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Entranced by Movement: The Return of Paul van Dyk

Photography: Bryan Yalta

When an array of EDM events start popping out, they’re usually taken as an early sign of summer time—people start going out more often; wearing less, dancing more. Once one walks through a room of rhythmic body movements and constant fist bumping, it becomes easier to see what mainly attracts the public to attend: the music itself. On April 28th, German DJ Paul van Dyk headlined the Friday evening show at Southside Music Hall with guests Vini Vici, Alex M.O.R.P.H, and Heatbeat, providing hard-hitting club beats, kaleidoscopic lighting, and enough bass drops to get an audience more than hyped.

As people crowded the venue, the vibrancy of the room enlivened while opening acts Heatbeat and Alex M.O.R.P.H set rhythm in motion with their performance sets. Luminous orbs hovered over the audience from the ceiling, alternating between a variety of colors in congruence with the mood of each track played. To complement this, the stage set design featured tall LED screens displaying rapid visual backgrounds, which evidently enhanced audience interest. The crowd itself was a spectacle to watch, from countless people sporting LED lights on their clothes to exuberant rave costumes worn in addition to neon accessories galore.

When Vini Vici started his set, the LED screens onstage turned off, which gave off an enigmatic vibe that fueled the ongoing energy of many dancers. The darker ambiance in the room escalated once the orbs hanging from the ceiling refracted from the stage lights towards the crowd, putting attention on the main floor—the braggadocio of skillful dancers, groups of people jumping with one arm in the air, everyone interpreting the Psytrance sound of the performer.

As appropriate, Paul van Dyk’s workstation was elevated high from the stage floor, overlooking the entire music hall. Visually, his performance was interactive with the audience in that those orbs, which were still all throughout the night, began to descend down towards the crowd as they turned red. What could be seen outside from the main floor were these colored balls coming down then going up continuously as more radiant visual patterns appeared onstage on the LED screens.

Music video for "Touched by Heaven" by Paul van Dyk

The Dreamstate tour the German DJ is headlining could be considered as a comeback for him, as this is his first tour after recovering from a stage accident in Europe last year. Although the accident might’ve caused physical injury for Dyk, there didn’t seem to be any damage taken at his creative output. It was apparent that he was happy back in his position behind his workstation, smiling at the crowd and dancing with himself, and this is reflected in his music. Trance being a hypnotic genre due to its repetitive nature, it was surprising to hear a change in style. There are enough elements in Dyk’s material to keep your feet moving and ears satisfied. Having released a new song, “Touched by Heaven,” it’s safe to say that Paul van Dyk’s upcoming music has success reserved in its future. His pulsating rhythms and ethereal synth melodies illustrate why he is one of the front runners in Trance music, especially in a live setting.


The Dreamstate tour continues with its North American dates until the end of May. Don't miss out on this opportunity to see these acts live. Check out some more photos from the show below.

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