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There are no words to describe the intensity, euphoria & good vibes that were exemplified at Pier 36 in New York City last night but I will do my best to portray the night through my own eyes. I did not receive press or media access of any kind, so all pictures and video were recorded with my iPhone 4s (Sorry!). With opening acts by Tyler Sheritt & Jerome Isma-Ae, and a closing act by Jochen Miller, Armin van Buuren was (supposed) to be supported by some heavy hitting performances. While I did not have time to catch Tyler Sheritt’s or much of Jerome Ismae-Ae’s acts as I rushed over from covering Dada Land for EDMtunes in Brooklyn, I arrived at Pier 36 about 45 minutes prior to Armin’s set at 11:00pm EST.
Hearing tons of horror stories about the event planning behind Joonbug regarding venues, security, and events in general, I was a little skeptical of the night at first. Whilst on line to verify our age, several security guards came about the line offering to allow customers to jump the line in exchange for $50. I’m not sure what kind of shady business that is, but I wasn’t going to let such a simple distraction hold me back from having fun that night. Passing by security, ticket check, and coat check rather quickly (for the large amount of traffic trying to get into the venue), I soon found myself inside the massive warehouse Pier 36, located right along the East River in New York.

Immediately entering, a large crowd was gathered around the “open bar” on the left side of the warehouse, which was also where the VIP Mezzanine ticket-holders were able to stand and overlook the entire venue. The reason why “open bar” is in quotes is because most open bar events I have attended feature exactly what the name says, open bar hence free drinks from 9pm to 12pm for all guests. However that was not the case, as customers paid around $2 for most drinks, and a whopping $7 for a bottle of water.. Dropping around $40 on water/drinks through the length of the night, I still decided to not let such a petty inconvenience bother me.

THE PERFORMANCE

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With just minutes to go until 11:00pm, the crowd and stage visuals seemed kind of dead during Jerome Isma-Ae’s set.. A few head bobbers.. but nothing that imprisoned me to the dancefloor. Things changed quickly as the entire atmosphere escalated rapidly at 11:00pm when Armin van Buuren ran up the stage and opened with “I’ll Listen” along to the visuals of New York City on the huge LED screen. At this very moment, the visuals, music, and atmosphere became massive so quickly, I knew that I wasn’t going to move from the dance-floor for even a second during the next 4 hours with Armin van Buuren. Excuse me as I go on a short discussion about some of the tracks he played.


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Full of smooth transitions and huge mashups, Armin blessed us with “Deniz Koyu – Bong w/ Ummet Ozcan – The Box“, “Solar Stone vs. Scott Bond – 3rd Earth (Heatbeat) w/ Armin van Buuren feat. Sophie Ellis Bexter – Not Giving Up On Love (Acapella)“, and “Sebastian Brandt – Ashes (Original Mix) w/ Andain – Beautiful Things (Acapella) (Kris A Mashup)“. Simply amazing classics echoed through the venue such as his own”Communication (ID Remix / Mashup)“, LSG’s “Netherworld (Oliver Prime Remix)” and his own track under his alias Gaia – “Tuvan“. Of course, he played some of the expected tracks of 2012 like “J’ai Envie De Toi“, “How Do I Know“, “Concrete Angel“, “The Fusion” and “Fortuna” but December 31st 2012 is a night to look back and reflect on how big 2012 was for Trance. A few curveballs were thrown such as when he started playing Marlo’s Dub remix of “Time” but then changed it up suddenly just as I expected the melodic drop..

All the while, the spine-chilling sound of a clock countdown started to play in the last few minutes of 2012 during the song. After a short speech instructing fans to look back at the past year, and to be the change they want to see in the world, the countdown started at 20 seconds.. Pier 36 chanted along with “10..9..8..7..6..” and when the timer had run out.. “New York… Happy New Year… We Are Here to Make Some Noise“, and the venue erupted with explosions of streamers and an incredible 2-minute shower of confetti (see my FULL video below).


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The following is a video I took last night during the epic pause in Orjan Nilsen’s track “Amsterdam“… I still get chills watching this video and I’ve watched it about 12 times ever sincet.. I tried to stay still.. yeah.. not happening.

Tons of ID’s played last night, a total of about 7 including some that are definitely a preview of Armin’s upcoming album to be released soon this year. Some of the biggest releases in the last few months were also played including “Rewind (Mikka’s Remix)“, “RAM – Grotesque (Alex M.O.R.P.H & RAM Original Mix)“, and “I Don’t Deserve You (Giuseppe Ottavianni Remix)“. Armin encompassed many styles of Trance into the night including some high-tempo fast-paced 138bpm & 140bpm tracks in the second half of his set (much stronger portion of his set in my opinion), and New York responded with “We’re not afraid of 138” and are clearly ready for some on March 30th for ASOT600NYC. Although he did play a few less trancey tracks in his 4 hour set, overall his performance was magnificent and stunning. Thrilled by the assortment of surprises in his song choices, I was blown away when the massive tune by Photographer called “Airport” was mixed in with the vocals of his own track with Susana called “Shivers“. As Armin wished us all a Happy New Year at 3:00AM, he played one last song, and as expected it was his predictable closure with “Porter Robinson – Language (Original Mix) w/ Coldplay – Every Tear Drop Is A Waterfall (Acapella)“.

I honestly certainly had the time of my life last night at Pier 36 with a vast majority of true Trance fans from all over the country on New Year’s Eve. I even met a couple who travelled out from San Diego, California just for the performance. It’s not very often that you can spend the final moments of a year, and the first moments of a new one with a 5-time #1 DJ in the world like Armin van Buuren. Blessed with this unique opportunity, I simply could not miss out on this night even though tickets were at a steep price of $175 face value for general admission, totaling up to about $200 after fee’s. However, this also worked out pretty well since the high price deterred “BRO’s” and “YOLO’ers” to see Armin van Buuren, which essentially means every person in attendance was a true and loyal fan. Coming alone, I met plenty of new friends throughout the night, filled with good vibes and a comfortable atmosphere, making this a night that I will never forget.

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Stay tuned in late January for MTV‘s special “Clubland Presents: Armin van Buuren NYE 2013” episode to be featured on TV. In all honestly, I like the relatively low-key status of Trance compared to other genre’s of EDM like Prog. House and I would prefer for it to remain that way. I sincerely hope everyone across the world tuned it for the LIVE broadcast of the set last night to celebrate the New Year together with us.. if you missed out on this breath-taking event, I sincerely offer you my sympathy. However.. like Armin concluded last night.. He will be back again soon in New York on March 30th for A State of Trance 600.

Checkout the FULL tracklist and FULL set available to download courtesy of EDMtunes HERE.

Armin van Buuren – “EVERY END IS A NEW BEGINNING.”

Did you come out to Pier 36 for Armin van Buuren last night? I’m curious to hear what you think of the entire night (for those of you who listened to the set as well). Leave a comment #trancefamily! Happy New Year!!!

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