Presented by GEM, Embrace and Z103.5
Reviewed by Scott Willats
Is there any DJ in the world who has a following that can even come close to the masses Tiesto requires? If there is I have yet to see them. Weeks — and I’m talking almost 10 weeks in advance — people were not only talking about the Dutch Master but preparing to buy tickets to an event that was two weeks away from being available to purchase! No matter what would happen — I mean, Tiesto’s Pioneers could break for all anybody cared — the show was going to be a triumph.
Going to a Tiesto concert is like going to a Rolling Stones or U2 concert. It’s so much more than the music. It is an event. I can still remember the days when Tiesto would come to Toronto and play a club. A club!? Not even the capacity of Guvernment could hold this man anymore; he is simply bigger than his music. He is the Sidney Crosby, the Lebron James, the Lionel Messi. He is the Number One.
Before we talk Tiesto, we must first give a strong and healthy round of applause for North America’s number one prospect: Wolfgang Gartner. If you like electro … no, if you like house … no, if you like GOOD MUSIC, then you like Wolfgang Gartner. This. Man. Has. Skills! Earlier in the day I was lucky enough to sit with Gartner (look out for that on bpm Spotlight!) and talk a little about his North American tour. You could see in his eyes that this is his time. Gone was the predictable show with good cuts and precise mixes. We are now talking about entertainment at its finest. Lights fit for the Bloody Beetroots, a stage usually only seen at Mau5 shows and beats … oh my, beats that few, very few DJs could match. He killed the show.
I was running around trying to get five minutes with Tiesto, so I did miss some of his performance — but what I saw was special. The reason I speak so highly of this man is because he has something most artists lack: consistency. I’m being perfectly honest when I say I like every single one of his songs. Now, I like most electro, so I’m a tad biased. But I also appreciate top-class stuff, and this man has it all. His version of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony stopped the crowd in their tracks. The heavy violin pulsating through Ricoh Coliseum’s speakers: so dramatic, the bass line so heavy, and the response so necessary. “Illmerica” stepped up with its flirting strings “egging” the beat on. He bumped “Forever” with Will.i.am on the vocals, giving the crowd something to sing along with, and killed us with his best track at the moment, “Space Junk,” which is simply indescribable. All the while blessing us with songs we’ve not yet heard (look out for the album) in between his hits. Well done to the man from California, who is sure to be a household name very soon.
On to the entrée. I was wondering how Wolfgang Gartner could open for Tiesto — Tiesto being the absolute Godfather of Trance and Gartner such an electro-inspired artist. But no problem for the Dutchman, nothing lost in translation. It was funny, because when I got to talk to Tiesto I noticed that he didn’t like being referred to as a Trance DJ. He really doesn’t want to be pigeonholed in a genre. His show proved to me that he is on an adventure almost to redefine himself as an artist, as he ranged from his own classics all the way to dubstep tracks like the Skrillex remix of Benny Benassi‘s “Cinema.”
The crowd was young and energetic and fit the bill perfectly, but I noticed that a certain song almost went unnoticed: “Turn Up the Volume,” by Toronto’s own Autoerotique. (Btw, this is so far my choice for Video of the Year. Check it out here and support Canadian artists, my friends.) He also played two tracks featuring Martina Sorbara of Dragonette: Martin Solveig‘s “Hello” and Kaskade‘s “Fire In Your New Shoes.” And our Vancouver girls Tegan and Sara featured in his banger “Feel It In My Bones,” from his last album Kaleidoscope. A huge smile spread across my face to see Tiesto paying homage to our country. A class act by the man more than many regard as the BEST DJ EVER!
The concert was a triumph — and was it really ever going to be anything else? On a night when Boys Noize, Kaskade and Axwell were less than five minutes down the street, Tiesto’s turnout says no more about the man than we already knew. This is Tiesto’s world, and we are all lucky to be living in it.