Electronic dance music continues to be in high demand in Los Angeles. Attempting to cash in on the city’s interests, dozens of event planners scramble to schedule the most famous DJs on a weekly basis. With demands rising, merely finding a venue and arranging a line-up is not cutting it anymore. Fans want to see the biggest names perform on the biggest stages, which is the specialty of Insomniac Events. Founded in 1993, Insomniac continues to pioneer live dance music shows across the United States, and Friday night was no different – as they organized a show featuring trance superstar Dash Berlin at Hollywood’s Palladium.
Beginning as a music project formed in 2007 in the Netherlands, Dash Berlin is a production trio made up of Eelke Kalberg, Sebastiaan Molijn, and Jeffrey Sutorius. Often associated with the group’s front man and touring DJ, Sutorius, Dash Berlin has become one of the most famous acts in electronic music. Known for transcending both trance and progressive genres, Dash Berlin continues to remain relevant in an ever-changing era of dance music. Heralded as masters of vocal and bass-line driven trance, Friday’s performance proved why Dash Berlin is one of the most sought after live acts touring the globe today.
Stepping to the turntables a few minutes before midnight, Sutorius (Dash Berlin) was greeted by a monstrous ovation. As a digitalized introduction boomed in the background, the 4,000 fans chanted the name of DJ Mags’ eighth ranked DJ in the world. Forming a silhouette against the massive screens behind him, Dash Berlin stood at the front of the stage holding a small-digital screen. Reminiscent of an iPad, a message flew across the screen saying hello to Los Angeles and his fans. As the introduction concluded with a five-second countdown, the “journey into music and sound” began with a flurry of lasers, strobes and streams of CO2 and fog.
Famous for swooping melodies and emotion tingling productions, Dash Berlin created an atmosphere rarely seen at live music events. The amount of excitement and energy from the sold-out crowd was overpowering, and it apparently fueled the Dutch DJ as he stood at the turntables for four energetic hours. Violently thrusting his fists in the air and climbing around the stage throwing out t-shirts to deserving diehards, Sutorius played everything from unreleased tracks to Dash Berlin classics. Joined on two occasions by live vocalists Chris Madin and John Mendelsohn, Dash Berlin undoubtedly left every person inside the Palladium amazed as he controlled the crowd as a whole and individual emotions. Spectacular build-ups made way to soaring vocals as each track had a distinct level of importance to the night as a whole; a characteristic only found in sets by amazing talents like Dash Berlin. Described below are the most memorable tracks played throughout Friday’s performance.
Songs you need to know: (Note: all YouTube videos are previews)
- Eyes (Original Mix) – Kaskade ft. Mindy Gledhill
Played towards the beginning of Dash Berlin’s incredible set, ‘Eyes’ is a harmonic anthem with an ability to tap into an audience’s emotions. Between Kaskade’s flawless harmony and Mindy Gledhill’s soothing vocals, ‘Eyes’ is one of the most beautiful tracks electronic music has to offer. Paired with Insomniac’s world-class stage production, it was a very powerful opening to the night. YouTube
- Sanctuary feat. Lucy Saunders – Gareth Emery vs. Kidsos – Sebastian Ingrosso
Somewhere between a live edit and a bootleg, this track absolutely blew the roof off of Palladium. The flawlessness of ‘Sanctuary’ and the recognizable melody from ‘Kidsos’ (reworked from ‘Kids’ – MGMT) creates something special when it’s played.
Here is a decent rendition posted on YouTube
- Superstring (Rank 1 Remix) vs. Insomnia, We Come One (Acapella)
Debuted last year during the A State of Trance 500 celebration, this mash-up is one of the most detailed edits available. Combining the powerful, dark vocals with the massive trance synths – this edit is overpowering, yet intriguing. YouTube
- Reverie (Dash Berlin Remix) – First State feat. Sarah Howells
One of Dash Berlin’s most notable remixes, this track provides a heavy trance bassline with a beautiful chorus, breakdown combination. Full of piano and unmistakable vocals, ‘Reverie’ brought the crowd to life Friday night.
- Till The Sky Falls Down (Dash Berlin 4AM Mix)– Dash Berlin feat. Vera
A musical masterpiece, ‘Till The Sky Falls Down’ is what thrust Dash Berlin into the massive world of trance music. Combining gorgeous vocals and incredibly unique synths, it is one of the catchiest songs ever produced. Everyone in the sold-out Palladium sang along to the emotional mix. YouTube
- Disarm Your Sun & Moon (Dash Berlin Mashup) – Dash Berlin vs. Above & Beyond
Combining two of the most incredible trance songs from recent years, this edit makes it seem as if the original tracks were meant for each other. Giving each track a completely new feel, this mash-up seamlessly blends the two hits together, resulting in something inspiring and spectacular. YouTube
Before Dash Berlin’s set even began Friday night, the synthesized introduction spoke of a “melodic journey into sound.” The unknowing music fan may have been a bit perplexed by the explanation, but after witnessing his set there is no doubt they fully grasp the reason Dash Berlin is one of the most famous artists in the world. The evening showcased a pure and uplifting performance by Dash Berlin and world-class production by Insomniac Events, reaffirming both their positions high atop the electronic music hierarchy.