This week Cascadia was all about Paul van Dyk. We featured an EVOLUTION Album Review, an Interview with the legend himself, and capped it all off by watching him perform an amazing show at the Commodore. Unfortunately, he couldn’t bring along his innovative stage show because it was too large for the Commodore, but the production was still solid enough with seven big screens, a good light show, and an excellent sound system.
His two hour set was mainly geared towards showcasing tracks off his latest album and he sprinkled in a handful of other producers’ hits to keep things interesting. Having listened to the album on repeat all week I had come to know it pretty well, but hearing it played live made a strong impression on me. Tracks that I had given little attention to when listening at home, were really brought to life during his set. He infused each song with an incredibly dynamic energy which had the crowd roaring in favor all night long.
Paul van Dyk’s experience was certainly on display as he masterfully managed his track selection and transitions. His DJ setup is revolutionary and allows him to do things that other DJs can only dream of. He dropped powerful vocal tracks at just the right moments and controlled the tempo and energy level to perfection. Major hits off the album, such as ‘The Ocean’, ‘Verano’, and ‘Eternity’, each had their own massive spotlight in the set. While some of the more surprising moments include the stirring vocals of ‘Everywhere’ and the serious bassline on ‘Rock This’.
Ultimately though, the highlight of the night was ‘Symmetries’. I can’t begin to describe how epic it was when he dropped the thunderous synths on top of its catchy melody. As far as anthems are concerned, it certainly gives Avicii’s ‘Levels’ a run for it’s money.
Though van Dyk likes to describe his productions as “advanced electronic music”, rather than just trance, this show undeniably demonstrated and proved his command of the genre that he is primarily known for. I appreciate that he wants to move beyond classification in one genre, but in my mind he will always be one of the most brilliant trance artists in the world.
The anticipation around this show was very high and yet he exceeded all of my expectations. I went home completely blown away by his set and with a much fuller appreciation of his album. Thank you Paul van Dyk!