armin only intense

Armin Van Buuren — a name that needs no further introduction in many circles. He’s won the coveted #1 spot on the DJ Mag poll for a record of five times, has been nominated for a GRAMMY, and hosts a weekly podcast, A State of Trance, that has over 20 million listeners. It had been over six years since the last Armin Only event in Los Angeles, so the long overdue performance last week was met with great anticipation by all.

Armin opened the night playing classics, including his track “Zocolo” and other deep favorites by the likes of trance legends Above and Beyond and Gabriel and Dresden. I was exceptionally happy when he played Arty’s twist on London Grammar’s “Hey Now.”

While you could see Armin’s silhouette throughout the performance, he remained covered by a small white dome. After opening for himself, a dance troupe came onstage and danced around the ball before flinging it off him. With this release came fireworks, confetti, and an explosion of music. Opening with his appropriately titled song “Intense,” he kicked up the energy to the next level.

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Throughout the show Armin was joined by a bevy of talented performers, including vocalists Trevor Guthrie, Richard Bedford, and Fiora; world-renowned violinist Miri Ben-Ari; and percussionist Koen Herfst. Armin’s very own little brother, Eller van Buuren, even delivered a guitar-shredding performance, and other incredible performers included dancers in full-body neon suits to trampoline artists.

One of my favorite moments was when Armin encouraged audience participation with his newest single, “Ping Pong.” After manipulating a large visual board while playing the majority of the song, he then asked that everyone sit down. We crouched down on the floor as a clock counted down to when we were supposed to pop back up.

When the clock hit zero, the entire crowd jumped to their feet while thousands of smiley-face balloons descended from the ceiling. Confetti and balloons were flying through the air for the next several songs.

Another unbelievable moment was when Armin dropped his song with BT, titled “These Silent Hearts,” and all the vocalists came on stage and sang. Seeing Trevor Guthrie, Laura Jansen, Lauren Evans, Cindy Alma, Fiora, Eller van Buuren, and Koen Herfst all on stage at once was overwhelmingly beautiful.

Throughout the entire show, Armin maintained his smile, energy, and even jumped out of the booth multiple times to dance around the stage with the various props and performers. He is without a doubt one of the most genuine DJ/producers I’ve seen perform and never loses a single iota of energy. He radiates pure love, and his fans reflect it right back at him.

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Armin Van Buuren