It’s been already more than 2 weeks since ADE, and especially since the day Trance Family loved and hated at the same time because of two events happening at the same time – Luminosity (Lumi) and A State Of Trance (ASOT) ADE Specials. It was the moment when you had to pick the best one… But some decided not to choose and do both. Question is – was it a good idea? Let’s see!
Advantages of both
First of all, it’s good to remember that Lumi was announced long time before ASOT, which means that many Trance music lovers had bought tickets for this event. It’s not surprising either, because the line-up was also announced quite early, and many names were tempting, for example, Ferry Corsten and Jorn van Deynhoven, among others. Also it was a 14-hour long festival with two stages, in a quite small (and intimate) location – Panama club. To be honest, if I didn’t have press passes for both events, Lumi would have been my only choice with no regrets.
Second – ASOT, was a 6-hour event at a rather huge location as AFAS (formerly known as Heineken Music Hall) and with many big names as Armin van Buuren, Aly & Fila, Cosmic Gate and others, who weren’t playing anywhere else during ADE and whom people knew very well. Even if it was announced later, more people went for this event, because ASOT is more popular and had better advertisement. But you could know that you will hear mainstream-trance-sound, which is normal for many ASOT followers, but not really for the Trance Family. There were many who came just for Armin or just for Aly & Fila, and these names were also in my plan, which needed to be changed later, for the best.
If you were determined enough and had both tickets, you had only 2 possibilities: start with Lumi at 17:00 and finish with ASOT at 4:00, or opposite – start at 22:00 with ASOT and finish at 7:00 with Lumi. Mostly everyone chose first option, so you can have 11 hours of raves, but that would have meant that you would skip all the best names of Lumi. Also, you would need to consider travel time between locations, which took more than 1 h by public transport (Uber was quite expensive…) or 15-20 min by car. Thanks to my press pass, I had and used the chance of returning back for Lumi after ASOT, to experience as much as I could of everything what was available for Trance music lovers.
Part one – Lumi
For me it all started few minutes after 17:00 at the Dutch “Mecca” of Trance music – Panama Club. It was very early for a music festival, so of course the club was still empty and people were coming in slowly. Dennis Pedersen was warming up the dance floor with a good progressive, which made me Shazam every track he was playing – even if I didn’t know them, I literally loved each of them, so for me this set and artist was the “discovery” of the night, as the name was also unknown for me (later I found out that I have at least one of his tracks on my phone). I used the chance to tell my compliments to Dennis after his set, to find out that it was his first time DJing. I didn’t hear any special mistakes in mixing, but the artist was still critical about himself. So this is how I spent first hours in the club – sitting, chilling and enjoying beautiful melodies.
Next was Craig Connelly whom I’ve met already before his set, when he was waiting and talking with friends. He didn’t look any different from others in the club, so I was glad I recognized him. When his time to play arrived, he had 70 min by the decks, and during this time the atmosphere changed. The dance floor wasn’t empty anymore – people were already dancing to his tracks, mostly taken from his album “One Step Closer“, but not only, and this was quite a surprise for me, as it was only 19-20 in the evening. No wonder that everyone was also singing when he was playing “Black Hole” with the magical voice of Christina Novelli – a legendary track already. We will see what we can expect next from this artist, who has a good potential.
After 20:00 second stage was also open, with Basil O’Glue playing some melodical tracks with much slower BPM than it was already on the mainstage. It was the moment when running between stages had come for me, as I am always trying to give a chance to every artist I’m listening to for the first time. There was a huge difference between them, especially when Factor B started his set, filled with energy and also melodies. It was the time when people started to come in more and more, including other artists who were playing later (Manuel Le Saux, Driftmoon, Neptune Project etc.), so the real festival was just about to start.
At 21:20 Manuel Le Saux began his set, slowly moving the night to a more uplifting side of Trance, but not too much and not forgetting about beautiful breaks and vocals. Ten minutes after Tim Verkruissen also started on the second stage, still keeping the progressive sound and playing both unknown and very well known tracks for me (such as a remixed version of “Satellite” by OceanLab). I was still running between both stages and the hall, trying to catch friends, meet artists and listen to the sets, but overall I was just enjoying the atmosphere, which is special during similar Trance events. At some point, I was lucky to catch and even record beautiful track Manuel was playing, but I couldn’t remember the name and totally forgot about it. Few days later I was listening to Oraw remix of “Cloud9” by Yahel & Tammy, and couldn’t remember who was playing it at ADE events… and only 2 weeks later I found the answer in the form of video in my phone – it was That track Manuel was playing.
Then, it was the time when I had to leave Panama, if I wanted to be in time for Armin van Buuren during ASOT event. I could see that I wasn’t the only one, and after about 1 h I was there, changing the mood for more mainstream kind of Trance music.
Part two – ASOT
Must admit that ASOT wasn’t part if my plan at all at the beginning, as I’ve heard Armin, Aly & Fila and Cosmic Gate few times this year, but other names were not much better that the ones who were playing at Lumi at the same moment. My main reason of going there was to meet some more of my friends and also artists, as I knew that many will be there, including some I’ve met before and wanted to meet again (and also get them to sign my flag). But later that situation changed and I HAD to stay till the end – for the moment which became the highlight of my night.
I arrived about half an hour before the midnight, so I caught Cosmic Gate playing for a while before Armin started. It was also a good moment to catch friends, explore the location and find the best spot if you wanted to catch some artists (and I did meet quite many). But, of course, when Armin’s set was getting close, I moved to the front of the stage, so I could enjoy his performance not just with my ears, but also with my eyes.
Must admit that during last months the style of Armin’s sets is the same, especially when he plays 2-3 hours. You can easily recognize many of the tracks, which can be boring if you’ve heard it few times already, but if it’s your first time, you will enjoy the set for sure. Luckily everyone got a chance to hear something new – a premiere of new ASOT festival anthem with the theme “Be In That Moment“, which reminds a bit of previous anthem, but probably because of the same voice over. All the rest was quite same as usually – some popsy tracks, “Sunny Days“, “Heading Up High“, some Gaia tracks, some of his mash-ups, “Fallout” by Davey Asprey etc. (If you want to check this out, the video set is available on YouTube). The cutest moment was when Armin was playing Markus Schulz’s tribute to Linkin Park, when I saw one camera man singing literally behind Armin’s legs; but I’m sure that most of the people were singing by, as Linkin Park is a legendary band, even if not really connected to Trance music.
I also spend a lot of this set by the side of the stage, observing artists walking by and taking pics/videos. I got lucky to catch Erika, Armin’s wife, and to say “Thank you” to her, as I’m sure that wife’s support gave a huge support to the legendary man. At some moment I saw Ben Gold and got a chance to talk to him, and as he came together with Standerwick, I got used the opportunity to express my love and respect to his collaboration with Gareth Emery – “Reckless“, which I voted as Tune of The Year in 2016, and “Saving Light”, for which I’m planning to vote too. And then was the moment which changed my night, when Standerwick revealed the secret – Haliene will be singing “Saving Light” live in the end of their set, which became a good reason for me to skip some more of Lumi, as this is Voice Of The Year for me, and not just because of this one track, but also because of Haliene’s works with Ferry Corsten in “Blueprint” and Aly & Fila in “Beyond the Lights” albums. Soon I was even more lucky to meet the owner of this angelic voice in person and say all my compliments directly, making myself and her happy. And then it was like it – waiting till the end of the ASOT.
Between Armin and Ben Gold b2b Standerwick was the time for Aly & Fila, who opened the set with their collaboration with Ferry Tayle – inspiring “Concorde“, which quickly brings you into the right mood. Fadi is also known for playing a lot of ID tracks during his sets, and this was no exception, but you could also hear tracks from Aly & Fila last album – “Beyond The Lights” and “Surrender“. Wish he had more time for developing the story of music, but not this time. But I loved the part of FSOE Family being in front of the stage and going wild for their musical idol.
The time for the final set had come. I was surprised to see not so many people leaving , as I’m used to see closing artists with much emptier dance floor, but this time it looked good till the end, maybe because whole event wasn’t that long and 4:00 was still early. I was just standing and enjoying the music with typical sounds of Ben Gold and Standerwick, mixing with each other, and also waiting for the culmination, moving to the front of the stage when the time was getting close. And there it was – almost silence of “Saving Light” intro, Standerwick introducing Haliene on the microphone, her smile and… the magic could happen.
First with some hesitating notes, growing into beautiful and confident voice, filled with emotions and love for music. 6 min of streaming live on Facebook to keep it as a memory for a long time, barely holding tears and simply enjoying with soul and heart. The best way to close the festival!
And so this event was over, but it wasn’t enough for me, as I knew that Lumi had 3 more hours to go. Sadly, I lost 1,5 hours on the way when waiting for the bus, which was full, and then waiting for another one and so on (and again Uber was not an option). In the bus another funny moment happened – I was sitting next to Willem de Roo and Tommy Johnson, whom I barely recognized few hours ago, and of course it was nice to have a company on the way (as I was alone).
Part three – back to Lumi
At 5:30 I was back in Panama club. After more than 12 hours of festivals and moving, I was already tired enough to enjoy the sets of Jorn van Deynhoven and David Forbes, who played a lot of banging stuff, from aside. The location was also getting empty, but I was still happy to see some familiar faces left. I also had a bit of time left to enjoy the sound of tech Trance played by James Kiedis on second stage, where I still found the energy to dance – even if I don’t listen to this kind of music on my phone, it’s the second set from James I really enjoyed. Otherwise I had that feeling of “Game Over” left, so when the music was shut down, I was drained, so after some farewell moments I was on the way to my ADE-week-bed, feeling blessful for another awesome Trance-time I had that day and night.
Was it worth it?
Certainly not if you had regular tickets, but yes, if you had press passes or free entrance to at least one of the events. But this is just my opinion, and your choice or decision should always be based on your personal taste of Trance music. I was very happy about hearing Haliene singing live, but at the same time I regretted not hearing the sets of Ferry Corsten, Roger Shah, DIM3NSION, Driftmoon, Neptune Project and others who played at the same time at the other location. I really hope that next year there will be no situations like this, because it can be really… heartbreaking. Otherwise, both events were awesome and each had something special to offer!
p.s. Luckily all Lumi sets are also available online:
Tags: #trancefamily, 2 in 1, A state of trance, ade, ade 2017, aly and fila, Amsterdam, amsterdam dance event, Armin van Buuren, ASOT, basil o'glue, ben gold, club, combine, Cosmic Gate, craig connelly, david forbes, dennis pedersen, Factor B, haliene, James Kiedis, jorn van deynhoven, luminosity, manuel le saux, music, panama, run, Saving Light, Standerwick, tim verkruissen, Trance, trance family