ASOT 600 / Madison Square Garden (NYC) / 3-30-2013
Published: April 12, 2013
Story by: Charlotte Roxanne Horton
Photos by: Carl Scheffel
607 episodes deep into his A State of Trance radio show project and having already traveled all around the world for his ASOT 600 tour; Armin Van Buuren was still swarmed by nerves. And honestly, no one could blame him – he was about to be the second DJ ever in the scene to headline a show, "Live From the World's Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden."
The lineup paired with the monumental show kept the NYC trance family happy, eager as the days began to count down. When tickets were first released, they were sold out within an hour. Fans were disappointed but Made Events heard the complaints and modified the placement of the stage in order to release more tickets to the public.
The vibes of the MSG crowd were incomparable, while the sets were monstrous, bright, and exhausted every ounce of what trance music is and how it’s supposed to make you feel. Talking to New World Punx, who had just recently played sets in Miami for Ultra, it was obvious that fans were not the only ones anxiously anticipating the show both live and through the radio, but the DJs were preparing themselves for something monumental across the entire music and EDM scene. Something they would witness right in front of them, to a screaming crowd, but with faces from all around the world as well – as they projected the Skype feed on the big screen so everyone could share the moments together.
Confetti rose the huge crowd into a bright and consuming heaven, while lasers of rainbows shelved themselves upon each other; leaving the crowd transcended in this surreal world of trance music and production value at its finest. While there wasn’t an empty seat in the house, the dance floor was remarkably spacious. It gave the whole essence of the show something other genres and venues would never be able to provide and feed into fans spirits. A trance family was built in those hours dancing and singing in the gigantic MSG venue – you were feet away from your favorite artists, close enough to the speakers to feel the bass, and still had enough room to jam out and go hard when the straight, dirty trance would blast.
W&W was a highly anticipated act amongst the ASOT 600 NYC lineup. With Armin having said back in 2010 that, "W&W are truly the rising stars of trance. If I have to put my money on somebody, I put it on W&W," and the support of that notion with “The Code” being one of the most played tracks during WMC and Ultra, fans were expecting something worthwhile. The duo rose to the occasion, appealing to fans tastes and literally blew out the speakers in the whole front half of the venue. The crowd was confused, and it took them a couple minutes to realize what had happened – but things were quickly fixed and the vibes of the show were put back into motion. The embarrassing ordeal didn’t seem to phase the Netherland natives though, and they finished their set flawlessly with smiles beaming all across the huge arena.
Following the young DJs were Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz teamed up as New World Punx. What began as lighthearted collaboration between friends, “shits and giggles,” became the start of something both hadn’t realized was a new possibility for their careers. The more aggressive sound of the duo compared to what were used to from their personal work, had become a release and challenge for the two. They got to express themselves in different ways than they were used to, and would learn in motion as they DJed together and would pulsate in tandem with the crowd’s reactions. Thus that feeling excited them and led to their launch in Miami, playing together under the pseudo name. ASOT 600 NYC was their second official tour date under the name and they were excited. Not only for the start of their work together, but to be playing in the Garden – a place important to not only NYC but the United States as a whole.
The final set was indeed Armin Van Buuren – a poised man who still gushes while playing to a screaming crowd – never the less, a sold out crowd at Madison Square Garden. The joy and happiness that he beamed was only boomeranged back as the crowd rejoiced in the senses Armin seemed to be consistently surprising and titillating. His threw up his heart at the crowd, lights, confetti, and trance boomed off of the MSG walls – the euphoric vocals of Armin’s music pulsating through the crowds veins. The last five minutes were the pinnacle of the entire show as Armin played his most recent single, “This is What it Feels Like,” with Trevor Guthrie singing the vocals, as he beamed at his crowd and said “But there’s one person I want to thank in particular New York, one person, and that person is you. Thank you for making this one of the highlights of my year.” It was such a huge moment in the feeling that is evoked from ASOT and trance music in general. So much love, Madison Square Garden could barely contain it.
There were two after parties that followed: one at Pacha with New World Punx headlining, and the other at the Best Buy theater with W&W headlining. Unfortunately I didn’t make it to both, but what I did experience was somewhat overwhelming. The crowd at Pacha was like sardines in a can, and the crowd wasn’t as loving as what was experienced in Madison Square Garden. Most of the people hadn’t gone to the ASOT 600 show, and it was obvious if you did have the luxury. There was an aura that followed everyone after that show that just showed on your face that you had experienced something worthwhile and indescribable. Trance music has a way of moving people with the crowd it attracts and the euphoric synths that make up the genre. ASOT 600 NYC was no different – and everyone a part of the monumental show is still having withdrawals. No other show or festival can seemingly compare to the extent in which we made history that night.