Words and Pictures by Sachyn Mital
What if I told you that Tegan & Sara, Kele Okereke of Bloc Party and Jónsi of Sigur Rós were all on the same album? What if I said it was a techno album? Tiësto--often ranked the world’s #1 DJ--has a new album, the aptly titled Kaleidoscope, packed with myriad indie-crossover collaborations.
On a very late Wednesday night, Tiësto put on an excellent, just-over-two-hour long, show for a sold out crowd at Philadelphia’s Electric Factory. Fueling people with his apparent inexhaustible energy, Tiësto crafted his mixes front and center but danced along at every chance he could. Throughout the set his beats were enhanced by blinding strobe lights and large LCD displays covering the front of his mixing consoles and the back of the stage, incorporating kaleidoscopic shapes, emblems and logos as well as visual segments of the new album's vocal collaborators.
The crowd could not be blamed for anticipating some massive trance anthems and dance-floor smashes considering that Tiësto has four artist albums and countless remix credits. So after being herded into the venue from a line nearly the length of the block, people jammed into every inch possible; some pushed precariously close to the edge of the balcony and some, unlike any of the club shows I’ve seen, even crowd-surfed.
The first song I caught was a bit of Metric’s Emily Haines singing “Knock You Out” before Tiësto played “Century” featuring Scottish producer Calvin Harris, whose statement to “get your hands in the air” was quickly realized by the crowd. The catchy Quin sisters track, “Feel It in my Bones,” had them singing while disembodied green heads twirled around before sweeping off the LCD screens. During “Traffic,” the screens flashed numerous city names rapidly before stopping on Philadelphia and alternating with a command to “MAKE SOME NOISE.” That really set the crowd off.
“Traffic” began as an intense streak of songs with one standing out: “Love Comes Again”, an older collaboration with producer and vocalist BT, gave the crowd the opportunity to sing the encouraging lyrics when Tiësto dropped out the music. Unexpectedly, he continued into “He’s a Pirate”, a remix of the epic-sounding Pirates of the Carribean movie score, before going into his trance-reworking of Barber’s classic and dark “Adaggio for Strings.” Its climactic strings over pulsating beats again threw the crowd into a timed frenzy.
Approaching the venue's cut-off time, Tiësto took a moment to thank the amazing crowd and encourage them to go even more crazy. But instead came the low point of the night: he played the cheesy Zombie Nation song that I will never appreciate. It was a minor blemish in an otherwise energetic finale of a strong show.
Closing the two hour session, Tiësto tossed his headphones into the teeming dance floor before leaving the stage. The profusely sweaty, skeptical crowd chanted for him to return but soon after the house lights came on and people began streaming out into the chilly night, broken down that the show ended so quickly but reassuring themselves that Tiësto would come again.
Tracklist: (from tiestotracklists dot net)
01: Tiesto feat Jonsi – Kaleidoscope
02: Tiesto - Flight 643 (Laidback Luke Edit)
03: Tiesto & Sneaky Sound System - I Will Be Here (Tiesto Remix)
04: Jose Nunez, MYNC, Harry \\\'Choo Choo\\\' Romero - Boogers (Avicii\\\'s Dumb Dumb Remix)
05: Sander van Doorn – Ninety
06: Tiesto feat C.C Sheffield - Escape Me (Extended Mix)
07: Tiesto feat Emily Haines - Knock You Out (Remix ID Unknown)
08: Tiesto feat Calvin Harris – Century
09: Deadmau5 – Strobe
10: Tiesto feat Priscilla Ahn - I Am Strong
11: Tiesto feat Carry Brothers - Here On Earth
12: Tiesto - Always Near (Extended Mix)
13: Tiesto feat Tegan & Sara - Feel It In My Bones
14: Editors - Papillon (Tiesto Remix)
15: Tiesto - Louder Than Boom (Original Mix)
16: (ID Unknown)
17: Tiesto - Traffic (DJ Montana 12\\\" Edit)
18: Tiesto feat BT - Love Comes Again (Original Mix)
19: Tiesto - He\\\'s A Pirate
20: Tiesto - Adagio For Strings
21: (ID Unknown)
22: Ben Nicky - Special Moment (Original Mix)
23: Nenes & Pascal Feliz – Platinum (Tech Mix)
24: Boys Noize & Erol Alkan – Waves
25: Zombie Nation – Kernkraft 400 (Laidback Luke Edit)
26: Tiesto - Surrounded By Light