Dash Berlin’s #musicislife Tour @ The Beach on Governor’s Island
Music is life. This simple yet poignant statement is more than just the name of Dash Berlin’s world tour. Those who subscribe to this axiom believe it to be so unquestionably true that it transcends every aspect of their lives. It is this passion and adoration for music that brought thousands of New Yorkers to Governor’s Island in searing heat to celebrate music and its role in our lives, and it was Dash Berlin who led those in attendance on a musical journey that many of us will never soon forget.
It is impossible to recount Saturday without addressing how absurdly hot it was. EDM fans are no strangers to heat, often subjecting themselves to three day festivals in some of the hottest cities in the world. However, NYC heat is something entirely different. Breathing, let alone dancing was an excruciating chore. Zack Roth, Tritonal and Dash Berlin had a serious challenge to contend to. Tasked to bring this crowd alive despite the unbearable conditions, they showed us exactly how powerful music is by breathing life into the sundrenched crowd.
I made my way across the sand to the main structure just as Zack Roth was turning over command of the decks to Tritonal. A couple hundred Tritonians pushed their way to the front, but they couldn’t even muster the roar that New Yorkers usually greet Tritonal with. The heat seemed to be winning.
Chad Cisneros and Dave Reed looked up from behind the booth and literally challenged the crowd to do better. They threw their hands in the air as if to say “Yeah it’s freakin’ hot but we we’re all in this together, so let’s do this!” This is the moment I knew this day was going to be special. It was at this precise moment that the crowd was transformed. This is a testament to the power of music and the talent that brings it to us. We went from exhausted and defeated to alive and hopeful in a blink of an eye.
As ferry full after ferry full of people arrived on the island, the energy just seemed to multiply exponentially. Chad was a monster on stage, dancing harder than anyone at the show, encouraging everyone to hang-on with them, throwing t-shirts, raising the NY Trance Family flag with Dave and delivering monster track after monster track. I was standing in the back slightly above the dance floor when they dropped Porter Robinson’s “Language”. Chad got on the mic. and every single hand was in the air at his command. The sight of seeing thousands jump in unison was astonishing. Tracks like Jochen Miller’s “Zodiac”, Alesso and Ingrosso’s “Calling” and their own “Azuca” and “Slave” got everyone ready for the main act and the heat was becoming a distant memory.
As the sun began to set, its red glow cast a shadow over the island, and the night began to cool. Tritonal took a final bow after playing Ferry Corsten’s “Digital Punk”, and the once dead crowd shook the stage with their cheers in appreciation for what they just witnessed. Tritonal gave NYC everything they had in the name of music and it was beautiful.
Soon after, the countdown to Dash began. The scene was finally a familiar one. Cells phones were out in the thousands adding a soft glow to the darkened tent. Everyone began to chant “Dash Berlin, Dash Berlin, Dash Berlin” and with that he appeared on stage with his iPad overhead and ready to jump right into his 3 hour set. His #musicislife album is trance gold, and I only wish I had the words to describe what ensued over the subsequent hours during his set.
Dash, like Tritonal , gave us everything he had. At one point grabbing two armfuls of water and handing the bottles out to those he could reach. Brooklyn native Jonathan Mendelsohn joined Dash on Stage to sing “Better Half of Me” and he did so with such passion stirring everyone to sing along with him at the tops of their lungs. Dash Berlin & ATB vs. Niki & The Dove’s “DJ Ease My Apollo Road” is undoubtedly one of my favorite dash-ups. Niki’s sultry voice combined with “Apollo Road” as the hook build the perfect atmosphere which oddly complemented the massive dubstep bass drop perfectly, and had even the most hardcore trance fans dancing.
As the night was coming to close Dash hushed the crowd to a soft hum and launched into “Waiting” at one point standing on the DJ booth leading everyone to clap along with him. As the song reached its final drop the scene was gorgeous. Every hand went into the air as the words “#musicislife” illuminated the stage and everyone believed it to be true.
Some may argue that there is more to life than music, but I disagree. Music makes life worth living. It connects us to each other. It bridges people together who may not have otherwise ever met. It has the ability to heal, lift us up, enrage us, embolden the weak, soften the tough, and make us whole. It stirs a full range of emotions and memories they may have laid dormant for years upon years. And in our most defeated and exhausted state music proved that it can bring life to thousands and make us move as one.
Photo credit: Peter Drier for MadeEvent.com