The legendary Armin van Buuren returned to the Congress Theater this past weekend to grace the city of Chicago with an unforgettable 3 hour set. Opening the show with his newly released track “We Are Here to Make Some Noise,” awarded the audience what may very well be one of the hardest hitting openings that Armin has ever constructed. Confetti filled the air right from the start and within the first 30 seconds, Armin had already completely enticed the audience by utilizing this new track.
Giving “We Are Here to Make Some Noise” the long play out it deserved, Armin then mixed into another huge hit of the year “J’ai Envie de Toi.” The crowd instantly fell in love with this heavy opening, as the ground and walls shook with the overwhelming excitement. This assembly in particular was one of the most diverse that the Congress had ever seen for an EDM show, with trance lovers of all ages in attendance. Armin has been uniting crowds through trance for over fifteen years and tonight was no different. Seeing this diverse crowd come together through music was truly a beautiful sight.
He continued to take the audience on a journey through some of the best trance and progressive tracks from the past year. I was actually surprised at some of the tracks he chose for this set; surprised in a good way of course. Popular remixes and mash-ups like “Man on the Skyfire,” “Not Giving Up on Love,” “Tokyo” and “Concrete Angel” were huge hits with this audience.
For three straight hours, Armin kept the crowd jumping and dancing to a fast-pace, hard-hitting set. He knows exactly how to keep his fans going all night and is constantly interacting with the audience. In fact, this was one of the most versatile sets I’ve ever heard from Armin, as there was definitely something for everyone. The crowd made it known that they were enraptured by his behind-the-decks work and towards the end they began chanting “Armin!” so loud that it actually overtook the music. It was then that Armin quieted the music to stop and take a bow.
As he closed out his set with an acoustic mix of “Going Wrong,” Armin made his way through the front row of the crowd to give out high fives and handshakes. The crowd screamed and begged for one more song and of course, the trance maven obliged. He shook the crowd with an awesome remix of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and once again proved that he refuses to be a prisoner of his own style. Trance, progressive house and even a little rock ‘n’ roll-- Armin definitely spun one of his best sets ever for Chicago.
- Jaimee Lieske of Global Dance Electronic (email@example.com)