Armin van Buuren’s Invasion Tour heads to ibiza for its summer residency, bringing with it an army of the finest trance and progressive music producers and DJs. Privilege, the world’s largest club, provides the headquarters for the summer occupation as Armin and his trance army set about restoring the genre to its rightful place on the world’s party island. There will be no curfew but clubbers will be expected to turn out in their thousands and enjoy the talent of some of the scene’s most prolific performers, they will be taking no prisoners! Monday nights will see Privilege filled with the sound of trance from some of the finest exponents of the genre from around the world, with Armin Van Buuren steering the ship on a weekly basis, tonight, he is joined by Jochen Miller, Markus Schulz and Dash Berlin as Ibiza gets set for the invasion!
Privilege is officially the largest club in the world; the main room is like a converted airport hanger (in size only), which has been transformed into the ultimate arena in which to showcase some of the world’s finest trance talent. The DJ booth stands at one end of the massive room, elevated to give it pride of place and command an almost regal presence above the floor below. The booth in the middle of the room, surrounded by a moat, has been commandeered by the lighting technician, and with the size of the led screen behind the booth and the lighting throughout the room, the airport comparisons continue as his desk looks like a cockpit!
Arriving just before 2am, the car park is packed, not a major shock as AVB is one of the most popular DJs on the global scene and tonight he has invited a few others to join him in celebrating the opening of ASOT. If you have never witnessed Privilege when it is full to capacity, it is a sight to see. After squeezing ourselves into the main room, we head for high ground to get our bearings and there is a sea of heads, all facing the elevated booth, banners and flags in the crowd, there is a real festival feel to the night. The atmosphere is electric! Markus Schulz is in full swing; we just missed Jochen Miller (Jochen van der Steijn), who by all accounts, speaking to the clubbers around us, warmed the party up nicely – his own track, a collaboration with W& W called ‘Summer’ providing the first monster cheer of the evening.
Markus Schulz flies the German flag alongside the Dutch contingent, although, strictly speaking these days he lives in Miami. The talented DJ/ producer is no stranger to playing to a massive crowd, a fact that is underlined by the ease at which he controls it. While AVB is undoubtedly tonight’s headliner, there is a lot of love in the crowd for Schulz. His compilation Los Angeles 12 Unmixed Vol 1 is currently grabbing headlines in the electronic press and his Global DJ broadcast remains one of the most listened to trance shows on air. It’s not hard to see why he is such a popular member of the trance family. His driving beats and euphoric breakdowns have the crowd reacting in unison every time. It’s a shame we couldn’t bottle the energy in the main room, it would provide a feasible energy option!
While there is no doubting the talent on show there is also no doubting that AVB is the man that most of this crazy capacity crowd has come to see. The roar that goes up fro the main room as he enters the elevated booth is testament to that! AVB starts his set with W&W’s ‘Invasion’ and so it begins, a two rollercoaster of old and new anthems, chunky, dubby, synth driven tunes mixed in with some of the most angelic vocals, taking the huge crowd up and down on a whim. This is a DJ at the very top of his game, he has been in constant demand in the past few years, playing all over the world in an almost constant tour cycle, and it shows, he has the crowd in the palm of his hand, when he’s not waving them in the air that is, and he is delivering a masterclass. Just when you think he couldn’t take them any higher, he manages to squeeze a few extra inches out of the Privilege roof and finished his set with ‘Burned With Desire’. As the track drops and the haunting vocal of Justine Suissa kicks in, the place erupts once again. You’ve got to feel some sympathy for the guy following that performance!
That job falls to Dash Berlin and it’s not one he is taking lightly. After a year that saw him catapult into the DJ top ten and a hectic tour schedule that is matched only by his production schedule, he is more than able to pick up the trance baton and take the party home. The closing set is not always the easiest but he makes it look that way. Dropping bomb after bomb on the main room, he actually played for an hour longer than billed, he spectacularly finished off what has been an amazing opening party. Armin van Buurens mantle coming into this season is to return trance to its rightful spot amongst the Ibiza faithful, if the opening party is anything to go by, job done!