How do you top off an amazing weekend in music at Amsterdam Dance Event?
For me, the answer was Quest4Trance during the last 2 nights of ADE which was some of the best in the business of 10 hours each night; tired in pain, but beyond grateful for the opportunity to attend. Nonetheless, the memories will far outlast those 20 hours experienced.
After a fun day hanging with friends and doing many of the activities only ADE week can offer, my friends and I made our way to KBF Complex Amsterdam which is a modern-day conference center, but proved to be my favorite venue over the trip for two simple reasons; good circulating air flow to mitigate the sweatiness and you could be anywhere in the venue without being choked by cigarette smoke (one of my biggest pet peeves about Europe). The ceilings were high and dark allowing for amazing lasers while projectors were on full display of artists’ logos complementing the LED screens.
We got in before the doors opened because no one wanted to miss a single moment as we were greeted to the sounds of the opener Maryn who was a late addition but definitely set the mood for fans to settle in. At 9pm (21h), Darren Porter as usual came out the gates swinging. It was not a ‘traditional’ opening act, but his 138bpm (in your face) was exactly what you’d want and he delivered with tracks like “Whiplash”. I tried going live on Facebook as long as possible so that my friends back home and his girlfriend can see him in action setting the tone for the rest of the night.
Following Darren was the first act of The Thrillseekers. Steve has yet to disappoint as he took his fans on an uplifting journey tugging at your heart strings followed with Arctic Moon who had the crowd’s energy peaking by this point and you could tell he was feeling the energy as well. He was owning the stage and dropped a few new tracks like “Digital Voices”.
Steve aka The Thrillseekers came back to thrill us all with classics vinyl set. I don’t know what it is about classics but fans went wild. Could it be because there is a nostalgic feeling to these songs that come back to life? Classic trance is beautiful for many different reasons, and when you get a legend like The Thrillseekers playing 1 hour of classics, it is sure to leave everyone on Cloud 9. As I looked around, the room was filled with nothing but smiles.
As we all went down memory lane, time seemed to have sped up and before I knew it, it was 230am and Indecent Noise took stage by taking everyone into a ‘mental asylum’ of hard hitting beats, including two of his new tracks “Man on the Moon” and “Saint Walker” in which I am a huge fan of; that track just has a way to cause mayhem on a dance floor. If that 138-140+ BPM wasn’t hard enough, closing the night was Tempo Giusto where this fine hard trance producer was on fire though dropping “Contra” which is on my short list for tune of the year, and his newest track “Solace in Your Eyes”. He kept it going hard till the event was over as we all begrudgingly left at 6am.
Sleeping through the entire day, I woke up to the last bit of sunlight with enough time to get ready, eat and make my way back to KBF Complex for round two of Quest4Trance. This night was all about Pure Trance presented by Solarstone’s by compiling a program that took all egos aside and put together a progression of music that was magical.
As the night started, the versatile producer David Forbes went under his progressive alias Hal Stucker, who opened with two hours of brilliance. Having seen his harder side just two days before, this side just confirmed what a talent he is. So many times, being an amazing producer does not equate great mixing skills, but it was definitely not the case as he dropped track after track including his releases on the Pure Trance label, “Stars” and “Disillusioned”.
Following that amazing opening, next was the one and only Orkidea and I swear this man is seamless; just absolute mastery flowing from one track to another. It is rare to see DJ’s mix that late into a track these days which is an art I wish came back because you get a full journey and story in every track.
On next was Solarstone who showed everyone why he is boss. This year I have had the opportunity to see him nine times in four countries and it never gets boring taking you on a journey. After his solo set, he was joined with longtime friend Giuseppe Ottaviani for a performance of Pure NRG (live). These sets always give me goosebumps. The synchronization of when they play the drums, or the keyboards, the mixing live is fascinating to watch. I have always seen it from the crowd perspective so this time I went backstage to see these two gracefully work together to create awesomeness.
Again, time seemed to be speeding by and it was 3am when Lost In Noise were taking the stage. The second live performance by Lostly and Indecent Noise teaming up and it was just as wonderful as the first time I saw them at Luminosity. I am not always a fan of a duo more than the individual, but these two work so well together. The hard-hitting, four-to-the-floor beats will make anyone dance. They dropped their single “Cosmic Spirit”, and you could just hear how good these two are together.
This lineup was handpicked by Solarstone to provide a journey of trance, a natural progression, and to put the cherry on top was Factor B who was one of the best closers I have seen in a long time. His energy just doesn’t stop with talent that had to be from Mars, because it was incredible to see. I ran to the rail and danced with some friends from Boston who also made the trip to ADE. As we danced to “White Rooms”, “Only We Know” and other songs that brought warmth to my heart.
ADE weekend was an absolutely amazing experience and Quest4Trance absolutely delivered an A+ 2-day event. As I took the 12 hour journey home, I was able to reflect and again, trance was the reason why I made this trip. In my own quest to travel the world for trance, I am able to check off two more events.
I may have told myself I wasn’t coming back in 2019, but I have a feeling that will be a lie.