Transmission 2017: The spirit of the warrior – setting the bar higher than ever!
Written by Luciano Medica on December 3, 2017
It is not new to say that Transmission lives up to the expectations they create. It is not a lie to say there’s always more than you can think of in first place. So it won’t be any revelation to say that we were there and came back amazed and invaded by the spirit of the warrior!
Believe it or not, I have been living in Europe for 3 years now and this was the first time I managed to go to Transmission. I had been hearing stories, watching videos and so much more about Transmission, to the point I was wondering what have I done wrong so far to be unable to attend to any of the previous editions. Even before Trance Energy Radio decided to cover the event, I had already bought my ticket and everything was set: I was not missing this year’s edition even if I had to sacrifice for it.
The big night of trance
November 25th, 2017, Prague. The night was already here. It was that day that we all had been waiting for. We (Katrina and me) arrived at the venue with a few minutes difference, early in the night. By the time I got in, Thomas Coastline was already playing his exquisite warm-up set.
It was my first time at the O2 Arena so I didn’t know what to expect. By all means, it was a pleasant surprise. What a venue! That massive dome was overwhelming, and the sight of the screens amidst the darkness of the place was stunning.
I took a few minutes to contemplate the place. Its sheer enormity was impressive but at the same time, it felt just right. As many of our readers might know by now, I’m a big fan of big venues. I enjoy the potential and the possibilities of these oversized rooms.
Walking fast to the front, I found myself surrounded by a few fans who were dancing like crazy. Fun fact: the most enthusiastic were two Argentinian guys dancing while wearing the flag as a cloak.
Despite the darkness that was set for the warm-up, you could already realize there was going to be a visual delight as soon as all those screens and the effects took over the place. The place was half empty too, and the sound was just right in volume and equalization for that amount of people. Cheers to the sound engineers!
The festival was completely sold out, but the crowd was filling the place very slowly. It would have been difficult to imagine how busy the place was going to be later on.
Thomas Coastline is one of Czechia’s well-known producers and DJs. He’s very talented and I was happy to hear he was away for a while from the scene, but after fighting against cancer and defeating it, he’s back and kicking.
It is important to mention that Thomas has initiated a campaign Trancer against Cancer, that intends to collect funds through merchandising and its profits will be all donated to charity. Many DJs have already expressed support for the campaign and we want to express our support as well. It’s amazing to see such a good thing coming out of the difficult situation Coastline has been through. Keep it up!
Wanna help? Check the T-shirts for Trancer against Cancer!
His set had many tracks by Anjunabeats/Anjunadeep artists’, such as Yotto in the sounds of Aviate, Grum with the progressive masterpiece of Shout (sampling the Tears for Fears classic), Rolo Green with Napier and, naturally, Above & Beyond with On A Good Day. There was also time for ‘Save Me’ by Gareth Emery and wonderful Christina Novelli and Eric Prydz ft. Tom Cane, Generate… such an amazing track!
All in all, the warm-up set was building up all along, well balanced and with the perfect parts of excitement and relaxedness that every good warm-up set should have. Thomas Coastline, you rocked!
The spirit of the warrior
As soon as Thomas Coastline left the scene the expectations were at an all-time high, we were all ready to see the big opening ceremony in the hands of Driftmoon.
The ceremony consisted of Juraj and three friends playing instruments, going in a progression from symphonic music towards some wild Driftmoon sounds. All this was surrounded by dancers and visual effects, creating a whole experience that was certainly difficult to forget.
However, the impression we had, was that even when we were at the front, the sound of the instruments was difficult to find. The show was visually spectacular and the emotional charge of the whole ceremony was fabulous.
All in all, it was an original and creative display, with a signature sound that was different and unique compared to the typical Transmission tunes, but still full of energy and emotions.
Super8&Tab at their best
The dancing spree started as soon as Super8 & Tab took over the decks. The beginning with Noom -the collaboration they made with Cosmic Gate– was an explosion of emotions for the fans, and it kept going higher and higher as they progressed with the set.
No hearts were left untouched as they played tracks like Shelter by Dash Berlin featuring the sweet voice of Roxanne Emery -one of my favorite tracks of all time- and Saving Light by Gareth Emery and Standerwick featuring HALIENE -a track that none of us can stop listening since it was first played-.
If there was a surprise in their set was Chakra by Vini Vici vs W&W. What a massive track. Not only it was surprising as it was different from what Super8&Tab are used to play, but also because it smashed the dance floor right at the end of the set. Simply genius!
We would later get to know from Super8&Tab that they felt the need to play the track because “It’s so well done, such a great energy, and seeing the response from the crowd you realize you have made a great decision on playing it”.
I would say that you always go to see Super8&Tab with high expectations, and they always manage to deliver more than you can hope for. That’s how you can identify real talent among other skills.
Covering it all with that Purple Haze
Shortly before Purple Haze’s set was about to start, both Katrina and I were supposed to attend the press room for the interview with Markus Schulz. While on the outside of the O2 Arena there were still massive queues and the entering crowd was not flowing smoothly, on the inside the dancefloor was already getting full and about to reach its full capacity.
Following what we had spoken with Sander van Doorn during his interview, Purple Haze can be sometimes darker and sometimes more energetic, I personally believe that this time we got the energetic version!
Starting with Choir 1.0 -a signature track by Purple Haze– followed by Kill Kitten and a reprise of Kitten, the track that is the base for Kill Kitten that was produced for his album Eleven in 2011, just before he departed from trance music.
It was certainly unexpected when he played Leave a Message by Will Atkinson, as well as Laberinto by KhoMha, since these are two very powerful and intense tracks that turned the crowd crazier, showing how SvD has always kept his amazing skills for managing the crowd and taking everybody in a journey.
Unfortunately, we missed quite a few tracks from his set, but I managed to hear him playing for a while , and Kill Kitten, a track that I personally love and strongly suggest you all listen… NOW! All in all, Sander delivered a set with all that we had expected: great energy, an amazing atmosphere and all the tracks that you would expect plus some little easter eggs.
Markus & The Ceremony of Warriors
Right after midnight, as 00:15 sharp, it became time for Markus Schulz pres. Dakota to delight us with his unique and personal sound. The most exciting moment of the night was to know that he would be introducing to us some of the new tracks from his upcoming Dakota album “The Nine Skies” due out December 8th.
An emotional and deep set, with inspiring messages that made you think about some important things that are happening in the world. It started with The Nine Skies (Intro) a powerful track with a harmonic and heavenly sound, accompanied by deep thoughts and words.
On the screens, you could see images of skies, but also of disasters, the hardship and the beauty of this world we have, and disruptively enough, you could even see Donald Trump appearing into some images. Such a bold statement and so many things into one single show.
Markus further progressed with tracks like Follow Me and Mota-Mota, full of energy and power, always in that Dakota fashion, that Markus calls his most personal style. For me, the highlight was listening to In Search Of Something Better, which I believe it’s a magnificent track in all regards.
By the time the set came to an end, with the most awaited track, The Spirit Of The Warrior (Transmission 2017 Theme), you could already make up your mind around the idea of this set as a combination of goosebumps triggered by the depth of the messages and images, and a strong happiness conveyed through music.
In his own words, “Transmission is the greatest trance event ever” and that’s a lot to live up to. However, we all know Markus was there to deliver and indeed he did!
Right after Markus finished, the Ceremony of Warriors was unleashed. The dancefloor was packed, and it was difficult to move around. It felt painful to go to the bar to get a drink or to leave for the toilet.
The show was intended to be a display of all the technical features put on scene by United Music Events when planning every Transmission event. It was a little story about the values of the warriors of different cultures, followed by impressive animations and intense sounds. There were dancers and lights, and flashes, and lasers.
But there was also pyrotechnics. And unfortunately for United Music this year, it didn’t go as planned. Apparently, there was an issue with the material used for the fireworks, as in response to a shortage for the originally intended ones, they decided to use an ersatz replacement.
The story ended with fireworks landing on the dancefloor while still on fire, and due to the overcrowding, most of the people were unable to move out of the way. The positive side is that there were no serious injuries and that Transmission decided to approach the situation in the best way, caring as much as possible for the people who said to be affected by this.
I personally value the approach United Music had in this regard, as they were on point with their reactions and the outcome. Certainly, a display of professionalism that sets the bar really high also regarding ethics. Chapeau!
Partying with Ferry: Gouryella 2.0
The ceremony of the warriors gave way to Ferry Corsten presents Gouryella 2.0… a set loyal to Ferry’s idea of trance: it felt like a journey back to the roots of trance, along with some of the greatest tracks that the Gouryella project has given us.
He started with the Intro edit of Ligaya and followed, naturally, with Gouryella. A succession of Binary Finary’s 1998, Venera, Valhalla, Tenshi, Lonely Inside… all the Gouryella tracks that in a Gouryella show must be present. And even if Ferry had a limited amount of time, his superb skills allowed him to take us on a journey up, down, and around the classics that he cherishes so much.
The lights and flashes, along with the classic and ethereal sounds of Ferry, created a magic atmosphere that reminded us of the golden days of trance. It was magical to hear the piano notes playing along cosmic images and the directed beams of light that felt like the light irradiated by the stars in the infinite space.
Among others, we got the chance to hear Wherever You Are (feat. HALIENE) and finally, to crown a magnificent emotional set, the closing track was Anahera. People were dancing and flowing along with the sounds of the music. Ferry certainly gave all that we came for and more…
Aly & Fila and Simon Patterson: the uplifting chapter
At 2:30 it was the time for Aly&Fila to take over the decks. Starting with pounding, euphoric and uplifting sounds and partnered with a full-blown laser spectacle, the energy was set at the maximum level right from the start.
As expected, among the new IDs that Fadi has accustomed us to hear in his set, there was the new track by James Dymond feat. Susana, which left us wanting for more.
After that, tracks like Concorde -a new classic?-, Beyond the Lights, Lost Language and Surrender featuring the wonderful Sue McLaren, rounded up a set that was a typical Aly&Fila set, but that doesn’t count as a bad thing. In the end, we love Aly&Fila for being who they are!
After the set that Fadi had delivered, most of the attendants were mind blown. The heat and the overcrowding was already a thing of the past, as it seemed people started to go to the bars and to scramble in a different way.
The dance floor was still full, but dancing was finally a pleasant activity. Simon Patterson started his set with a high-bpm, uplifting and psy-influenced assemble of tracks. He came to smash the dance floor and that’s what we were going to get.
It’s interesting to think he came close to not playing that night, as he missed his flight and kept all the organizers with their nerves hanging from a thread. In the end, he was there, and it was time to enjoy.
The decision of putting him on the schedule between Aly&Fila and Coming Soon!!! Was certainly accurate, as it felt like the natural transition from the uplifting of the prior and the psytrance from the last act.
The closing act: Coming soon!!!
What can be better than to finish a great night with the banging sounds of Coming Soon!!!? Well, if you have the answer let us know because we’re still trying to figure it out.
Most of the people were tired by 5:00, however, the Israeli duo pushed us to get energy from whichever reserves we had. The hypnotic and powerful tunes of psytrance were executed on a level near to perfection. They wouldn’t let the energy drop for a second, and that’s a big thing to say for a closing act.
The visuals were at the summit throughout the set: the clash between the lasers falling like rain to the crowd and the flames rising up high were fantastic. On the screens, the severe faces of the warriors seemed to be emitting the dark vocal-ish sounds of psytrance. It was certainly a spectacle that you wouldn’t want to miss!
The big surprise of the set was their remix of Caught in the Slipstream by Armin van Buuren that they played. It simply blended so well, that even the detractors of AvB would approve it. As if that was not enough, they followed with Adagio for Strings, and what can anyone say about that? There are no words.
It was absolutely on point, such an amazing set. It was sad that they only had one hour, as all artists agree that one hour is too short. This hour, in particular, it was short but so well exploited that it left you filled with satisfaction.
The bottom line
In conclusion, despite some flaws and the room for improvement that there’s always in every event, Transmission: The Spirit of the Warrior was a massive success. The bet for bigger, better, harder, stronger has paid off and the crowd was ecstatic all along -and that includes us!-. We can’t wait for next year’s edition!
Big and special thanks to United Music and everyone involved in making Transmission such an unforgettable experience!