When going to a concert, an important element for a good show is good visuals — something you can see at the show that you cannot necessarily get from listening to the music at home.
A good visual experience is a pleasure for any type of show, and Paul van Dyk reminded dancers that it is no less true for a DJ concert, particularly a good trance performance. Awash in a beautiful digital screen that enveloped his booth, PvD was incredibly effective at matching visuals to sound at Echostage Saturday night.
Take for example an extended mix of Linkin Park’s “Burn It Down” — a surprising selection to me personally from the start considering the metal roots of the California-based band. But PvD was more interested in keeping things fresh than dealing with labels. His hands-on remix of “Burn It Down” not only meshed seamlessly with the rest of his set but came with a stunning visual display as well. Flames engulfed the screen in which he sat from floor to ceiling.
PvD himself was a sight to behold as he worked his gear, mixing and matching different beats into different songs with gusto. At times, he would frenetically perform a mix and then cheer the crowd on triumphantly. At other times, he would dance in his booth when an extended song played. In PvD’s case, the DJ also is clearly a showman.
Before WHFS went off the air at 99.1 FM, it ran a late-night show on the weekend called Trancemissions. As the title suggests, the program played a great deal of trance music.
I would listen and learn. So much of the music seemed peaceful and elegant, and I quickly found some favorites not the least of which were compositions by Paul van Dyk.
Radio stations come and go but electronic dance music endures and so PvD returns to Washington, DC, this Saturday at the relatively new Echostage in support of a new studio album, Evolution, which features collaborations with Adam Young of Owl City and several vocalists like folk vocalist Sue McLaren and Christian musician Plumb, whose voices mange to add a great deal of warm to PvD’s shimmering beats. The new album bears all of the hallmarks of PvD’s classic sound while incorporating more global contributions from new collaborators and longtime partners. Listen for yourself!
PvD is wrapping up an intense mini-tour that included a benefit for victims of Hurricane Sand in New York City Thanksgiving night. Come to think of it, dancing Saturday night away is the best way to wrap up a long weekend and work off some Thanksgiving calories before getting back to the grind Monday. Glow resident DJ Roberto Gonzalez (at 9pm) and House DJ Robbie Rivera (11pm) warm things up before PvD (1am). Buy tickets here.
Paul van Dyk
w/Robbie Rivera and Roberto Gonzalez
Saturday, Nov. 24
Show 9pm $40
Paul Oakenfold is arguably the biggest dance music DJ and producer in the world. The closest thing to a household name that the hardcore dance world is likely to ever produce, Oakenfold has been a major force in electronic dance music for twenty years. Rising from a basement bar in Covent Garden at the end of the 80’s with an arsenal of Acid House and cross-genre Ibiza DJ stylings he went on to conquer the London nightclub scene and then the world. They simply do not make DJs bigger than Paul Oakenfold.
Oakenfold is bringing his Facelift Tour to the 9:30 Club on Tuesday November 23. He took some time out of his busy schedule to talk with me about his career and the current landscape of dance music.