Summer is the season of music festivals, and this year, the number of EDM festivals that have taken place this summer is the highest it’s ever been. And while Paul van Dyk is one of the rockstar-status DJs that you would find playing to a field of thousands of people during this time of year, he decided to spend last night the way playing in a nightclub at an obscene hour of night. When van Dyk got on the decks at Liquid in front of a sold-out crowd, he not only gave 100% of himself, but he also showed that a DJ can have just as much fun as the crowd dancing to the music.
While fans were quite responsive to his signals to clap to the beat or jump, he wasn’t just directing them- he was doing it with them. When interludes in the set came, he would pretend to play the melody with his hands, or if there were vocals in the song, you could see him mouthing out the lyrics. He was very personal with the crowd: grabbing hands and fistbumping with everyone that reached out to him, and he even put up a couple of roses on the decks as if it were a romantic dinner- if that dinner consisted solely of vodka and cranberry cocktails. And van Dyk didn’t need a microphone to tell the crowd how much fun he was having- you could tell he was having the most genuine of fun seeing the smile on his face.
Van Dyk began his set at 132 bpm- a noticeably brisker pace than the typical starting pace of 128 bpm. With his songs like “We Are One 2013,” “Rock This” and “The Ocean,” van Dyk came out swinging with hard-hitting trance with hints of electro. But it didn’t take long for him to start throwing in the melodic trance songs that made people hold their hands high in the air. As the night progressed, van Dyk’s set became faster and more uplifting. He saved this time to start playing more vocal tracks, like “Lost in Berlin,” “We are Tonight” and “The Sun After Heartbreak.” And when he played his catchy song “I Don’t Deserve You,” he tried turning down the volume at the chorus to have the crowd sing along, but audience members were unable to - most likely due to the fact that it was nearly 2am and they were all probably drunk by then.