Last weekend, A State of Trance celebrated its 1000th episode at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. Ruben de Ronde, Gabriel & Dresden, MaRLo, and Cosmic Gate also took the stage alongside Armin Van Buuren for a night filled with love and unforgettable memories.
Local star Mr. Brooks kicked off the celebration with a high octane set that had everyone dancing like we were in the final hours of a festival. I was already flirting with the limitations of my deodorant by the time Ruben de Ronde took over. Despite it being hot as balls and my body being covered in dried sweat, I could not stop grooving to the melodic music coming from the Dutchman. Luckily, I was able to catch my breath when Ruben slowed the tempo with Above & Beyond’s “Can’t Sleep” ft. Ashley Tomberlin.
After Ruben was Gabriel & Dresden. The California duo blew my mind with a set blurring the boundaries between trance and progressive. Between mashups of “Tracking Treasure Down” and “Heaven Scent” mixed in with remixes from names such as Layton Giordani and tracks from Cristoph, G&D hard flexed their prowess as both DJs and producers.
Cosmic Gate also took me down a rabbit hole filled with hard synths, distorted horns, and plucking claps threaded together by a powerful kick drum. It was a musical journey of past and present as I heard “Retrospection,” ft. Greenhaven DJs, and their iconic “Exploration of Space.” Their set was so dark that management had to turn on the lights!
So, Armin. Honestly, it was effin’ awesome! The man of the hour opened with a few new IDs, including his new song promoting peace and love. There was a live performance from Kazi Jay, intense 3D visuals accompanied by lasers upon lasers, and fireworks! His set took me on a roller coaster of emotions when I heard my song “Airport Shivers,” a mashup he did with Photographer.
When he played “Great Spirit,” everyone started jumping- from the floor to the stands to the security in the back. Even I, a man with bad knees surviving the night on $20 pizza and a Rockstar, had the rebel ignited inside of me (***wink*wink***). Gareth Emery made a surprise appearance during the encore when Armin featured their new collaboration with vocals from Owl City.
ASOT was a dang good time, but let me tell you about MaRLo. The Australian burst onto the stage with his track “Visions,” followed by Planet Funk’s “Chase the Sun” and a mashup of Gareth Emery’s “Saving Light.” His uplifting sound filled with big room drops set to the background of vibrant orange and red flashing from the ginormous LED screens was a vibe, and I was there for it.
My favorite moment of the night was when Triode and LA singer Linney joined MaRLo on stage to debut their new project. When Linney got on top of the decks and began singing Avicii’s “Wake Me Up,” my heart skipped a beat.
“I didn’t know until that morning that I would be called on stage to join MaRLo and Linney, who did such an incredible performance,” Triode told me. It was a dream come true for the Bay Area DJ when MaRLo played two of their collabs back-to-back: "Wake Me Up” and “Castles In The Sky.” “I was thinking as I was walking off stage: seeing a huge crowd react so positively to a song you made on your laptop is a producer's dream come true.”
ASOT reminded me of my love for trance. A shoutout to all the DJs who filled my heart with an endless combination of percussion and melodies, each with its own rhythm. A shoutout to all of the passion, empathy, and respect I felt at the show elevating me to another level. And a shoutout to my bank account since I maxed out my credit card, but it was all worth it because my love for A State of Trance has no limit.
1000/10 will def do again!