AS the last support act for the night,Fila of Egyptian duo Aly & Fila,closed their set and lights at the venue dimmed,the 10,000 strong crowd began chanting the name of the man they had all gathered there to see Armin van Buuren. Minutes later,right on schedule at 8 pm,the Dutch DJ took the stage.
The 600th episode of A State of Trance (ASOT) had begun earlier on Saturday afternoon at the Turf Club,Mahalaxmi. But until that moment,the idea of having one leg of the world tour for Buurens wildly popular radio show in India had not entirely sunk in for fans. Then,as the 36-year-old DJ began his set with Waiting For Tonight,it was certain that the show was going to live up to all the hype that had preceded it.
Put together by Submerge,a promotion and events company for dance music in India headed by Nikhil Chinapa,this wasnt Buurens first gig in India he headlined Sunburn in Goa in 2009. But this being ASOT,it was on a much larger scale than the previous. For Buuren,however,there were plenty of reasons to bring the show to India. Ive noticed that a lot of Indian fans listen to my radio show every week,which means a lot to me, he says. The show trends on Twitter every week in India and I feel something is buzzing here at the moment for electronic dance music (EDM).
Since the beginning of his musical career in the mid-nineties,Buurens influence in the world of trance music has grown steadily. In 2001,he began ASOT as a radio show in the Netherlands,but ever since the 250th episode in 2006,the live shows to mark the birthdays have only grown bigger. Buuren,however,attributes this success solely to his fans. People were campaigning on Twitter on their own initiatives to get the show here to Mumbai, he says. This years world tour also includes a number of other cities ASOT has never been to before,including Minsk,Belarus,and Sofia,Bulgaria.
Buuren has topped the DJ list an unprecedented five times in the polls conducted by DJ Magazine. Its important because its an award that is from the fans,its they who vote, he says. Of course,it was a dream to become the No 1 DJ,but its not the first thing that goes through my mind every morning.
As Buuren wrapped up his two-hour-long set on Saturday evening,it became certain that despite a couple of technical glitches one during a crowd favourite In and Out of Love the show had lived up to these fans expectations,and more.