White Tour - Armin Van Buuren - Melbourne - 10.6.2007
Author: Sara Brooke
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
The Queen's Birthday holiday in June has always been a big weekend for dance music in Melbourne. Something about a public holiday makes people want to hit the town and boogie on down. This year was no different. What was the hottest ticket in town this year- The Armin Van Buuren White Party.
Hosted by Future Entertainment, a night of epic proportions was promised, with Armin (currently rated the world's number 2 DJ) playing a six-hour set at Vodafone Arena with a White Party theme. Hype leading up to the event was huge and it was no surprise that the tickets sold out a week before.
We arrived at around 11pm, bracing a freezing, cold and wet Melbourne winter's night to find an enormous line down Batman Ave waiting to enter the venue. I amused myself while waiting by checking out the crowd. Was great to see that so many people had adopted the white party theme; I don't think I saw anyone that wasn't wearing white and lots had gone to special effort. I saw angels, fairies, robots, doctors, nurses, white workman overalls, sexy toweling dressing gowns, some bunnies, a pope and a group of girls who obviously weren't afraid of the cold (or maybe they got it confused and thought they were at summadayze-) - they wore nothing at all, aside from their white underwear!
Thankfully, the line moved quickly and we walked into the arena to find Mark James playing a great warm up set. The arena looked amazing, with giant balls and stars hung from the rafters, giant lasers and lighting set the mood while massive plasma screens adorned the stage.
After having seen Mark DJ a number of times over the years at lots of different parties, I find that he really shines when it comes to playing progressive trance sets. He set the scene perfectly for Armin's arrival, dropping some classic tunes like Delerium's Silence and Fat Boy Slim's Right Here, Right Now. He also took the opportunity to play his new tune, Come Home with Me (remixed by Melbourne boy Steve May), which went down well before finishing with Sander van Doorn's Grasshopper.
Armin walked on stage and immediately the 7,000 punter-strong audience screamed their appreciation. Pyrotechnic fireworks went off on either side of the stage to create added excitement for the beginning of his set. Armin certainly is a seasoned performer, after DJing for over 10 years now, he really knows how to work a crowd. Far too many DJs go for the serious-faced approach and keep the crowd interaction to a minimum, but not Armin. He laughs, jumps around, yells - he has fun without taking it too seriously and really gets the crowd fired up as a result.
Opening his set with Angello and Ingrosso's Umbrella, he slowly built up the night with progressive electro sounds, gradually introducing yummy melodic prog and taking the crowd on a bit of a teaser journey, working them up and down before working his way through to uplifting trance. He kept a balance between playing upfront new sounds like Mexico Can Wait by Roland Klinkenburg feat Dj Remy, Outsiders by Kirsty Hawkshaw & Tenishia, Melbourne's own Mike Nichol's Durado and old classic anthems such as his own Communication, Bedrock's Heaven Scent, Solar Stone's Seven Cities and The Thrillseekers' Synaesthesia (Ferry Corsten mix), which kept the dancefloor enthralled and rocking for the entire six hours.
After hearing the event had sold out, I had my suspicions that we would all be rammed in there like sardines. However, the stand seating was opened progressively as the night went on, leaving ample room to dance and move around. The crowd itself, from what I witnessed, wasn't as feral as I had anticipated and it was actuall Tags