Armin Van Buuren The Palladium May 3, 2013
This weekend, the super-star DJ/producer Armin Van Buuren launched his highly anticipated tour for his new album Intense at the legendary Hollywood Palladium. Armin chose Los Angeles ,believe it or not, even after his famed "A State of Trance" radio show is broadcast through more than 62 radio stations to 52 different countries and has an average of 20 million listeners each week. Naturally the show, put on by Van Buuren's Armada label and through Insomniac Events, sold out in less than five minutes--proving that trance is still a major player in the North American "EDM" craze. With opening act Antillas and a slew of live singers joining Armin, the evening proved to be worth the wait as fans got a preview of what to expect when he comes back for his famed "Armin Only" experience.
It's no question why this was our number one EDM show in May as the line reached around the block to get in and watch the DJ Mag Top 100 number one DJ in the world. There were mostly diehard Trance family fans from all over Cali ranging from Santa Barbara all the way to San Diego in attendance. "I don't see the excitement and passion for this music in any other genre," Armin said in an interview prior to the show. Adorned in Armada, AVB and ASOT shirts with signs, banners and kandi bracelets the audience exuded anticipation at the packed Hollywood Palladium. Antillas played an excellent three-hour warmup set truly bringing an incredible amount of energy-splicing vocals with banging beats and hits. Playing everything from his hit "Damaged" to Borgore's "Incredible," Antilla's set was just the right amount of progressiveness the evening called for.
When Armin took the stage a little past midnight, the audience was cheering and chanting relentlessly as the giant LED walls showed his logo while the lights and lasers displayed all kinds of crazy colors and patterns. Armin took the audience on a four-hour long journey through his new album Intense while playing other popular tracks of the moment and some Armin classics. Armin specifically choose a relatively small venue (he did just sell out Madison Square Garden, after all) for the launch of this tour to give the vocalists a chance to test out their songs live with him for the first time at a semi-more intimate venue. The stand out performance was of course by the world renowned trance vocalist Emma Hewitt. Canadian singer Trevor Guthrie--who's also worked with Markus Schulz--turned in a potent performance as well. His new track on the Intense album with Armin "This is What it Feels Like" already has over three million views on YouTube and was quite the treat live.
Also in appearance was Aruna, Laura Evans and Laura Jansen, who we were surprised to see on stage halfway through the songs since it was so hard to see them amidst the sea of fist-pumping revelers and shoulder rides. The lights and lasers flashed along with the beat as the entire crowd sang along during the live acts in total emo fashion. Then Armin went hard playing his "Who's Afraid of 138" also featured on the new album and that's when the real dance party started. He even played Schulz's "Nothing Without You" and Above & Beyond's "Walter White" to keep the rage going. Once again, Armin showcased his abilities as a DJ who can read the crowd and give them just the right amount of specialness. With his arms in the air, it was easy to tell that he supplemented every beat with raw enthusiasm and stage presence. Now we can't wait for him to come back to LA for an extensive "Armin Only" show where he will incorporate more of his Mirage, Imagine and even Shiver's classics.
Personal Bias: I love how the new album has a little bit of everything from melodic vocal songs, harder 138 songs to pop in between. It's a true testament to where dance music is right now.
Check out a video clip of the show below
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The Crowd: Haven't seen that much energy at the Palladium in a while now and the crowd from all over California was really there to party it up.
Overheard in the Crowd: "What the heck is Ron Jeremy doing on stage with Armin?"
Random Notebook Dump: Found confetti in my shoes still the following day from the epic encore!