On a chilly night in New York City, just blocks away from Penn Station, Madison Square Garden, and the cities hustle and bustle sits Hammerstein Ballroom. Tucked away by Al Jazeera USA and a New Englanders addiction in Dunkin Donuts, Hammerstein doesn’t have flashing lights, no strobes to attract attendees, but instead a single overhang. This past weekend, I saw 34th Street more crowded than I’ve ever seen it since I attended a Guns N’ Roses concert in the ballroom, but this crowd was present for something special, something that they knew they would never see again. Thousands gathered at the sold out ballroom in anticipation for Eric Prydz’s massive 3D spectacle in EPIC.
Right from the start when Jeremy Olander took the decks, we all knew we were in for something special. Olander played by his lonesome for no more than 30 minutes before being joined on stage by his Pryda Friends counterpart Fehrplay, where the two proceeded to perform back to back. If there was an award for song selection in a show these two would have taken the cake, selecting a beautiful blend between their own creations and songs that fit the night. What made the experience even more enticing was that Olander and Fehrplay played a majority of their set in complete darkness. There were very minimal lights beyond strobes, no flashy backdrops to fall into, just pure good music to dance to. The two played together for about an hour after Olander had started, by this time you could cut the tension in Hammerstein with a knife. We all knew what was next.
A floating green head appeared in front of the crowd with lines of code beside it. EPIC 2.0 had been loaded and we were off for a journey of a lifetime. I may like to exaggerate and use hyperbole more than the average person, but believe me here when I tell you, EPIC 2.0 is the best show I’ve ever had the fortune of witnessing. There are a few factors which have to be taken into account in order for someone to understand my reasoning behind such. First off, EPIC is a live show. The music is mixed live as are the visuals, the 3D, and the lasers. Some artists have to spent months rehearsing lights and visual effects, Eric Prydz does it on the fly and his spectacles are far better than any I’d seen previously. Secondly, it’s the music. Prydz is such a talented producer, he has three monikers under which he produces, opening the door to a variety of electronic styles during his shows. Lastly, I’ve witnessed many amazing DJ’s in my life but never have I seen one control a crowd like Prydz did this weekend. He had them in the palm of his hand doing whatever he wanted.
With those factors in mind, Eric Prydz gave me and that crowd a memory for a lifetime. Followers of his twitter knew going in that Prydz had been preparing edits of his own songs specifically for these shows, as well as producing music specifically for them too. The most stunning and hard hitting edit may have been his rendition of Powerdrive. Between the massive 3D effects that accompanied it and the reaction of Prydz himself dancing away behind the decks is hard to deny as a magical moment. Never a dull moment throughout the night, Prydz treated fans to all of his sounds from Cirez D’s Glow, to Pryda’s Pjanoo, or of course Everyday, and even threw in the Private Mix of Midnight City we all love so dearly. Ending the night with the sing-along Allein, I, along with my surroundings that night, were sad to see EPIC come to a close. It was a night beyond our wildest dreams and in a second, it was all over.
I still struggle to be fully explain the magnitude of what EPIC was and how truly magical the experience is. With only a few showings left in Chicago and Los Angeles, I implore anyone who is even a slight fan of Eric Prydz to make your way to his show. It’s one you won’t regret nor will you forget.