First conceived all the way back in 2001, Armin Van Buuren’s A State of Trance has become a staple in the lives of electronic music fans the world over. The radio show is currently heard by more than 37 million listeners each week on more than 116 FM radio stations in 84 countries, as people everywhere flock to hear what new songs the trance god himself has chosen for the latest episode.
A State of Trance is much more than just a radio show though, as every year it also becomes a live show, with a jaw-dropping lineup of artists, superb production and, of course, top-notch tunes. The most recent outing for the event, A State of Trance 750, hit Toronto’s Enercare Centre over the weekend for what was, as expected, another unforgettable night brought to us by Mr. Van Buuren.
Braving the cold weather, the city’s dance music fans flocked to the show to witness a spectacle of trance led by one if its most talented producers, and they were put under a spell from the moment the show kicked off at 6pm right up until the last note was played just after 2am. It was definitely one for the books, with 8 hours of unforgettable trance sets by Solid Stone, Ben Gold, Standerwick, Orjan Nilsen, Andrew Rayel and, of course, Armin himself.
As was the case with previous installments of the A State of Trance live show, the whole thing ran pretty smoothly from start to finish. After opening things up with a one hour warm-up set at 6pm, Van Buuren gave the stage over to Solid Stone who, along with Ben Gold, Standerwick and Orjan Nilsen, got the crowd going with a healthy mix of trance tracks that fell on the heavier side of the genre, which definitely helped set the mood for the several hours that they were there.
Shortly after 11pm, the incredibly talented Andrew Rayel took to the stage for another unbelievable set. Having only seen him once before, my excitement to watch the brilliant producer perform again was at an all time high, and boy did he deliver. Aside from getting to hear his excellent new track, “Winterburn,” live for the first time, it was a pleasure watching him run through a seamlessly mixed set that brought in crowd pleasers like “One In A Million” and “Daylight” along with some harder hitting tracks such as the Vini Vici remix of Highlight Tribe’s “Free Tibet,” which I’ve loved ever since hearing it on the recent A State of Trance episode 747.
Rayel also brought along a couple brand new tracks with him. “This is my new song!” he screamed before dropping a tune that featured soft female vocals and light piano instrumentals, which then escalated into a pumping trance beat. Unfortunately, we don’t have a name for the song just yet, or a release date, but it’s certainly one that we’ll be keeping an eye out for.
After Rayel was the main man himself, and Toronto could not have given him a warmer welcome. As Armin stepped onto the stage for his two hour set, the crowd erupted. Their king had come home, and he was about to put them into a 2-hour state of trance. Full of energy and enthusiasm, the producer wowed those in attendance with an arsenal of both pure trance and more progressive material, blending the two together in perfect harmony as he mixed through his set like only a true professional could.
Kicking things off with “Embrace,” it was just non stop fire from that point on, as Armin dropped track after electrifying track, all while completely enrapturing the crowd. With a strong presence from his recent album (“Strong Ones, “Caught In The Slipstream,” “Another You,” etc.), the set also included enough of his classic material to keep longtime fans happy. All in all, it was a flawless showcase of the genre’s most impressive songs, ensuring that the night closed out on an incredibly high note.
As expected, A State of Trance 750 was another larger than life show for an artist who is also larger than life. Armin Van Buuren’s influence on not only trance, but dance music in general is too great to put into words, and events like this one show you just why he’s universally regarded as one of the best in the industry.
It may be a while before King Armin comes to Toronto again, but at least he gave us one hell of a night that we won’t soon forget.