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May 05

Armin van Buuren @ The Hollywood Palladium


It's quite a blessing that of all the towns and cities around the world, Armin van Buuren chose Los Angeles to premiere his spectacular new album, Intense (album review here). LA has always meant a great deal to the trance king and his fans made sure to express their overwhelming appreciation on Saturday night. Although there wasn't an official dress code for the night, it might as well have been an unofficial white party event with hundreds of die-hard fans wearing Armin van Buuren t-shirts inside the great Hollywood Palladium. The #trancefamily vibes were strong this evening.

Opening up the sold out event was Armada star Antillas, who played a variety of big room tracks and got quite a bit of love from the audience for his vocal anthem with Fiora, Damaged. Later when the clock struck midnight, beautiful violins began to play as Armin kicked things off with his intro track, Intense. Next he went harder with his sound with recent bangers like D# Fat, Above & Beyond's latest single Walter White, and upcoming banger on Armind called Rio by Klauss Goulart and Mark Sixma.

Armin's performance featured a huge cast of live vocalists including Aruna, Emma Hewitt, Laura Jansen, Lauren Evans, Cindy Alm, and Trevor Guthrie. Even the famous Ron Jeremy showed up on stage for a few seconds to say how much fun he had working with Armin on the music video for This Is What It Feels Like. There were some very intimate moments over the night, like when Laura Jansen sang Use Somebody. You could see Armin being quite moved by the crowd singing their hearts out (see video below). Deeper into the night he kicked up the tempo with tracks like Who's Afraid Of 138?!. Shortly before it ended, he professed his enormous gratitude on the mic and played his latest single This Is What It Feels Like one final time.

Armin van Buuren's Intense Tour event at the Hollywood Palladium was one for the ages; a magical night unlike any other at I've seen at this venue. Don't miss your chance to see him live--check out his full tour schedule here on his website.

Armin van Buuren feat. Lauren Evans - Alone (Original Mix) [Armada]
Armin van Buuren feat. Emma Hewitt - Forever Is Ours (Original Mix) [Armada]
Armin van Buuren - Who's Afraid Of 138?! (Original Mix) [Armada]
May 13

Armin Only: Intense Hits California


For fans of Armin van Buuren, there is no event quite like Armin Only. Featuring an extended set from the man himself as well as multiple instrumentalists, vocalists, and dancers, Armin Only is Armin as he should truly be seen. The current Armin Only tour is in celebration the release of his most recent album, Intense, and it brings with it all of the raw, emotional energy found in what is perhaps the five-time #1 DJ's most crossover-friendly work to date.

LessThan3 was lucky enough to attend the San Jose and Los Angeles dates, and each offered an extended look into the musical mind of one of the most prominent electronic musicians of our generation. For any dance music fan in the general vicinity of SJ or LA, these truly were events not to be missed.

SAP Center, San Jose

Words by Josh Bennett.

The SAP Center in San Jose does not play host to DJs very often, but you wouldn't know it upon entering the arena on May 1. The place was alive with excitement, from the floor to the upper rafters. From the moment Armin appeared onstage as a silhouette behind a blue orb, the entire audience was captivated by the melodic offerings of the king of trance.

A more progressive set gave way to Intense sounds when the orb lifted and the crowd could finally see Armin for the first time. The album's title track was the kick-off of this section of the set. It featured a live violinist playing the violin part of the track with all the prowess of a classically trained musician. From that point forward, the energy never backed off for a second. Andrew Rayel's Dark Warrior followed, which had Armin doing the signature "Rayel hand wave" that Andrew has become known for in his live sets.

The real magic in this show came whenever Armin used live instrumentalists and vocalists. From stunning drum solos to majestic piano performances and guitar provided by Armin's brother Eller van Buuren, Armin's set showed why trance is arguably the most "musical" of all the genres of electronic music. A personal highlight was when Alone vocalist Lauren Evans revealed in the middle of her powerhouse vocal performance that she wrote the song after seeing a man fall on the street and no one come to his aid. It was a moving moment for everyone in attendance. Even at the end of his set, Armin continued to honor his vocalists and instrumentalists in a way that most DJs are rarely seen doing, bringing them all onstage to thunderous applause. Armin is a man who knows how to honor his team.

The Forum, Los Angeles

Words by Chris Downar.

It had been over six years since an Armin Only event took place in Los Angeles, so the crowd was more than ready to give Armin a full welcome on Friday, May 9 at The Forum. Fans poured into the venue early to experience the full duration of his five-hour set, with many having flown in from other parts of the country to attend. Nearly everyone was up on their feet and dancing throughout the show, even given the fact that most of the arena has seating.

Intense is the perfect term to describe the spectacular LA production of Armin van Buuren's unparalleled concert experience. Time flew by, and there was never a dull moment. The custom visuals on the huge LED screens held everyone's attention, and were wonderfully crisp and life-like. The amazing cast that Armin invited all delivered very impassioned performances. It was the perfect blend of DJing, live instruments, acrobatics, and singing. Some of the moments that really stood out were when Koen Herfst unleashed a riveting drum solo, when Armin's brother Eller van Buuren rocked out on his guitar during This Is What It Feels Like, and when the singer Lauren Jansen had everyone singing their hearts out to Use Somebody.

At times the show felt a bit like a rock concert, but it still had the goosebump-inducing magic of one of Armin's signature A State Of Trance DJ sets. Some of the tracks that had everyone going wild were his Airport Shivers mashup, his In and Out of Love / Raw Deal mashup, and the beautiful tribute song RAMelia by RAM and Susana. The crowd was overjoyed when a shower of enormous yellow happy-faced beach balls fell from the stadium's ceiling during Armin's latest banger Ping Pong.

For information on upcoming Armin Only tour dates, click here.
Dec 24

Interview: Armin van Buuren

With music, tastes are constantly changing, and this is a good thing; it’s called evolution. The Beatles listened to Bob Dylan. Music wouldn’t survive without this evolution because otherwise everything would sound the same and everybody would be bored of it.
Armin van Buuren feat Adam Young - Youtopia (Original Mix) [Armada]
Aug 23

Daily Newsbyte 8.23

It's Friday, and you know what that means. But until then, here's a free new Crystal Method video game tune, previews of new material from I Am Legion and Hardwell, the dates for the annual BPM Festival in Mexico, and more in the Newsbyte.

Legends Of Electronica

Nobody soundtracks video games like The Crystal Method... or bank robberies, car chases, grimy alleys, illegal transactions, or mischievous conspiring, for that matter.

With a gaming soundtrack resume full of titles like "Blur," "Pump It Up," "N2O," and multiple "Need For Speed" games (the irony of which we will never stop enjoying), the guys were the perfect choice when Riot Games needed a theme song for their MOBA game League of Legends' latest character, Lucian.

LA's dark beasts of breaks teamed up with Riot Games to produce a three-and-a-half-minute original named for the new character flaunting tons of dark vibes packed into a dense groove, making it a perfect track by which to drive your enemies before you. If you play, expect to be distracted by the jam while logging into Lucian.
Watch the more vocal video version below, and pick up your free copy of the TCM instrumental here.

Armin Teases Universal Religion 7

For the seventh edition of his annual Universal Religion album, Armin van Buuren one-offed the entire set (as per usual) at the A State of Trance night in Privilege, Ibiza. Today, Armin and team released the above teaser video and tracklist, below, full of recent material from Armada family artists and friends.

Preorder the double-disc album here before it drops Sept. 13.

01 Antony Waldhorn -- Theatrum (Intro Rework)
02 Mark Sixma -- Character
03 CE3SAR -- Lakota (ilan Bluestone Remix)
04 Arisen Flame -- Gladius
05 Alex M.O.R.P.H. & Natalie Gioia -- Dreams
06 Rex Mundi -- Aureolo
07 Mark Knight, D. Ramirez V Underworld -- Downpipe (Armin van Buuren Remix)
08 Armin van Buuren feat. Cindy Alma -- Beautiful Life (Protoculture Remix)
09 Ørjan Nilsen -- Violetta
10 Omnia -- Immersion
11 Skytech -- The Other Side
12 Ronski Speed feat. Lucy Saunders -- Rise Again (Omnia Remix) 13 Dash Berlin feat. Jonathan Mendelsohn -- World Falls Apart (Jorn van Deynhoven Remix) 14 Eximinds -- Euphoria
15 Max Graham -- The Evil ID
16 Andrew Rayel & Jwaydan -- Until The End (Club Mix)

01 Andrew Rayel -- Dark Warrior
02 Ralphie B -- Ragnarok
03 ECO -- A Cry To The Moon
04 Alex M.O.R.P.H. -- Eternal Flame (Solarstone Pure Mix)
05 Craig Connelly & Christina Novelli -- Black Hole (Jorn van Deynhoven Remix)
06 Wach -- The Queen
07 Simon Patterson feat. Lucy Pullin -- The One
08 Jorn van Deynhoven -- Six Zero Zero
09 Ciro Visone -- First Coming (Ian Standerwick Remix)
10 Andrew Rayel & Alexandre Bergheau -- We Are Not Afraid Of 138
11 Dart Rayne & Yura Moonlight and Sarah Lynn -- Silhouette (Allen & Envy Remix)
12 Sergey Nevone & Simon O'Shine -- Apprehension (Aly & Fila Mix)
13 Armin van Buuren -- Who's Afraid Of 138?! (Photographer Remix)
14 Jase Thirlwall -- Freaked *
15 Shogun -- Skyfire *
16 Photographer -- Airport *
17 Armin Van Buuren feat. Susana -- Shivers *
18 A.R.D.I. -- Beyond The Time

* (Armin van Buuren Mash Up)

I Am Legion... And Am Really Good At Rapping

After two premieres and a new video for their upcoming collaborative project, Noisia and Foreign Beggars, or I Am Legion, blasted out a free minimix of the debut album due out Sept. 2 on OWSLA, showcasing what the two groups do best.

The mix stitches together some veteran-level hip hop verses from a handful of tunes from the album full of heavy Noisia bass and smooth Foreign Beggars spits. Pick up the self-titled debut when it drops here.

BPM Dates Announced

The larger-than-life BPM festival in Mexico announced today via their Facebook page that the annual festival will take place January 3-12, 2014.

No lineup or tickets yet, but check back for more details for your planning needs. Hasta el enero.

Toolroom Upgrades Classic Hardware With Hardwell

To celebrate some of the incredible Toolroom releases over the years, the seminal record label is holding an Anniversary Remix series, which sees modern masters on the label remix classics that got the crew to where they are today.

Mark Knight and Funkagenda's cover of Laurent Garnier's The Man With The Red Face was a big move for the label in the dance music scene, winning them multiple awards in 2008, and Hardwell takes it for a spin in this installment of the Anniversary Remix series. Watch the video below, and pick it up when it drops Sept. 2 in a three-track package with remixes from Rene Amesz and ATFC.

The Crystal Method - Lucian
I Am Legion - I Am Legion Album Preview [OWSLA]
Oct 19

Armin van Buuren Reigns At #1

Armin van Buuren has once again claimed the top spot in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll, making this the fifth year he has been seated atop the chart, more than any other DJ in the poll's history. This comes as a bit of a shocker, as many assumed that David Guetta, with a Facebook fan base of over 35 million, would once again come in as #1, given that the poll is conducted on Facebook.

2012 was a year of great transition for the DJ Mag poll, seeing some long-time mainstays making large falls in the rankings, with relative newcomers bounding up the charts. Techno legend Richie Hawtin falls 33 places to #78, while godfather of electro house Benny Benassi tumbles 43 places to #70. Current industry darling Zedd lands at #51, and Nervo charts at #46, the highest entry ever for a female DJ outfit. Daft Punk continues to rank highly at #44 even without touring or releasing new music, and Porter Robinson jumps a whopping 56 spots to land at #40. Knife Party makes an impressive entry at #33, and rising trance duo W&W lands at #25. Nicky Romero was the highest new entry on the chart, debuting at #17.

The Top 10 was not spared massive changes from last year's poll, with several new entries including a surprising leap to #6 from Dutch DJ Hardwell. American EDM rock star Skrillex cracks the top 10 at #10, while Avicii rises to #3 and David Guetta takes a fall to #4.

The Top 10:

1. Armin van Buuren
2. Tiesto
3. Avicii
4. David Guetta
5. Deadmau5
6. Hardwell
7. Above & Beyond
8. Dash Berlin
9. Afrojack
10. Skrillex

View the full list here.
Ferry Corsten vs Armin van Buuren - Brute (Armin's Illegal Drum Edit) [Flashover]