Trance Arena Brought The Trance Family Together
Trance music has many faces. It can be hard hitting and abrasive, yet, on the other hand, bring people to tears. But, no matter what the style, trance has a way of taking one to another dimension of music and dance. React Presents and the Chicago Trance Family has teamed up to create a series of Trance Arena events around the city. This past Friday, the first event at Concord Music Hall went off without a hitch. It was loud, it was diverse, it was trance.
The stage for the event was larger than most stages that come through the venue. The DJ stood tall above the crowd, making the entire set look larger than life. It felt like an arena event regardless of the Concord’s intimate size. The night opened up with Chicago favorites Mario Florek and Peter Kontor doing a fun back-to-back set. They posted some of the set on Facebook Live to bring the party to everyone (catch it at the top of the page) — spreading the love in the true nature of trance. Following their set was Dave Neven. He played a diverse set ranging from heartfelt Dash Berlin remixes (“Man on the Run”) to trance-inducing breakdowns reminiscent of a 90’s underground rave. His signature trance chords filled the venue, which was already full before 11 PM.
The Concord was filled with an array of trance lovers from around the world. It truly felt as though the international community in Chicago came together to enjoy a style of music that is both timeless and worldly. It seemed everyone in the venue spoke a different language. But within the trance community, they all spoke the same language of acceptance and love. The diversity in the audience was remarkable, every person from every walk of life and style seemed to be in attendance – gay, straight, black, white, latino, old, young, dressed-up and dressed-down – it was impossible to feel alone or excluded in the crowd. It showed the beauty of how a genre of music can bring people together, and this is what trance music is all about.
Orjan Nilsen followed Neven and came to the stage with guns blazing. His set was hard-hitting and unapologetic. Nilsen left the heartfelt stuff with Neven and kept the set as high energy as possible. All those sitting in VIP couldn’t help but stand at attention during his set. He dropped fast chords and deep wobbles, creating his own trance mix that the crowd loved. His remix of The Crystal Method brought everyone to attention and held a 4-on-the-floor beat that didn’t quit. If anyone in the audience took his soft cheeks and baby face for granted, they were quickly corrected with this set. His set was not for the faint of heart, with club anthems and heavy bass. By the end of his set, the lights and lasers on the larger-than-life stage were in full effect. The strobes were not for the epileptic, and the trance family embraced them with open arms.
Following Orjan Nielsen was ATB. Opening the set with a remix of Snow Patrol, the sing-along set the stage for the remainder of his set. ATB happens to be one of those men that are lucky enough to get better looking with age; his audience couldn’t help but swoon over his smile and charm. He made sure to let the crowd know how excited he was to be returning to Chicago, a city he has visited countless times before. The speakers got louder after ATB’s set began, and the crowd was in high spirits and full effect. He brought a unique feel to his set, halfway in between house music and that heartfelt cry trance everyone has been talking about lately. When he teased and played “Ecstacy,” the crowd went wild. Of course, ATB dropped the music and let the crowd sing their favorite lyrics as he held his hands in the air embracing each person in the crowd. The set was driven by the downbeat, there wasn’t a still person on the floor. Near the end of the set, it seemed a finale was in order. ATB brought out the microphone and let the crowd hear his beautiful singing voice when he sang “Move On” live on stage. Then, he played a favorite of most, “9 AM,” with a high energy big room drop. As if that wasn’t enough, he played a mashup of “Sandstorm.” ATB continued to sing as his set wound to a close and even dropped a single off of his “next, next new album” for everyone to enjoy. It was clear he was having a lot of fun on stage, dancing, and fist pumping with each beat. He thanked everyone in attendance before the confetti blasted and he ended his set.
The Chicago Trance Family represented hard that night, donning T-shirts and other CTF gear. The entire night was just a taste of what these guys have in store for the next Trance Arena show, and we can’t wait to check out the next event. Of course, Sensible Reason will be here to keep trance lovers posted on this Spring’s schedule.