When ID&T changed Trance Energy into Energy, they received an enormous amount of critics on the web from disappointed fans. Especially when, despite promises from the ID&T staff, the trance-vibes were pushed into a little corner. A quick look on the new line-up showed us already not to expect the music discussed on our website, but ID&T invited us to see whether this “fusion of styles” presented on Energy is really the future of music, or not
One reason for ID&T to change to “Energy” was to attract a younger crowd. Well they succeeded in that. The crowd was noticeably younger compared to the average trance crowd. But to keep being able to host such big events, the amount of visitors is more important than their average age.
So how busy was this second edition of Energy? Well, it wasn’t empty that’s for sure, but ID&T definitely applied a few tricks to give the impression of the venue being “well filled”.
Firstly, The DJ booth and the visuals-wall behind it were shifted a bit towards what’s-usually-dancefloorspace, making the mainstage’s capacity smaller.
Secondly, the merchandize stands and chill-out area were located in the back of the three stages. While with Trance Energy (which even had four stages to be filled!) there was a separate chill-out area with multiple food-stands. So with all these adjustments, there was much less space to be ‘filled’.
Thirdly, the one-way-street system that has always been used inside the Jaarbeurs the last couple of Trance Energy editions, was not used this year, which isn’t much of a “trick”, but it does imply there were not just a few less people than with the last Trance Energy editions.
But let’s talk about the main reason I went to Energy, the music. The first DJ I saw was Fedde le Grand who I thought played a very flat set. His mixing was fine but this style of music is just boring for me. It lacked proper melodies and the set kept building up towards nothing. At the end he played his “Paradise” remix which I find pretty enjoyable myself after all.
My hopes were up for Eric Prydz who I expected to play more melodic progressive house music. He started off with a few great melodic tracks, the first being his own “2Night”, so I was getting exited. Unfortunately the set didn’t go anywhere after the nice start and it was basically all just one big build-up towards ‘Pjanoo’. I expected the crowd to go totally crazy over it, but a lot of people didn’t seem to care much about it. For me personally though, this was one of the highlights of the night.
After Eric Prydz it was time for the main headliner, Tiesto, who I expected to go on the same route as last year with his new style. I left after after the first few tracks, being all Tiesto productions: ‘C’mon’, ‘Somebody I used To Know’ and ‘Paradise’. I left because the volume was simply too loud. The bass was put so loud that the actual sound began to crunch and it hurt my ears. It also resulted in the melody sounds disappearing in the mud of sound so instead of hearing clear music, you hear hints of what you think is a certain track combined with a heavy ‘bzhhhhh’ sound layered onto it.
I just hoped I wouldn’t miss any true trance classics, but now I’ve seen the only “trance” in his set were his own remix of “Advanced” and the W&W vs Jonas Stenberg take on “Silence”, so it’s all good…
It give me an opportunity to check out the other area’s. The Execute stage where Joachim Garraud was playing was about 50% filled, which isn’t bad at all as he had to compete with Tiesto and Sander van Doorn. While walking past the stage I heard Alice Deejay “Better Off Alone” in some mash-up. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, Alice Deejay on the former Trance Energy…
Sander van Doorn was playing in the Connect stage, which even had two lasers. The room was filled around 75%. The sound was pretty good in here, although the ‘highs’ were quite loud. Sander played some nice music, mostly tracks with big electro climaxes, but also a couple of more melodic tracks giving me some hints of trance. Of course his hit “Koko” was played as well.
After Sander we left for the main stage again, to see Hardwell. Tiesto was playing his last tracks, “Maximal Crazy” and “Zero 76”. The volume was lowered again so the sound-quality was sublime at this point. Hardwell is in my opinion the perfect artist to describe the ‘Energy’ event and its sound with. Big electro basslines and strong trouse melodies, this is what Hardwell is all about. The official anthem “Cobra” sounded great and I also recognized his “Encoded” and “Love Comes Again” remix.
It was time for the special 1-hour Sander van Doorn set, but I was disappointed with him playing at least 4 tracks that I already heard in his previous set, in the Connect Stage. Of course as trance fan I hoped Sander would take it to the next level for a bit, but he kept it on the housey side, although being still enjoyable for me. At the end of his set I heard “Renegade” incoming, and what I expected (but not hoped) happened, it was the mash-up with “Zombie Nation”.
The switch to Michael Woods, who had to close the event, wasn’t a smooth one. The energy level was dropped instantly and a lot of people started to leave. In my opinion an actual trance artist would have fit perfectly to keep the energy level (and make it rise even). But now we were going to back to Fedde Le Grand’s type of bleep-blop house, which simply lacks energy at 6:00 hours.
When the energy level drops, you start feeling your legs, so I had to leave here as well around 6:30. I’ll close the report with some short positive and negative aspects I experienced.
+ The organisation itself, ID&T delivers, as always, a great event.
+ The decorations were pretty good (no TE 2009 for example), but definitely great.
+ The sound was lovely (and I’m really demanding quality!), only too loud with Tiesto.
+ The bar personnel were all surprisingly friendly, quick and enthusiastic.
+ Hardwell and Sander van Doorn’s sets.
– Too little variation in music, too little ENERGY.
– No “we-all-love-this-music” atmosphere that Trance Energy was known for.
– The famous “intro’s” for the DJ’s were “OK”. Unfortunately, Sander van Doorn and Michael Woods didn’t have such an intro at all.
If I were ID&T, I would conclude, after two non-sold-out editions of “Energy”, that parts of the concept do work well, especially when you want your event to stay “up to date” (which, we, on Trancefix, have to realize, is not only trance) and attract a younger crowd with that.
But I would also realize, that trance is perhaps not as dead as I thought, and may have to rethink the sudden ‘stop’ around the genre…