The most exciting 5 days for the electronic music world just took place from the 16th to the 21st of October during Amsterdam Dance Event. ADE is the equivalent to an electronic music lover’s candyland. The only downfall to it it’s that one cannot clone oneself in order to attend all the incredible events it offers. It wasn’t too hard, however, to decide which show to attend on Thursday night when we saw Awakenings x Adam Beyer presents Drumcode was taking over Amsterdam’s famous club Gashouder.
Drumcode, a Swedish techno label led by icon Adam Beyer, has under its belt some of the best talent in this industry with names such as Amelie Lens, Alan Fitzpatrick, Charlotte De Witte, Green Velvet, Joseph Capriati, Len Faki, Maceo Plex and the list goes on. So, it goes without a doubt that the Drumcode show that would be presented would be nothing but incredible. Drumcode had its debut festival in Amsterdam this past August in collaboration with Awakenings and it blew expectations since they were able to sell out a 15,000 spectator show. Pretty big achievement for being a first time run. This goes to show how pristine the talent and premium the level of production are.
I heard of Gashouder prior to arriving to ADE, recommended by a techno-loving friend who knows how to distinguish good productions from excellent, telling me that no matter what, I have to attend an Awakenings show at this club. He told me about the magnitude of the venue but imagination can only take you so far. Upon arriving to Gashouder, I was completely blown away. To begin with, ADE staff was really professional and welcoming, making it a pleasurable moment from entry. One could hear the music from a few miles away, but the sound system was so good that even if you stood close to the speakers you could have an enjoyable time. Regardless of the dimension of the venue, the sound setting was so well crafted that it was evenly distributed through the whole venue. This to me, was a prize winner, since it allowed for the whole space to be filled by attendees instead of having them crowding up to the front to get better sound. This leads to the next factor I loved about this evening, even though there were clearly many attendees, everyone had the space to dance and have a great time. It was a huge gathering where all music lovers had a blast, making the energy of the place so static and enjoyable.
Of course the incredible talent that took over the stage this night had everything to do with creating this magical atmosphere. It’s not every night that you get to see so many geniuses of music under one roof, playing one after the other. The evening took off at 10PM with New Yorker Layton Giorndani’s set, which lasted two hours. Swedish gal Ida Engberg followed with her 12AM to 1:30 AM set. Enrico Sangiuliano’s set came after, at this point the number of attendees had increased. By the end of his hour and a half set the place was mostly full. The eagerness in the crowd exploded when Adam Beyer began his performance at 3:00AM. I have had the luck of seeing this talented DJ and producer a couple of times before and I feel like he just keeps getting better and better every time. His set began with a softer melodic song with spoken text. This was an incredible way to contain all of the audience’s stagger energy and focus on his set. Many had their phones out to welcome the king to the stage. By the second song people were already on their feet dancing like there was no tomorrow. Every song Beyer played was the piece to the puzzle that crafted a perfect party. Of course, “Your Mind”, which was released this year, could not go unplayed, and boy did the audience enjoy it.
To go along with a mind-blowing set you need a mind-blowing setting. Lucky for us attendees, we had them both. Aside of the moving lamps hung on the very tall ceiling of the club, or the massive lights decorating the stage, there was fire and fireworks. The laser and lights were in conversation with the music, coordinating and dancing along the beat of the song. The fire emphasized the drops, the fireworks the excitement. Next thing you knew you it was 5:00 AM and Dubfire was playing a B2B set with Nicole Moudaber. Casual right?
Even though hours had passed it felt like only minutes, and after what felt like a flash, Amelie Lens was performing a 2 hour killer set. No one wanted the night to end, between the fireworks, the lasers, the palpable emotion, the music, the people, the talent. Everything came perfectly together to create what will be a memorable night for those of us lucky to have experienced it.
If you have ADE in mind for the year (which, I 150% recommend you should), I also extremely suggest you check out the Awakenings series, you will not be disappointed.