Photo courtesy of Doug Van Sant Photography. In addition to being a DJ-photographer, he is also the official photographer for Echostage in Washington, DC, as well as for EDC NY and Electric Zoo. Past clients include: Gareth Emery, Cosmic Gate, Emma Hewitt, Markus Schulz, and many, many more. To see more of Doug's work, check out his website.
Gareth Emery will always have a special place in my heart. Hands down, his performance on Saturday, July 6th was the best of all of the 4th of July shows on Governors Island. He never fails to disappoint, and with over one million Facebook fans, we expected nothing less of his set but the absolute best. The show was broadcast live across the world, meaning that he had hundreds of thousands of expectations to fulfill. To answer your question, yes, he provided everything we could have possibly wanted from his set, and more.
Unlike Victor Calderone’s show the day before, we were back to seeing the predominantly younger crowd with which we are more familiar. You don’t even know how excited everyone was when Gareth finally entered the stage at 8 pm; he’s just that good. Making a grand entrance with the same ID he used at EDC Vegas this year, the party had officially begun.
Saturday’s show revolved more around emotion than anything else, as trance tends to be the more emotional genre of EDM. Gareth is notable for his mind-blowing energy that we don’t see too often in DJs. Traveling across the world hundreds of times a year, you’d expect him to get tired every once in a while. But, no. He treats every show like his first, because pleasing his fans is his number one priority. It’s not even his music that predominantly brings the vivacity, but rather himself. All of these qualities showed on Saturday when Gareth immediately began jumping and making strong hand movements on stage as he opened, encouraging listeners to do the same. He’s constantly moving, constantly building a more tangible relationship between the music and the fans.
Envision blue and green 3D lasers being projected onto the crowd while two dancers in blue bikinis and chokers performed on stage. Just as Gareth dropped “Summertime Sadness,” the entire venue became dark to complement the mood. Red strobes began flashing to enhance the eeriness, and Gareth sang along to the lyrics and clapped.
He doesn’t just want us to listen, but also to feel the music and understand how much his career means to him. While we already know that all of these world-class DJ’s love the music and what they do, you can tell by that signature smile of Gareth’s that he’s in love with it. From mashups like Eric Prydz vs. Audien ("Every Day Wayfarer"; Tritonal Mashup- see below) to Zedd’s “Spectrum” vs. W&W’s “Lift Off!,” the “trancefamily” surely received its daily dose of trance. Although he is most famously known for producing trance, Gareth spiced up his set with Sebastian Ingrosso and Tommy Trash's “Reload,” RL Grime’s trap remix of “Satisfaction,” and even Darude’s “Sandstorm.” Bringing back tracks from the 90s/early 2000s is the key to getting the crowd to go nuts, and Gareth hit the nail on the head with that one.
We had no idea when he would drop “Concrete Angel,” but when he finally did, giant red, white, and blue balloons rained onto the crowd from the ceiling. It was kind of magical, actually. For the first time that night, virtually everyone on the island came together and sang with Gareth: “If you keep building these walls, brick by brick towers so tall/Soon I won’t see you at all, until the concrete angel falls…”