This Saturday, New York City dance music fans headed to the Central Park Summerstage for an installation of the Size Matters tour with headliner Steve Angello. This promised to be a different type of show for fans who frequent concerts of this kind: an outdoor, intimate performance from a superstar who normally performs in front of sold out arenas. As I was approaching the venue I wondered to myself, "How is a venue that holds a thousand people going to support a performance that is usually executed before twenty times that? And although this event has had huge hype since its announcement, I think most fans were pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
First impressions of what was to come were a pleasant surprise. As always, Summerstage felt like an encapsulated oasis in the middle of the park. The energy was high, and there was noticeably less neon than you'd see in a typical afternoon at a electronic dance show. And once the music started, the energy of the crowd blew up into something impressive that you'd normally only get to see during Miami Music Week.
The lineup for Saturday was stellar and full of the standard of Size Records superstars, with Third Party making their NYC debut in Central Park. As the first openers, the British duo hit the ground running with a set that was deliberately tailored to function as a warmup set but also had elements typical of the Third Party sound. Including multiple mashups and their own hits like "Thank You," they also threw in some huge surprises like the classic Tiesto mashup of "K2" vs "What Can We Do (Deeper Love)." The energy coming from Third Party behind the decks was plenty enough to balance out the minimal stage production early on in the night, making for a great first time performance.
- K2 (Original Mix)
- What Can We Do (A Deeper Love) (Third Party Remix)
"Hair floppin' and body rockin'" is the only appropriate way to fully describe the Dutch duo Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano's stage presence. Although another level of lights on the stage was ignited for their set, their phenomenal fun energy was what kept the crowd engrossed in their performance. Starting their set with a global, funky techno feel, they gradually added more intensity to the mood with harder electro and progressive sounds. This transition happened while the sun was setting, making for an even more noticeable movement in the set. Halfway through, they dropped their remake of "Lethal Industry," and when the second drop exploded, another layer of lights were activated on stage, to slowly build the production experience. James & Marciano are known for their mastery of a multiple-genre tracklist, and definitely gained more than a few new fans after their impressive set.
Stream:Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano
- Lethal Industry (Original Mix)
An21 & Max Vangeli, toting their standard leather jacket and trucker hat, took over the finally fully lit stage. Still clearly on a high off of their most recent album release, People of the Night, they dropped their classic dark progressive-style earth-shakers that they're most famous for. Pairing huge songs like "Bombs Over Capitals," with their own tectonic mashups that they call "People of the Night Booty's," they created a good setup for the anxiously awaited sounds of Steve Angello.
Stream:An21 & Max Vangeli, Michael Woods
- Nightfall (Original Mix)
Stream:AN21 & Max Vangeli & Moguai
- Brunette (Original Mix)
The entire vibe changed when Steve Angello took the stage. Donning the classic SHM outfit of a black t-shirt, Angello was absolutely stoic on stage. Introducing his performance with a drawn out intro to "Knas", all of Summerstage was dark except for two lasers outlining the edges of the decks. As the introduction built, smoke slowly filtered in to deliberately simulate the image of flames engulfing the Swedish superstar into a huge drop, complete with crazy laser and light show and sound on full blast. There had been some speculation over what the quality of the sound would be due to city regulations, but from where we were standing (front and center), the bass was good enough.
An overall predictable set, the progression at times felt almost identical to that which Swedish House Mafia played at their groundbreaking Madison Square Garden show last December. That aside, production was unbelievable and included the top of the line laser and light show that we would normally expect from the Size team. Toward the end of the show, many fans' prayers were answered with a rainstorm, to which Angello responded: "This will show us who's here for the party, and who is here for the music." The rain added an out of this world experience to the show: filtering through the lasers overhead, it looked like a layer of glitter shimmering in the sky. Closing with the debut of the Tom Staar remix of "Don't You Worry Child," Angello closed down Central Park in a way that was almost too picturesque for words.
- KNAS (Original Mix)
The Earmilk crew was lucky enough to see Angello in Central Park and in NYC's standard place for all late night house shows: Pacha. The New York post of the Ibiza outlet hosted Angello for another intimate show that was a completely different experience from that in Central Park. Here Angello got to show his real preferences as a DJ, and got to experiment and play his own interests to the crowd. Reminding us of his personal global and tribal production style, the show was interesting and intimate lasted into the early morning hours. In the end, this weekend was an experience that got us pumped for Swedish House Mafia's One Last Tour
, details of which were just announced