This past weekend, Hardwell made his grand debut at the UBS Arena for his only East Coast appearance on his REBELS NEVER DIE headlining tour. Thousands of rebels made it through to the massive stadium to experience the magic of one of the biggest big room artists to ever play.
Before Hardwell took centerstage, Laidback Luke took the decks at 9pm. Also a veteran of the field, the DJ is known for his numerous transitions throughout his sets, which is always a delight and a surprise when he mashes a dope transition into his drops. One of my favorite highlights from his set is when he played one of his most iconic tracks ‘Turbulence’ which got the crowd going.
When the clock hit 10pm, it was time for Hardwell’s return to New York, the last time he played at the big apple was 2018. Excitement was buzzing through the air as thousands of fans on the dancefloor and in the seats cheered throughout the stadium. This was my first time at UBS Arena and I can say that it reminded me very much of Madison Square Garden. This was also the arena’s first ever dance event and hope that more artists will be able to perform here in the future. Hardwell started off with a slow building intro that we all are so used to before it fanned out into an epic drop, in which the dutch DJ is proclaiming Hardwell is back in action on a new creative frontier. Termed as big room techno, Hardwell’s new style still packs a heavy hitting punch but with a darker techno atmosphere with an underground influence. We’ve all got a taste of his style as he slowly rolled out each of his singles from his new REBELS NEVER DIE album this year. While this new style may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I, as well as many of his other fans are glad that he is back and freely expressing his new inspirations in music.
Throughout his two hour performance, Hardwell found a good balance between showcasing tracks from his new album, but also bringing out old school nostalgia with timeless classics from the 2010 era. Tracks like ‘Spaceman’, ‘Apollo’, ‘Titanium’ and ‘Leave the World Behind’ were sprinkled in through the show seamlessly and had the crowd singing along in unity. He commanded the crowd masterfully as everyone was jumping, shuffling, and raising their hands to the upbeat melodies and explosive drops. Production for the show was amazing as Hardwell went all out with his lasers. Everyone attending that night can proudly say big room never dies, after such a magical night. His new festival techno was very enjoyable as it is a fresh take on big room and I can see the popularity growing as Hardwell champions this new style.
The main takeaway from the night is that Hardwell is back with a fresh take on big room, and you should check out his tour if you haven’t already for a fun and adrenaline packed night. If you’re a fan of his new music, even more of a reason to see him after his four year hiatus. is remaining world tour dates can be found here.