Amsterdam Dance Event 2018 with Danielle
When you get to any customs agent the first question they ask is if you are here for business or pleasure?
For me, it has always been pleasure and it was my fourth time returning to Europe, but that never dulls the excitement I have for traveling. I was in Europe for trance and it was that moment into the Netherland, that moment where 10 plus hours of traveling was paying off with just one step closer to the pinnacle of this trip; in Amsterdam to attend ADE! Amsterdam Dance Event 2018. In one week time, there were probably close to 100 events including the conferences for all the subgenres. People flew in from everywhere, for one night, a week, or longer. Running out of approved vacation days, my schedule was packed as I was going to make the most of it.
I flew in on Wednesday, October 17 and since Bakari Deal was there a day early, I freshened up in his hotel and we were off for a short train ride to Amsterdam Central, and connected for tram ride to my hotel – The Die Port Van Cleve. This place was beautiful and was worth every penny to be well centrally located. We dropped off my bags and off we were.
ADE is full of meetings and conferences all day long. So I tagged along with Bakari as he was networking to build his Intricacy brand worldwide which was a very interesting experience to say the least, but the part that amazed me more was that you literally could not walk down a block without running into
someone you recognized. Amsterdam was fully taken over by the electronic music industry. It was really wonderful and if you want to meet your favorites, it is definitely worth the trip.
I departed before the last meeting to rest up for the largest trance lineup at ADE, In Trance We Trust. Menno held nothing back as he went all out with some of the biggest names possible over four stages.
The In Trance We Trust stage was the mainstage loaded with heavyweights as the evening started off with LA’s very own Casey Rasch who teamed up with Skylex setting the bar high because it was going to be a mayhem night with big names. Paul Oakenfold delivered one of the best performances of Perfecto Fluoro I have seen in decades, but John O’Callaghan played a dark techy set that had my blood pumping and brought me to tears as he dropped “Choice of an Angel”. The song brought full emotions to me as I remembered my recently departed cousin Dion. It was a feeling I really cannot explain, but I know after that moment, she is in a better place.
I needed some hard pounding beats so I ran over to the Mark Sherry’s Outburst stage which stole the show for me. I was definitely in awe by David Forbes, who I finally got to see play “Shadows” live by the man who originally wrote it. I ran to the front of the DJ booth, sang my heart out and continued to dance like no one was watching and it was beautiful. Scot Project, Mark, and Richard Durand all hit the ball out of the park as I really hope Outburst has more nights in LA for 2019.
Hidden behind the stairs was the AVA stage, where I snuck in to catch part of Andy Moor and LTN. Both artists thrived in the intimate setting and gave fans a special show that is hard to find at huge events. Upstairs was a transformational place where the hard pounding sounds of psytrance took over the Iboga stage. I caught part of Captain Hook’s set and as usual, he delivered.
Overall In Trance We Trust was an epic way to start off my trip with a 14-hour trance marathon. I was exhausted as I found my way back to my hotel. Day-1 was a success.
The next day, my heart was on overdrive as I was finally going to step foot into the unknown. The holy sanctuary, the home of a legend. I was going to the Armada studios! Like a child going to Disneyland for the first time, I couldn’t hide my excitement. I was beyond giddy as I walked through the doors; truly on Cloud 9. I walked in the studios that were packed and I was able to squeeze my way up towards the front to catch part of Alex M.O.R.P.H. throw down his guest spot. It was very interesting to see how the whole process worked. I left the studio area and explored the building running into DJs, fans and friends from all around the world. Wandering into the club they have at the studios, I fell in love with its intimate setting with a great LED light wall. I got cozy on the couch and lost myself to Chicane.
As Tavo, Bakari and myself were about to make our exit we saw Arty walk in and decided to stay. It would help with a time conflict that night. Good thing we did. Arty played one of his best sets I have seen in the last decade. It was the old Arty which reminded me of why I liked him back in the days. I am glad he still has it, and hope that Arty soon return to that form.
After freshening ourselves, we were back at it again for Luminosity ADE party at Panama Club. This event started at 5pm and ended after 7am. It was ungodly long, but packed with performances utilizing both rooms. Like every Luminosity party at Panama, it was packed, the music was amazing, and it was hot inside.
We stayed in the main room where BT threw down and dropped “Every Other Way”, which made Bakari grab us all and move to the middle of the dance floor. Sharing moments like this is always worthwhile. From there, we were upstairs talking with friends, dancing, and enjoying the night. Around 1130pm, I left for the second room as I planned on staying there for the rest of the night as I was not going to miss Andromedha, Maria Healy, Craig Connelly and Shugz. Those four absolutely made for a night to remember and I wasn’t going to leave that room for a surprise performance of New World Punks.
The music was good from the progressive of Andromedha, followed by the hard hitting beats of Maria to the powerful uplift of Craig where he dropped hits after hits, including my favorites “By my side”, “This Life”, “How Can I”, and “Lost without you”. The only thing that would have made his set better would have been to share it with my rave daughter Iliana and friend Abisola, as they are super fans. After such an amazing set, nothing beats going four-to-the-floor and pushing the bpm with Shugz.
Shugz who is one of my favorite person ever continues to deliver a world class performance. Absolutely mental, as he dropped “Down the rabbit hole” and “All systems go”, I danced till my feet were sour and full of sweat. No victims were left and after his set, I managed to make my way back to the main room to finish the night with Sied Van Riel. A perfect balance to keep my blood flowing but bring my heartbeat back to normal.
We walked out of the club just before 7am and headed back to our hotel as my weekend roomate Patty and I grabbed some breakfast and crawled back to bed as another epic night was in the books.
After fighting any and all adulting, Patty and I reluctantly got up and started getting ready. We had the Omega Artists – Meet & Greet to attend and we were both beyond excited for it. Omega is home to some of the biggest ‘up and coming’ names in trance. Everyone was in attendance, including Ram, Darren Porter, Mike St. Jules, Mark Sixma, Arctic Moon, Orjan Nielson and Susanna just to name a few. The bar was overflowing as fans met and greeted some of their favorites. It was really fun to be a part of and witness. I always say, trance DJs are the best and I don’t know any other genre, where DJs connect some much with their fans.
From there, we were off for another 10 hours of trance in store – Quest4Trance. This venue was a convention center, and a new favorite place in Amsterdam (for me) because it has central air and the space was amazing. Tons of room, places to sit, easy going security, great sound and visuals which was everything you want in a venue. The night seemed to fly by as Darren Porter, The Thrillseekers, Arctic Moon, Indecent Noise, and Tempo Guiesto all made for a good time (For a full review of Quest4Trance and Pure Trance please see my Quest4Trance review).
Saturday came and went as I did not see any daylight to recuperate because my body was screaming at me in pain. The past three days, I danced harder than I did all year and more than I was used to. ADE was definitely kicking my butt, but that was not going to stop me because I was not going to miss the last show. So I forced myself up, got ready, and made my way back to the convention center for one last fun for Quest4Trance’s second night – Solarstone presents Pure Trance. Another strong 10 hours of trance from Hal Stucker, Orkidea, Solarstone, PureNRG, Lost in Noise and Factor B (full review). I left right at closing jumped to get back to my hotel because I had exactly 1 hour to shower up and pack before heading to the airport and back to reality.
Four days in Amsterdam went by faster than I could have thought. Four huge trance events, meetings, meet-and-greets, tours, it was a music lovers dream and I am pretty sure I will be back for round two next year.