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Review: ASOT - Invasion Opening 2012

Armin Van Buuren fittingly brings his “A State Of Trance” party to the World's Biggest Club, Privilege, for a full summer residency...

Arguably one of the biggest (and riskiest) moves of 2012 is Armin's move from Space to fill in the boots of all around dance music legend Tiesto. With Trance parties on the island becoming less frequent, it's a very bold move by Armin and his team to move his incredibly popular show to the San Rafael club. But with his “A State Of Trance” parties across the world selling out and his radio show increasing to over 25 million listeners world wide in over 30 countries, does this mean there is a resurgence on Trance coming back to the island?

First off, I'd like to say that Trance music isn't my number one genre – I can appreciate it, but I'm not an avid fan. I'd also never been to a “Trance” party, so you could stay I was stepping into the unknown with this party. People do say the best nights you have are the ones which aren't planned or when you are not expecting anything, but it's very fair to say I was blown away with the opening.

As a venue, I've always appreciated Privilege, just the sheer size of the place is incredible, the visuals, the light show, the dancers (which I did spend a lot of time looking at) are utilised to the maximum every time I've been in there – and with “A State Of Trance” it was no different. The huge HD LED screen that covers the back wall was memorising with graphics and visuals that can't be matched anywhere on the island. Throughout the night music videos were played, most notably Dash Berlin's 4am mix of Armin Van Burren and Sophie Elis-Bextor's “Not Giving Up On Love” with the gorgeous Miss Bextor lounging around a pool in the swim suit. Couple this with a laser light show and a celling jam packed full of strobes, LED chasers, pixel tracks and moving heads beaming multi-coloured light over the whole crowd as well as on stage pyrotechnics and confetti blasts, Armin managed to pull off a visual show that would be very hard to beat.

We arrived around the 1.45am to catch Markus Schulz playing some melodic and euphoric trance beats which were setting the crowd up perfectly for the main man at 3am. Another great touch was that every DJ had his own introduction, there would be a slight pause for a round of applause and the giant LED screen would play a video introducing the next DJ. The videos reminded me of the opening credits of Star Wars, but obviously far more impressive!

A lot of fans we spoke to who had travelled from all over the world for the opening say that Armin is a god to them. I saw a lot of couples, some in there 50's who you wouldn't necessarily brand as a clubber wearing tour t-shirts from various ASOT parties they'd been to over the world. I even saw one reveller with the ASOT logo tattoo on his neck, that's commitment right there. Armin and his ASOT parties do have such a loyal following all across the world, so after his intro video played out and his name flashed brightly on screen, he appeared from behind the decks in a god-like manner with his arms reaching for the sky. The crowd went wild (obviously), confetti cannon's went off and new lasers appeared. He opened up with an almost electro beat which instantly lifted the crowd. Around 3.30am, he played one of the tracks of the summer “Language” by Porter Robinson, which is slightly strange as Porter is signed to Skrillex's label OWSLA who is known for it's quite hard dubstep. This just shows that Trance as we used to know it has changed, with all sorts of different genres infused together now to create this new sound which everyone was lapping up. Throughout his set the C02 cannon's kept firing, red fire appeared jumping from the stage and confetti covered the crowd from back to front with Armin during every breakdown of a track having his hands reaching for the lasers and clapping bring energy to the arena.

The party is called “A State Of Trance – Invasion”. And the invasion is certainly happening. From a non-trance follower, I highly recommend you check out this party, whether you are here for a week or a season, it's an event you should most definitely experience.

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