helped me hear music longer. I scoped out Opera while waiting for the DJs to come on before the venue filled up. I actually chilled on a couch in the general admission area for a bit. Opera looks fancy inside with the dim lights, well dressed staff, chandeliers, and a VIP balcony upstairs.
The dress code and crowd was an interesting combination. I was not sure what to expect with a trance DJ at Opera. Dress was super casual. Bros, businessmen, tank tops, shorts, sexy dresses, and high heels sum up the nights attire. A few poi spinners were present as well. Props to the lively 70’s dressed 6’5 guy with a fro and the chick getting down all night in heels on the front glass wall.
For the most part the crowd was cool. Decent fan base presence to say the least, I saw a few Paul van Dyk shirts. A group had a “Trance Family” flag. People were on beat with the drops. There were even a few “whoop whoop, whoop whoop” chants throughout the night. Everyone looked to be having a great time. The crowd really enhanced the trance.
Music & Production – The music was dope. The DJ before Paul van Dyk was impressive, possibly local talent. One of his visual schemes in particular stood out. It was like multicolor ridges comparable to a trees growth rings. Turns out the visual was alternating from an inside and outside view of a human head, crazy visual.
Paul van Dyk came on around 12:45 am. The crowd was fully engaged as his name and initials displayed across the screen behind him. He came in fairly hyped. Trance is still new to me, but after the concert I can get down with the Trance Family. I can only think he was playing songs from his album Evolution as the image from the cover bounced across the screen for parts of the set. There was a funny teaser point in the set when he almost dropped a beat as he held up two index fingers and smiled. The crowd ate it up as he fed them the beat shortly after.
Paul van Dyk is a veteran in the trance world. It took me awhile to get in tune with the music, but I felt right at home by the end of the night. Like most times I attend live music, the music takes control and my body almost always moves to the beat. His music produced several of those “hell yeah” moments with the intertwined music and light/visual effects. At times I could only look around and smile as I realized everyone else was enjoying their trance world just as much as I was.
The production was decent. The lights and visuals were on point for sure. The quick rain of glowsticks from above was cool. The smoke blasts were questionable; I heard more blasts than I saw smoke. Not complaining because I did wear my EarPeace HD earplugs but it was extremely loud. The sound definitely skipped a few times too. It would have been cooler if the tv screens had live feed also.
Overall it was a great night; pretty good first trance concert. If you have the chance to check out Paul van Dyk this year, get your trance on!