We first saw New World Punx opening for Armin van Buuren at their debut arena show: A State Of Trance 600 at Madison Square Garden (listen here). Composed of trance titans Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz, the duo began collaborating after playing some back-to-back sets at previous shows. When we heard they were on tour, this time as headliners, we leapt at the chance to witness their wizardry once again, this time at the historic (and, unfortunately, soon-to-be-closing) Roseland Ballroom. The show took place this past Saturday, November 23, and featured an incredible four hour set of lush sonic textures, soaring angelic vocals, and hard throbbing beats delivered straight to our eardrums from the power pair.
The first opener of the evening was Mike Saint-Jules. You trance-heads may have heard his bootleg remix of van Buuren's "Precious" on ASOT 638. If not, go back, click that link, and allow your spirit to be uplifted. While his set was relatively tame, it was just what the crowd needed to limber up for a long night of dancing. Continuing the warmup while increasing the intensity, Belgian progressive trance DJ M.I.K.E. Push took the stage, dropping killer tracks such as Canvas off his latest album, World Citizen. He recently signed to Schulz Music Group which, as you may have guessed, is the artist management company founded by the aforementioned Markus, so it's no surprise that Mr. Push would be along for the tour to support his boss.
During M.I.K.E.'s set, we had the wonderful opportunity to step back stage for a photo op with the men of the hour. We learned that, while traveling together, they like to hang out on their respective laptops, working on their music, occassionally sharing their work with each other. And, as you can see in the picture below, they love to banter playfully with each other!
After a few more minutes of basking in their heroic aura, we exited the green room, made our way out to the balcony, grabbed a drink, and then: IT WAS TIME. They announced their arrival with a blinding onslaught of strobes, an interstellar intro video, and a slowly-building rumble, culminating in an explosive drop into their first track.
Alternating tracks back-to-back, the New World Punx kept the energy up all night, playing their hits as well as new and unreleased tunes. Favorites of ours include Ferry's majestic bootleg reworking of "Praise You" by Fatboy Slim, Markus's ethereal Perception, and the group's live-only (for now) collaborative remix of Sub Focus's drum & bass classic, "Tidal Wave". And where would these legendary producers be without their trance divas? Schulz brought out his hands-in-the-air anthem Nothing Without Me featuring Mexican vocalist Ana Diaz, while Corsten went with the chirpy-indie stylings of the Swede Jenny Wahlström on their track Many Ways.
We took a detour to get some closeups of the group from the photo pit. The thumping electro kicks flung from the venue's formidable subs caused every molecule in our body to vibrate in ecstatic union. We wanted to stay down there in heaven forever, but cooler heads prevailed, and our ears lived to fight another day.
We left Roseland with spirits elevated, grinning ear-to-ear from the musical magic swirling around us. 240 minutes of hard-hitting trance left no doubt in our minds that New World Punx is a force with which to be reckoned. Before you go, make sure to grab Romper, their most recent free offering!