I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; New York City has the best variety and innovation in the United States when it comes to dance music, both with live event venues and with individual talents. With that being said, Governor’s Island is just one of those venues that not only provides people with space to party, but offers a spectacular view of New York City as well. Accessible only by ferry, the island hosts not one, but two tents that contain live music that bump till midnight almost every weekend of the summer. One of those tents hosted the legendary German trance DJ/Producer, Paul Van Dyk, this past Sunday, August 11th.
I first discovered Paul via his “Global” CD compilation of his best music in 2003. I stood in the middle of the Virgin Megastore by Union Square and listened to the whole thing, being mesmerized by the euphoric yet tranquil melodies of tracks such as “We Are Alive” and one of my personal all-time favorites, “Forbidden Fruit.” Fast forward a year and his “Reflections” album was purchased by yours truly as soon as it hit the shelves. From that point on, I was hooked on PVD and, although I was too young to make it to a show, I’d vow to do it soon.
Fast forward to today, now. After I finished re-listening to almost all of Paul’s music, my friends and I eagerly awaited the ferry’s arrival at the island. We could already hear the beats pulsating at well above 128 BPM at only 8:00 PM. Right when we arrived, Paul was just beginning to play his best hits. Just as we were able to make it to the front of the tent, we heard an instrumental take on “We Come Together” remixed by the Russian prodigy Arty. This brings me to the next track that gave me goosebumps, and that was Paul’s collaboration with Arty called “The Ocean.” Sometimes, the lighting and atmosphere come together to make one record that might not even sound great in your headphones sound amazing live.
As the night progressed, we were treated to classics such as “Are You Fine?” by Kyau and Albert as well as Gareth Emery’s “Sanctuary.” Paul’s own tracks, of course, such as “Nothing But You,” “Time of Our Lives,” “For an Angel,” and my personal favorite, “Forbidden Fruit,” graced our ears and echoed off the walls of the larger-than-it-looks-online tent on the island. Before we knew it, the night had ended and people were cheering so loud that Paul didn’t even have time to play one more song before the police cut the system off.
Overall, it was a great venue, great temperature (not too hot) and of course a masterful set by the former number 1 DJ in the world made this a night to remember. If I had to say anything negative, there were just a few logistics where sound is concerned could have been improved upon. If you stood in the back of the tent, the music was not loud enough, but that could have possibly been done on purpose because of noise complaints in the area. Otherwise it was an amazing event. Seeing Paul Van Dyk live was something I had been anticipating for years, and this night did not disappoint.
–Kyle Powers for EDMNYC