Beautiful visuals, well organized venue, an unique trance line-up and 35.000 excited trance fans. Saturday February 23rd, was the trance Saturday of the year for the Global trance Family: ASOT 900 Utrecht at the Jaarbeurs, Utrecht in the Netherlands.
Check the recap below & read our report!
The build-up to the event was very hyped and sold out faster than ever. We think that had to do with the stellar line-up this year, with Above & Beyond on the Mainstage which hadn’t happened in the last 5 years. As we arrived at the venue that guess turned out quite correct as we saw lots of merch from the Armada and A State Of Trance brand, but also a lot of Anjunabeats and Group Therapy t-shirts. I entered the venue and watched a bit of Armin’s vinyl warm-up set. It’s great to see his passion for trance music and he delivered with beautiful classics like ‘Sail’. Whether it’s a warm-up set, him in the ASOT radio dome or him on the mainstage, you can see Armin has a big trance heart.
After that I went to see all the other stages and stopped at Fatum. They are rising talents in the progressive and trance 2.0 scene and just dropped their new techno-based ID with Genix, which caused people to rush into this area. For me it was interesting to see how organized an organization as ALDA is. I saw so many passionate fans wanting to be there from the exact beginning and thought they did a great job handling all those packed lines with excited fans. After watching the queues of the general admission entry for a little bit I went on a walking trip around the Jaarbeurs. For someone who hasn’t been there yet: a golf cart would be practical as it’s HUGE! When I arrived at the Who’s Afraid of 138 stage, Davey Asprey was playing his great remix of Markus Schulz ‘The New World’. Crowd favorite and again there were a loads dedicated trance fans there early in the night. I knew I wanted to see more stages, so I quickly went to the PSY stage, where Exis was playing and then went back to Fatum to see how the Road To 1000 stage was filling up. Well, it was almost packed and the crowd was loving both their hit Chocolate and I was pleasantly surprised by their new remix of Andrew Bayer – ‘In My Last Life’.
Took a quick peek at the Progressive stage on my way to the biggest area of them all: the mainstage.
I had already heard a bit of Estiva’s progressive trance meets techno before but when I entered it was time for Cosmic Gate’s special anniversary set. In my opinion Cosmic Gate is always a great headliner with all the hits they have. At the same time I never heard a set where they didn’t play all their hits already. Obviously tonight was not an exception as they played a lot of their well known hits like ‘Fall Into You’, ‘Be Your Sound’, ‘Exploration of Space’ and ‘Fire Wire’. Also a track that stood out to me was the remix of Gareth Emery’s ‘Call To Arms’ because of the impactful drop that they played at the perfect moment within their set in my opinion.
Then came the moment everyone was waiting for. Maybe even more than Armin .. The crowd went wild for Above & Beyond! They started with big club bangers, something I didn’t expect but it had a bit of that mainstage A State Of Trance feel. After that they showed a bit of their softer side as well which was great for the crowd to catch a breath. Jono and Tony’s enthusiasm, together with beautiful visuals. Most of the tracks did extremely well on the dancefloor but what surprised me were all the new material they had lined-up. Genix – ‘UR1’ (loving the techno in a trance set!) , Andrew Bayer- ID (emotional!) and Above & Beyond – ‘Waltz’. Especially the last one is something trance fans will hear on the dancefloors for a long time. Also great to hear some of the fan favorites passing by like Helsinki’s ‘Scorchin’, ‘You’ (Myon Remix), ‘Alone Tonight’ and ‘Prelude’. Of course their push the button moment was again something to remember. Especially since I was standing next to one of the ones who had a moment of their life time: pushing the button in front of 35.000 people while hugging Tony! When she came back you clearly saw it had a huge impact and I love that they still do that for Blue Sky Action. Closing off with Grammy Nominated Northern Soul, Above & Beyond was a great treat for my overall ASOT experience!
Then it was time for the main star of the night, Armin van Buuren himself. What a great opening with his new French track called ‘La Résistance De L’Amour’, together with Russian melody legend Shapov. While I thought that was a nice surprise, the real surprise was yet to come. Above & Beyond came back on stage while they started in their new track ‘Show Me Love’. What a true combination of styles with a beautiful breakdown. While it might not be the track people will remember in the end of their career, it’s a great club track that will be heard throughout summer. Loved some of the remixes of classics in his set like Resurection and Carte Blanche and the quick build-up to the 138 bpm trance with Richard Durand’s remix of Armin van Buuren – ‘Wild Wild Son’ as one of the highlights. One thing that I didn’t really like is the EDM/psy end of his set, especially since a better version of that was coming up in the names of Vini Vici. Closing of with Brennan Heart’s hardstyle remix of ‘Blah Blah Blah’, Armin closed his set with a proper bang!
Vini Vici was giving us a great psy experiences and played some nice surprises like a remix of Ferry Corsten’s Punk and Dash Berlin’s Man on The Run. Loved their honest energy behind the decks and great to see both of them perform! Unfortunately my legs became a bit tired and halfway through their set we decided to head home. Luckily the moment we stepped outside we could still hear the mainstage until the parking lot. The Jaarbeurs is great, but the walls were not thick enough to keep the banging trance out. As it should be. Since trance is going stronger than ever with A State Of Trance as a perfect example how all sub-genres and trance in general is lifting you higher.
Thanks ASOT 900 and we’ll definitely come again next year!
Reporter: Marijn Stijl