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The King of Trance Returns to Where It All Began
Review of Paul Van Dyk @ Governors Island 8/11

In a much anticipated return, Paul Van Dyk, the king of trance, graced New York with his presence for the first time this year. This past Sunday, August 11, we were fortunate to be a part of a monstrous, 6-hour set filled with heavy trance, powerful lasers, flashing lights, and good company.

If his Facebook and Twitter posts the week leading up to the show were any indication, he was very excited to play in New York. This could have something to do with the fact that New York feels like home to him--something he confessed in his interview with us back in July. He metioned how his show at Governors Island was meaningful to him because this is where his career essentially took off. And we could tell by the content look on his face during the 6 hour show, that he was having the time of his life.

Paul’s set was powerful, but the visual show, set to accompany his upcoming album, The Politics of Dancing 3, was even more so. Governors Island was completely lit up for the entire night in blue, green, orange, and red tones. We vividly remember standing near the front when "We Are One" dropped and bursts of color were released, dissolving into the crowd. The same goes for his remix of Linkin Park’s “Burn It Down”— when that set off, all you could see was fog among a sea of blue, which quickly transitioned to a fan of white light just before the drop. The dazzling hues and shapes were so intense that we almost felt like our faces might melt off (in a good way, of course). We envied the fans smart enough to bring a pair of sunglasses with them. With sound-activated strobes and lasers that set off perfectly in conjunction with the beats, we can't actually say that we've ever seen anything as extraordinary as Paul’s show before.

A few hours into his set, people began chanting, “Paul Van Dyk! Paul Van Dyk!” The stage crew rapidly responded by handing out styrofoam light sabers with Paul’s name inscribed on them, to further enhance the experience. Orange and red lights dispensed a warm glow throughout the venue, as Paul was visible in the backdrop. In this way, the crowd watched in awe as he dropped his mashup of “For An Angel” and Swedish House Mafia’s “One.”

Although the lightshow was somewhat overwhelming at times, Paul’s set was passionate, and enlightening. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what other people think about his music as long as he is happy with it, which he absolutely is. That’s good enough for us. That and the fact that condom balloons were flying all over the place, allowing us to laugh, dance, and let go.