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Review: Armin van Buuren Presents A State of Trance, 12th August

A night you'll be telling your 'trancestors' about for years to come...

This Monday was a date that has been in the diaries of trance fans across Ibiza since the ASOT line-ups were announced back in May. Armin van Buuren took on Privilege's stage last night for a seven hour solo set.

When a DJ is due to play such a long set, there are a few things I always wonder - will they not peak too soon? And with so many hours and high expectations to fill, what musical journey will the artist take us on? Armin especially is such an energetic DJ - surely he's going to tire at some point, and having been so huge in the industry so long, there's a vast back catalogue of his own and other artist's material that he now has the opportunity to showcase and experiment with.

A more conventional approach would be to transition from one trance sub-genre to another gradually throughout the night. Armin took a more interesting and somewhat risky approach, by constantly hopping from one sound to another. He played a range of new hits and classics, merging electro with a slightly heavier sound before moving to a classic 90s dance track and back to a forthcoming release, keeping the crowd constantly guessing. Of course, evocative vocals played a huge part throughout the night, such as Lucy Pullin's melodic voice in Simon Patterson's The One. There was a true and consistent sense of euphoria throughout and a noticeable lack of any pretence which sometimes can seemingly be the case with certain genres of music. I noticed a member of the crowd wearing a t-shirt that read ‘Trance is Our Escape in Life', a quote that Armin clearly agrees with as he emanates so much passion throughout his performance.

Oddly, Privilege seemed less packed than usual, although it may just have been as the crowd seemed a bit more controlled than every other Monday, filled with die hard Armin fans that were there to enjoy and appreciate the music rather than just necessarily have a big holiday night out. The vibe however, was fantastic, and it allowed a bit more room for jumping in circles in signature Armin fashion.

A huge highlight was when Armin played the Shura Vlasov Mashup of his track If I lose Myself Coming Home with Artic Moon Vs. OneRepublic. As the song really kicked off, he welcomed his guitarist and brother Eller van Buuren to the stage as a special guest, who played a brilliant electric guitar solo to accompany the track. Eller commanded the stage and crowd in the same way as his brother and it was impossible not to smile when they did, singing along even if you didn't know the lyrics.

Another highlight was when he, somehow still not tiring even five hours in, played a collection of pure trance classics, including Communication Love (Chris Schweizer Mash Up) by himself, Thomas Heredia Vs. Alex M.O.R.P.H, Solarstone's Seven Cities and Energy 52's Cafe Del Mar (Dale Chambers Remix).

The energy in the room and the enthusiasm from Armin throughout confirmed why trance really is so huge, and justifies Armin's number one spot as DJ of the Year. One thing's for sure, this was definitely one hell of a musical expedition.

Photography by James Chapman

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