District 36 has had its share of great trance acts come through their doors. This night was a special double bill featuring the New York debut of Leon Bolier and the return of Lange—a DJ who visits New York all too infrequently. Many of us waited a long time for Leon Bolier to come to New York. I recall having the “which DJs do you want to see in New York” discussion countless times with many people, and the name Leon Bolier always seemed to pop up. At last, it was finally time for the trance star to come to the Big Apple. I was happy that Esscala Entertainment and EDMNYC were able to bring him over. The added bonus of a live performance of “Obvious” from Betsie Larkin made the night extra special. Miami local talent Michael Gin warmed up the night getting us ready for what was about to unfold.
Leon Bolier is a talented DJ/producer from the Netherlands who began producing music at a young age. A classically trained musician, Leon is a master of creating memorable melodies. His unique sound has gained the recognition of some of the biggest names in trance, including Armin van Buuren, who regularly plays his tracks. His excellent production skills have allowed him to travel around the world, playing at the most elite clubs and trance events. Leon has his own label called Streamlined under the Spinnin’ umbrella.
Lange is a veteran of the Trance scene and his music holds a special place in my heart. He has performed at many of the world’s largest EDM events and most popular clubs. Intercity, his radio show, is one of the most popular EDM radio shows in addition to being one of the top 100 podcasts on iTunes. Lange Recordings is the name of record label, which showcases his productions as well as that of other world-class producers. His track “Let It All Out” is one of my favorite vocal trance tracks and is a reason why I like trance so much today. I had the pleasure of seeing him live at day two of ASOT 450 in NYC. I was also lucky enough to catch him a year ago in Chicago. Both performances were sensational. I had high expectations for both Leon and Lange that night. However, I was not prepared for the supercharged sets that both DJs would play that night.
Before Leon even began his set, people were chanting his name. We knew he was going to give us something special. Bolier opened with the beautiful “Prelude and Kiev”, one of his latest tracks. It was an excellent intro track, complete with a haunting melody and an energetic bassline. Leon played another original called “You”, which had the classic Leon Bolier flavor. The pounding percussion and dark synth sounds seemed to take possession of everyone on the dancefloor. I was pleased at the reaction Leon drew from the crowd. It was early in his set, and we were already going wild.
Throughout his entire set, Leon Bolier laid waste to the dancefloor by dropping bombs like Sander van Doorn’s “Slap My Pitch Up.” Mr. Bolier was all about the hard hitting percussion, huge bass lines and epic synths, and the Sander original was perfect for getting everyone energized. Leon also had plenty of original tracks to throw at us. All of them were made with one thing in mind: dancefloor destruction. Leon’s “Me” was a prime example of the type of track that made Leon so popular. The crowd went wild for this song and began cheering his name again.
People went ballistic when Leon dropped “US,” an irresistibly dancey track. One does not simply sit still while listening to a Leon Bolier set. Everyone on the floor was dancing hard, having a blast. Leon also dropped a mashup of his massive “Vengeance Vengeance” and Above & Beyond’s “Sun & Moon.” I don’t think there was anyone in the club who wasn’t dancing after he dropped this one. A key moment of the set was when Leon played “Outsider” by Beat Service. One of my favorite tunes on the Coldharbour label, “Outsider” is a showstopper. The powerful melody of “Outsider” whipped the crowd into a frenzy. As blown away as I already was, Leon Bolier still had a few more presents for us. The stunning “2099” was a great late set banger. “Cape Town,” one of his most popular tracks, was the perfect way for Leon to finish this dynamite set.
After Leon finished, the room exploded with cheers of gratitude. Bolier had taken us on an unforgettable journey, and now the stage was set for Lange and Betsie Larkin, who was already prepared for her performance of “Obvious”. She stood on the second floor overlooking the crowd next to the DJ booth. Several of us held up large signs referencing “Obvious” because this performance was to be part of the music video for the tune. Betsie did a great job singing live and the crowd reacted very well. Everyone was either dancing or cheering Betsie on. A bunch of us sang along with Betsie. Those who didn’t know the words and wanted to sing only needed to look to one of the signs as many of them displayed the lyrics to the tune.
Betsie finished to a roar of cheers from the crowd. Finally, it was Lange’s turn to take over for the night. Lange kicked it off with big room hits like Gareth Emery’s “The Saga.” Once again, the floor was filled with dancers. Like Leon, Lange decided to play a bit of Anjunabeats. The track was a mashup of Omnia & IRA’s “The Fusion” and Above & Beyond’s classic “Alone Tonight” and it was a monster mashup. When he played it, I was on the upper floor with Betsie and a few others, but I couldn’t resist dancing. Lange played a number of unreleased bangers that had his alias LNG written all over them. I enjoyed dancing to the heavy bass grooves of these tunes. Later on, Lange dropped Ferry Corsten’s “Live Forever,” another great crowd pleaser. Lange was doing a great job of mixing up the hard hitting bass tracks with his trancier material.
Towards the middle of his set, Lange kicked up the bpm and threw in a few Euphonic goodies. The first was Kyau & Albert’s “This Love,” a stunning vocal track from one of trance’s most beloved duos. Lange knew the perfect time to drop this track, and the crowd responded well to the bright chords and soothing vocals. The second Euphonic track was Ronski Speed’s remix of “Megashira”, a track with a gorgeous melody and a bassline that hits like a tiger. Lange was really turning the heat up, and doing a great job of reading the crowd.
The night was near its end, but Lange was far from finished. Lange devastated the floor with his mashup of the Andy Moor remix of his own “Let It All Out” with the Heatbeat remix of “This Is New York” by Lange & Gareth Emery. Afterwards, Lange hit us with more Heatbeat, this time in the form of “Rocker Monster.” Trance fans all around me were jumping and stomping to this massive tune. Lange saw that we were enjoying the Armada vibe, so he kept it up with Armin van Buuren and Orjan Nilsen’s “Belter.” The mystical sounds of this hit sent us into a state of trance. Lange finished with the crowd pleasing Chris Schweizer remix of “Zombienation”. It was early in the morning, but a lot of us were still in the club and we applauded after Lange was done.
Overall, the night was a huge success. Both Leon and Lange delivered stellar sets that filled the room with good vibes all night long. Leon came out with guns blazing with a dynamic set that was impossible not to dance to. Lange played an excellent blend of hard-hitting trance tracks and vocal trance tunes. Betsie Larkin’s guest performance was a welcomed bonus to an already amazing night. After hearing these masters at work, I hope they will visit New York more often in the future. Esscala Entertainment and EDMNYC gave us one of the hottest events to happen this summer, and I’m excited to see what they have in store for us in the future.
Jean-Luc Mosley for EDMNYC
Leon Bolier – Prelude & Kiev
Leon Bolier – You
Sander van Doorn – Slap My Pitch Up
Marcel Woods & W&W – Trigger
Snatt & Vix – So Far Away (Leon Bolier remix)
Matisse, Sadko & Arty – Trio (ID remix)
Leon Bolier – Me
Leon Bolier – Us
Ummet Ozcan – The Box
Rank 1 – Airwave (CJ Stone & Milo.nl bootleg)
Leon Bolier vs Above & Beyond – Sun & Vengeance (Armin van Buuren mashup)
Beat Service – Outsider
Leon Bolier & Marcus Schossow – 2009
Leon Bolier – Cape Town
Lange feat. Betsie Larkin – Obvious
Gareth Emery – The Saga
Above & Beyond vs Omnia & IRA – The Fusion Tonight (mashup)
Ferry Corsten – Live Forever
Armin van Buuren – We Are Here To Make Some Noise
Kyau & Albert – This Love
Marc Marberg with Kyau & Albert – Megashira (Ronski Speed remix)
Lange feat. Sarah Howells (&Andy Moor) vs Lange & Gareth Emery (& Heatbeat) – This Is All Out (Lange mashup)
Heatbeat – Rocker Monster
Armin van Buuren & Orjan Nilsen – Belter
Kernkraft 400 – Zombienation (Chris Schweizer bootleg)